Rich-Vaughn-Blog-AFA-Military-Discounts

AFA Offers Fertility Resources to Members of Armed Services

Since all of us were together in New York recently for the American Fertility Association’s Illuminations event (see our recent post about the event and honorees Nia Vardalos and Dr. Alan S. Penzias, M.D.), the AFA board took the opportunity to meet. Recent statistics show that one in eight U.S. couples is experiencing infertility of one kind or another, and those numbers include members of our military. Among the topics the board discussed was the AFA’s recent initiative to help members of the U.S. armed forces and their families by providing information and resources and by asking our members to consider providing discounted infertility treatment and preservation services to service members. International Fertility Law Group is supporting this program by offering discounted rates.

To help ensure military families have the information they need, the AFA recently published a new handbook, “Combating Infertility During Military Service.” The AFA handbook includes information on services and treatment options and guidance for service members and family members who are undergoing treatment, including a list of questions to ask clinics or care providers.

As the handbook points out, all couples or individuals facing infertility face numerous stressors: the need to determine the cause of the infertility, the decision whether or not to undergo infertility treatment, and in the event treatment fails, whether to consider ART, adoption or remaining childless. For individuals serving in the military, those stresses often are intensified by pending deployments, remote service, limited financial resources, frequent moves, family separations and other issues.  Active duty military and reservists deployed for longer than 30 days are entitled to free health care, which includes some types of infertility treatments, but typically does not include assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization, or preservation methods such as freezing of eggs or sperm. Military health benefits do not cover cost of egg donation, sperm donation or surrogacy. A handful of Military Treatment Facilities in the U.S. provide limited types of ART usually at lower cost than private clinics, but the cost of treatment is borne by the service member. Service members choosing to be treated at an MTF are likely to be wait-listed and may have to travel long distances for treatment.

The AFA also encourages service members who will be deployed to combat zones and want to start families at some future time to consider freezing, or cryopreserving, sperm, eggs or embryos. Cryopreservation is not included in military health benefits and is usually not covered by standard health insurance policies. A list of facilities offering discounted services to military members can be found at www.afa.org.

We owe a lot to the men and women who sacrifice their comfort, safety and security so that the rest of us can enjoy those privileges. As AFA Executive Director Ken Mosesian put it so eloquently in announcing publication of the military handbook, “Our veterans and those who are serving in the uniformed and armed services have given all they have to this nation. We are compelled to do all we can to assist them in having a family as a means of demonstrating our heartfelt appreciation for their sacrifice.”

Rich Vaughn
Richard Vaughn
rich@iflg.net

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
PEIYA WANG(王培娅)
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Technologies and Business University, where she majored in Marketing. She moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeast University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa
LUIS SOSA
Paralegal

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes
TONI HUGES
Paralegal

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”

Miesha Cowart
MIESHA COWART
Financial Coordinator

Miesha Cowart joined IFLG as a financial specialist in 2014 following a successful career in development and business finance. Miesha previously worked for 10 years in the construction industry as a controller and for 13 years as Development Coordinator for the non-profit U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In her free time, Miesha works with “Next Generation” at her church. “They are my heartbeats!” she says of the youth in her community.

Kim
KIM DEVEREAUX
Paralegal

Kim has over 25 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager of surrogacy and egg donation cases, and is also responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn
RICHARD B. VAUGHN
Founder

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, thoughtful and compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law. He is immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, which develops model legislation governing assisted reproductive services, and is a popular presenter to law students, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo
ELIZABETH TAMAYO
Paralegal

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Sunny Chien
SUNNY CHIEN
Paralegal

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.

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