IFLG-international-fertility-law-group-covid-19-recommendations-5

Coronavirus COVID-19 Info for Intended Parents, Surrogates, Donors, 3rd Party Matching Programs

IFLG RECOMMENDATIONS for INTENDED PARENTS via A.R.T.,

SURROGATES, DONORS and Third Party Assisted Reproduction Matching Programs

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreads around the world and throughout the U.S., our professional community and policymakers, intended parents, donors, surrogates, third-party ART agencies, and the public in general are seeking advice regarding how those who are undergoing or planning infertility treatment should proceed in light of COVID-19-related travel bans and other public health advisories.

Undertaking assisted reproductive technology is inherently stressful and emotionally challenging, requiring extensive planning, medical screenings and significant expenditure of time and money. For surrogates, donors and intended parents alike, the pandemic adds another element of uncertainty and concern—at one of the most critically important moments of their lives. Because clear, accurate and timely information is one of the best tools to help protect ourselves and our clients, we are writing to share the best information we have available at this time.

Currently, very little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on reproduction and pregnancy. For information about the virus, symptoms, treatment and impact on assisted reproduction and pregnancy, consult your doctors and IVF physicians, or check the American Society for Reproductive Medicine website HERE.

You may also want to check the travel guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) daily, as it is anticipated to change frequently. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html)

Everyone is encouraged to also comply with instructions from state and local health departments and to stay abreast of the latest guidelines and updates issued by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) websites regarding evolving developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional information is available at:

 

COVID-19 travel restrictions and quarantine periods could prevent INTENDED PARENTS using a gestational carrier from joining their newborn in a timely manner. Consequently, we strongly encourage all intended parents and the legal professionals, organizations, and programs that facilitate these arrangements to promptly take the necessary steps to identify families that may be so affected and develop contingencies.

Those same travel and quarantine restrictions may cause delays in scheduled medical screening and medical procedures for SURROGATES AND DONORS.

Some travel bans issued by the federal, state and local governments may allow exceptions for those with immediate family in the impacted area to travel. Likewise, the U.S. Presidential Executive Order (updated on 11 March 2020) states that the travel ban shall NOT apply to any non-resident alien who is the parent or legal guardian or sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Therefore, IFLG will be happy to draft a letter for our clients explaining the need for such travel, such as intended parents who need to travel to be present for the birth of their child.  However, keep in mind that such letters do not guarantee the ability to travel, as executive orders and other government orders in this situation may be subject to change without notice.

Intended parents may also wish to consider traveling sooner if this is feasible

Contingency plans for intended parents should also include establishing temporary, standby or backup guardians and/or healthcare powers of attorney designating another responsible adult to care for their child/children at birth if intended parents are infected or restricted from travel. Intended parents are strongly encouraged to confirm with their designated backup guardians that they are ready, willing and available (and not also affected by any such travel bans).  If Intended parents have not executed such documents, or if such documents have been executed but need to be updated for any reason (including the unavailability of the originally selected backup person(s), please contact IFLG to discuss engaging us for this service.

Protect Yourselves and Others

In the meantime, do your part to help. Please seek medical advice on what you can do to protect yourself and others and to prevent the spread of the virus.  Below is some basic information from the CDC.gov website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

For those who have become infected with this new coronavirus, symptoms have ranged from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough and trouble breathing. The virus has caused severe disease and death in patients who developed pneumonia. Risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, although older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness.

CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel.

If you must travel:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid traveling if you are sick.

If you spent time in a COVID-19 HIGH RISK AREA during the past 14 days:

  • Stay home for 14 days from the time you return, monitor your health, and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
  • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
    • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
    • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

For additional information, please see:

 

Rich Vaughn & Molly O'Brien
Rich Vaughn & Molly O'Brien
neimarkbrian@gmail.com

RICH VAUGHN, ESQ.: 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 expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law around the world. MOLLY O'BRIEN, ESQ.: Molly O'Brien has worked in the field of assisted reproduction since 2005. In that time, she worked for an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency, where she became familiar with all aspects of in vitro fertilization and egg donation, including the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, she has gained extensive experience in drafting and negotiating surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation and embryo donation contracts on behalf of her clients throughout the world.

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, 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, most recently as a founder of and speaker at the first Cambridge University International Surrogacy Symposium held in June 2019, as immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, and as a popular presenter to law schools, 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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Molly O'Brien
MOLLY O'BRIEN
Partner

Fertility law attorney Molly O’Brien began working in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART) in 2005, at an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency where she became familiar with all aspects of in-vitro fertilization, egg donation and the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, Molly has drafted and negotiated surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation embryo donation agreements for hundreds of her clients all over the world.