Rich Vaughn Speaks at Yale Law School Oct. 17

Presentations Aim to Advance Field of ART Law

The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of speaking engagements for me, primarily for the purpose of educating lawyers and sharing the knowledge and skills I’ve gained in the practice of the ever-evolving field of assisted reproductive technology law.

There is great interest in ART law, in large part because it is a new field and because technological advances are constantly expanding the potential of human reproduction and changing the legal landscape. Family law attorneys, estate attorneys and divorce lawyers in particular are hungry for information about how ART issues that were unimaginable a decade ago may impact their cases and their clients—how family law has evolved around the evolving family.

At a basic level, attorneys want to know what it’s like to practice ART law and to break into the field. We discuss family dynamics and dilemmas that have become increasingly common as new technologies pave the way for non-traditional means of family formation. The best way for attorneys to keep up with rapidly changing case law is through legal conferences and collaboration with other attorneys.

At the California State Bar Association Family Law CLE Conference on Sept. 30, my esteemed colleague, Deborah Wald, and I presented "A Family Lawyers Guide to Assisted Reproduction Law: What Every Family Law Attorney Should Know About ART.” This presentation includes a sub-topic on how courts are resolving battles among divorcing couples over disposition of genetic material, which I originally presented at the quarterly meeting of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers/ Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers, held Sept. 17 in Santa Barbara.

For example, what does an attorney do when intended parents divorce and then quarrel over who has the right to use preserved eggs, sperm or embryos originally intended to allow the couple to have a child together? If one partner uses the material to conceive a child, who is the legal parent? As we’ve written about earlier, there are few to no laws offering resolution to these complex questions, and case law is inconsistent.  

And coming up October 17 I will have the great honor of presenting at the Yale School of Law in New Haven, Connecticut, along with Douglas G. Nejaime, a Yale Martin R. Flug Visiting Professor of Law. Doug is a law professor at UCLA School of Law, where he serves as Faculty Director of the Williams Institute, a highly regarded think tank that researches sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. At the Yale Law presentation, I’ll discuss what my day-to-day practice is like, my role in guiding clients during the ART progress, my work with organizations such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology in helping to develop best practices and ethical standards, and advances in the legal rights of LGBT intended parents.

Later that same week I’ll be in Quebec City for the American Bar Association Family Law Section CLE Conference, where, in addition my duties as chair of the ABA’s ART Committee, I’ll present, with committee Vice Chair Dean Hutchison, on the legal implications of relationship conflicts during surrogacy: What happens when a surrogate and her spouse divorce, or a surrogate gets married or partnered during the surrogacy process? What happens when intended parents separate or divorce or enter a new relationship?

Finding time away from my busy law practice to attend legal conferences and develop presentations can be challenging, but I am passionate about the field of ART law, and I enjoy sharing my experiences. My goal is to help advance our legal profession, expand the field of knowledge in ART law, and in return learn from my colleagues for the benefit of my clients and their families.

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, 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.