Rich-Vaughn-Blog-AFAIlluminationsNYC2014

AFA Shines Light on Path2Parenthood at Illuminations NYC

I traveled to New York this week to attend the American Fertility Association’s annual fundraising gala, Illuminations NYC, held Monday, Nov. 3, at The Yale Club of New York.

This year’s honorees were leading U.S. biopharmaceutical firm EMD Serono Inc., recipient of the 2014 Advocacy Award; and Owen K. Davis, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine and associate director of In Vitro Fertilization at The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine (CRM) of Weill Cornell Medical College, recipient of the Joyce M. Vargyas, M.D., Visionary Award.

EMD Serono, a major sponsor of Path2Parenthood, is known for its leadership in the development of innovative medications to help treat infertility through the application of recombinant DNA technology. The company is an industry leader in creating custom programs to serve diverse communities such as the LGBT community and military veterans, in advocacy efforts to protect patient access to fertility treatment, and in offering assistance programs for those who otherwise would be unable to afford fertility services. EMD Serono is the U.S. entity of parent company Merck KGaA, a company with 300 years of history in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Dr. Owen Davis is a world-renowned specialist and leader in the field of reproductive medicine, and a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist. He currently serves as president-elect of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and previously served as president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.

This was an exciting year for the AFA, which took the opportunity of the annual fundraising event to unveil AFA’s new rebrand, Path2Parenthood—a name that more accurately encompasses and describes what the organization does: help people discover their path to parenthood, whether it is through adoption or assisted reproduction. The organization also is developing a website where you can literally go as a consumer, answer a few short questions, and be directed to the professionals and resources you need, in your area.

Executive Director of The American Fertility Association, Ken Mosesian recounted the organization’s evolution, including previous name changes—from Resolve New York City to the American Infertility Association to the American Fertility Association, “each evolution inspired by a desire to help more people.

“They have seen an organization originally founded to help educate infertile men and women about their options for having children, become an inclusive family building organization.

“We serve straight and gay, men and women, single, married, and partnered people with unique outreach and education programs that inspire action. We serve those who have served us as members of our military. We work with those living with HIV.

“We deliver leading-edge, patient-focused education on infertility prevention, fertility preservation, assisted reproduction, IVF, donor egg, donor sperm, surrogacy, adoption, and adopting out of foster care. We do so without bias, and with no agenda, except our commitment to helping people make the best choices for their lives.

“For the past two years, the board and staff have been wrestling with how we say who we are. When WE hear ‘The AFA,’ that expansive list of services and the broad demographics I just mentioned immediately comes to mind—for us. But for the vast majority of people with whom we interact, particularly those we’re meeting for the first time, ‘The American Fertility Association’ just does not encompass all that we do and everyone we serve.

“What to do? The mission is perfect. But the name needs to grow, again, to fully embrace that mission. So tonight, with the approval of our Board of Directors, in the city where this all began nearly two decades ago, The American Fertility Association becomes Path2Parenthood.

“’We guide people on their path to parenthood’” is SO much easier than reciting a three-paragraph explanation! We’ve field-tested the name for the past year on populations as diverse as military veterans and drag queens. They all get it. Immediately.

“Besides the name, what changes? A new online experience is being created from a clean slate by one of the most brilliant digital agencies in the country. When completed this spring, it will literally guide visitors on a customized journey to having a child.

“What stays the same? Our mission. Our board. Our staff. Our councils. And most importantly, our work.”

We at International Fertility Law Group applaud AFA for its willingness to change and grow in the cause of reaching more people with the information and resources that will help each of them find their unique Path2Parenthood. For more information about this great organization, visit http://www.theafa.org/.

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.