For the first time in history, an Italian court has recognized a same-sex couple as legal parents. The gay male couple, who has not been identified, had twin boys seven years ago, born via a surrogate in Canada. In 2011, a Canadian court established both men...

The wheels of progress turn slowly, and in some parts of the world, leaders stand on the brakes, bring it to a screeching halt, then do their best to roll it backwards. That appears to be happening right now in the Tennessee state legislature. Under the...

In the realm of “good news/bad news,” twin boys born to a gay Italian couple via in vitro fertilization and surrogacy in California will be recognized as Italian citizens, an Italian court ruled last month. But Italy will not recognize the boys as brothers—even though they...

A just-issued ruling from a California appeals court upheld the legality of properly executed surrogacy agreements and stated that a properly executed surrogacy agreement does not violate the constitutional rights of the surrogate or children born via surrogacy. The case made headlines in 2016, after a...

One of the most provocative issues in reproductive law is the legal status of frozen embryos—how they are disposed of, who has the right to determine how they will used, and do they have legal rights as persons under the law? Recently we wrote about the...

For this season of hope, here’s a story of hope. As reported by the BBC, a 24-year-old woman, who was rendered infertile after chemotherapy for a life-threatening childhood blood disease, gave birth after transplantation of her own ovarian tissue. A first-of-its-kind procedure, the transplant was made possible...

The sensational legal battle between actress Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiancé, Florida businessman Nick Loeb, over the disposition of the couple’s two fertilized embryos recently got even more sensational. On December 6, Loeb dropped his California case against Vergara and the couple’s fertility clinic, which sought to...

The notorious case of the Kansas sperm donor who ended up on the hook for child support at long last appears to have reached a conclusion. A Kansas District Court ruled November 29 that William Marotta, who sold his sperm to a lesbian couple, resulting...

As my fellow family lawyers and ART attorneys and I work to wrap our heads around last week’s presidential election results, many of our clients are turning to us for answers to their most urgent questions and concerns. One of the most frequently asked questions...

One of the things President-elect Trump and the Republican Party would like to do is repeal the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” on day 1 of the new administration. Big words… Taking health insurance coverage away from people without an alternative solution would almost certainly usher...

In yet another example of the perils of too-casual sperm donor arrangements, a gay Canadian man who donated sperm to help a medical school friend conceive more than 16 years ago now is being sued for current and back child support. The donor is being “punished...

I had the great honor to present last week at Yale School of Law, along with Professor Douglas G. Nejaime (visiting professor from UCLA School of Law), on “The ‘ART’ of Family Formation: The Law and Ethics of Assisted Reproduction.” The presentation, organized by the...

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...

A new study by the London School of Economics argues that the U.K.’s statutory 10-year limit on storage of cryopreserved eggs or embryos has created a double standard and has, in a classic example of unintended consequences, replaced one kind of “biological timeclock” with another. In...

A recent settlement in a federal lawsuit against the state of Texas may benefit LGBT intended parents by establishing the importance of an accurate, valid birth certificate in protecting children’s rights. The U.S. Constitution states that children born in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens...

I was highly honored recently, in my capacity as chair of the ART Committee of the American Bar Association's Family Law Section, to receive the ABA Family Law Section Chair's Cup award, presented by outgoing Section Chair Greg Ortiz. The award was presented jointly to me and my...

With the growing use of cryopreservation, a method of freezing for future use eggs, sperm or embryos, we’re also seeing a growing amount of litigation resulting from disagreements as to their disposition. Sometimes a couple freezes eggs or sperm for medical reasons, such as cancer treatment, or merely in order to delay starting a family until a more opportune time. If the couple later separates, the partners may disagree about whether the eggs, sperm or embryo should be destroyed or preserved, how and when they can be used, and who has the right to make that decision.

Although such cases are still relatively uncommon (most people resolve these matters privately), as the technology improves and becomes more accessible to more people, it’s reasonable to assume such disagreements will occur more often. And as the law stands now, it’s anyone’s bet how these cases will wash out: in this area of law, it’s still the wild, Wild West.

Many couples sign a consent agreement or medical consent form, usually provided by their fertility agency, when they undergo egg or sperm harvesting or in vitro fertilization. Often, the clinic documents don’t cover what happens in the case of separation or divorce. Few intended parents go to a fertility thinking about what will happen if they get a divorce—most don’t want to think about it. However, it is incumbent upon the fertility services providers to make sure all eventualities are covered in these documents, and these intending parents must also be advised to carefully consider all eventualities before cryopreserving their genetic material.

But as things stand today, even the existence of a medical consent form addressing embryo disposition doesn’t rule out the prospect of conflict and litigation. Sometimes the court honors these consent forms, but not always.

After a valiant five-year battle, U.S. Senator Patty Murray succeeded last month in winning Senate approval of an $88 million appropriation over the next two years to pay for fertility treatments for wounded veterans whose injuries, such as genital or spinal cord injuries, resulted in their...

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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, serving as chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee and speaking 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.

Tania Aguilar
TANIA AGUILAR
Legal Assistant

Tania Aguilar joined IFLG as a legal assistant in early 2016 and has since been immersed in the complexities of assisted reproductive technology law. Tania received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Chapman University in Orange, California, and a graduate degree from University of Leicester in England, where she pursued an interest in art. In 2013, she accepted a volunteer position at Legal Aid Society of Orange County, where she helped with the intake of new clients and was inspired to obtain a paralegal certificate from Fullerton College. As an undergraduate, Tania lived in Italy and studied the Italian language. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian and enjoys assisting as a translator for many of IFLG’s international clients. Outside of the office, Tania enjoys concerts, films, reading and travel.