07 Jun 2021 Rich Vaughn Talks Latest in Surrogacy Law on Fertility Café Podcast
In this Fertility Café podcast, I join host Eloise Drane of Family Inceptions to discuss surrogacy and what intended parents and surrogates need to know about preparing legally for this life-changing event.
As Eloise and I discuss, things have changed a lot since my husband and I became fathers of twin boys, now almost 13 years old! At that time, in 2007, only one state in the U.S.—Illinois—even had a law on the books addressing surrogacy. Cryopreservation technology was still evolving, and fresh donor eggs were used for in vitro fertilization (IVF), which required careful coordination with the surrogate in timing the implantation. At that time, standard practice also called for implantation of multiple embryos, to improve odds of a single successful pregnancy and birth. Today, IVF success rates are vastly improved, aided by pre-implantation genetic testing, and best practice is to implant only a single embryo per cycle.
In our case, good fortune was with us, and our surrogate gave birth at 38 weeks to healthy twin boys. During the process, I became fascinated with the legal aspects of assisted reproduction and entered a whole new practice focusing exclusively on fertility law. Although technology and outcomes have improved a lot since those days, because of that very personal experience, I’m able to understand and relate to, not only the legal challenges of parenthood via surrogacy, but also the emotions that come with it. I always tell my clients they can ask me anything.
As I told Eloise, there are probably only 300 or so attorneys in the world who practice specifically in assisted reproductive technology law. It is important for intended parents and surrogates to make sure their attorney is aware of and understands the myriad of complex issues involved. For example, every surrogacy agreement must address the issues of termination of the pregnancy and/or selective reduction of embryos. Clients need an attorney who understands the importance of such provisions and who can provide expert advice, as well as one who is familiar with laws governing surrogacy and parentage in the intended parents’ home state or country.
Our discussion covers many of the legal issues facing intended parents and surrogates today, things to consider in choosing an attorney, and even a few war stories about surrogacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in above or HERE.
As always, for more information about the steps involved in creating a family via surrogacy, our expert team of fertility law attorneys and paralegals is always ready to help! https://www.iflg.net/contact/