Rich Vaughn, IFLG, Taiwan-Shanghai Trip to Share ART Info with Intended Parents

Sharing Promise of ART with LGBT China

I have the great honor of traveling next week to China and Japan to talk to members of the LGBT communities there about assisted reproductive technology and the legal considerations for same-sex intended parents, joined by my colleague Sandy Chuan of the San Diego Fertility Center.

We will be speaking to an anticipated audience of 350 prospective parents at events by Shanghai Pride, China’s only known LGBTQ pride organization, and PFLAG China.

As we predicted, assisted reproductive technology, or ART, has become a hot topic in China since 2013, when the nation began easing its one-child-per-family population control policy in place since 1979. As Asian News Network reports, since the beginning of 2016, all Chinese married couples may legally have a second child—an additional 90 million couples. But half of those women now eligible to have a second child are age 40 and over, leading more to seek fertility treatment. Even with the second-child policy in place, Chinese authorities continue to place strict limits on who is eligible for assisted reproductive services, according to a New York Times report:

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, assisted reproductive technologies are denied to “single women and couples who are not in line with the nation’s population and family planning regulations.” Even married women must provide proof of marriage, a license to give birth and evidence either of infertility or of medical treatments that could impair fertility, such as chemotherapy….

Assisted reproductive technology is still viewed negatively by much of the Chinese public and distrusted by authorities, Wang Hongxia, a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the New York Times. “So the solution was to ban them at the cost of reproductive rights for certain groups, like unmarried women.”

In addition, Ms. Wang told the Times, “The idea of women having babies out of wedlock is in conflict with the sense of moral order within the society.”

Likewise, Chinese public opinion may not yet have caught up to the burgeoning global LGBTQ rights movement. Earlier this year, Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage, an event all but ignored in Chinese mainland media. Although China treated homosexuality as a mental disorder until 2001, it is not against Chinese law to be gay, as Reuters reports. Social, cultural and familial pressures encourage marriage and children as the norm, despite the existence of thriving gay scenes in the cities.

Citing Sun Wenlin, whose landmark case last year seeking permission to marry his boyfriend was rejected by a Chinese court, Reuters reports, “Trying to gauge the extent of support for gay rights in China is difficult as no proper polls are published.”

Yet many advocates expect even Mainland China’s socially conservative government to legalize same-sex marriage within the decade. As Chinese social mores change and images of LGBT parenthood become more acceptable, ART professionals can expect explosive demand from prospective parents in China. For the short run, I’m thrilled to have the privilege of sharing the possibilities of reproductive freedom with an audience certain to be hungry for the news.

 

 

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.