Spring 2010 ART Legislative Update


Assisted Reproduction Legislative Update

As consumers of fertility medical, legal and information services, you may already know that there is not a lot of legislation or regulation in this area. However, there are actually quite a few legislative proposals being debated all across the country relating to assisted reproduction at the moment which could eventually have dramatic consequences (positive and negative) for your assisted reproduction journey. Below is a short summary of many of these proposals (However, as always, it is imperative that you obtain legal advice particular to your situation from NFLC or an attorney licensed in the state whose laws impact your journey.)

Arizona
AZ SB 1306 and HR 2651 dictates information to be included as part of the informed consent process and prohibits the purchase, offer to purchase or advertisement for the purchase of human eggs (in effect denying Arizona residents the option of using egg donation).

California
CA AB 2426 would prevent non-attorney surrogacy practitioners from having direct access to their client's funds. Non-attorney surrogate practitioners would be required to deposit their clients' unearned funds into either an: (1) independent and bonded escrow company, or (2) a trust account maintained by an attorney.

Florida

FL S 7062, the Florida Assisted Reproductive Technology Act, would define an agency as any organization or individual who provides a database, matching or third party reproductive service (although there are no requirements related to agency training, education, or licensure). The Act would require agencies to conduct mental health evaluations and criminal background checks on donors, gestational surrogates and intended parents every two years and would prohibit donors or gestational surrogates who are not US citizens or permanent residents.

Illinois
IL HB 1082 (2009) amends a variety of Illinois statutes and would require an insurer, upon request of an insured intended parent, to provide maternity coverage for a gestational surrogate as a dependent for a term that extends throughout the duration of the expected pregnancy and for 8 weeks after the birth of the child. This is currently assigned to the Insurance Committee of the IL House of Representatives and would be effective immediately if passed.

Kansas
KS SB 509 creates women's health and embryo monitoring program to collect and retain in "perpetuity" 70 data items, much of which is already collected and reported by the CDC.  In addition, this bill requires tracking all eggs retrieved, fertilized, transplanted, frozen, and discarded, the status of all embryos, the number and type of fetal reductions, method for monitoring the health of patients even after they are no longer patients, and a reporting of how clinics are paid (failure to report or falsely reporting can result in felony charges).

Maryland
MD S 19 improves the existing infertility insurance requirement to reduce the two year wait period to one year.

MD HB 281 and SB 585 establishes a commission on surrogate parenting to evaluate the health and social well being of children born as a result of surrogacy.

Michigan
MI SB 647-652 and companion bills HB 5129-5134, impose reporting requirements on assisted reproduction clinics in addition to those already in place, including tracking and reporting of all embryos. This bill standardizes informed consent for ART and restricts stem cell research which was approved last year in a Michigan voters’ referendum.

Minnesota
MN SF 436/HF 890 adds presumption of parentage to paternity/maternity laws in favor of all intended parents in third-party ART matters. This bill has passed through committees in both the MN house and senate and awaits floor votes in each.

Missouri
MO HB 1035 requires group health insurance policies providing coverage for more than 25 employees to also cover the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including up to four cycles of IVF.

Mississippi
MS Initiative Measure No. 26 is a ballot initiative seeking an amendment to the state constitution which would define an unborn child as a human being starting at fertilization.  Under the express terms of the Mississippi Constitution, the Bill of Rights cannot be amended by the initiative mechanism and it will likely be struck down in court.

Oklahoma
OK HB 3077 would prohibit compensation to egg donors, but it died for lack of action by the OK senate committee.

Tennessee
TN SB 2136 and HB 2159, the Embryo Donation and Adoption Act, deems a child born from donated embryos as having been adopted and grants the same legal protections without court action. This bill also requires clinics to develop written contracts transferring ownership of embryos from donor to intended parents and to keep records for 21 years.

Washington
WA HB 2793 proposed to legalize compensated surrogacy in Washington, but it died for lack of action in the WA senate.

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, 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. He is immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, which develops model legislation governing assisted reproductive services, and is a popular presenter 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 Steele
TANIA STEELE
Legal Assistant

Tania Steele 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.

Linda Garrett
LINDA GARRETT
Legal Assistant

Linda Garrett graduated in 2010 from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a major in Sociology. Shortly after, she enrolled in a paralegal course at West Los Angeles College, where she fell in love with the field. In 2017, she earned her paralegal degree and joined International Fertility Law Group as a Legal Assistant. In her free time, Linda enjoys outdoor adventures and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

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.