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International

Fertility Law

I know from both personal and professional experience that every family situation is unique, and the process of creating a family via ART can be complex, confusing and even overwhelming. It was my own experience of becoming a father of twin boys through egg donation and surrogacy that inspired me to launch my own law firm focused exclusively on helping other families like mine.

Just as U.S. laws governing reproductive rights, parentage and citizenship vary widely from state to state, laws regulating assisted reproduction, surrogacy and other critical issues impacting your family differ from nation to nation. In some parts of the world, few laws exist to address new forms of family structures and the spread of legalized same-sex marriage.

That’s why it is important that you and your attorney are familiar with and take into consideration the laws of the country where you and your family will reside, the country where your baby will be born, and any countries where you or your baby will hold citizenship. At IFLG we have built an extensive network of highly qualified consulting and affiliated attorneys from more than 90 countries, as well as throughout the United States, so that we can guide you in making the best decisions and plans for your return home with your baby and your family’s future.

Click HERE now to schedule your free initial consultation.

 

International Clients

Step-By-Step

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International - Step-by-Step

Step One

Talk to an IFLG Attorney
We Offer a Free Consult

Talk to an IFLG Attorney—We Offer a Free Consult

At IFLG, we offer a free initial consultation, which will help orient you to the assisted reproductive technology (ART) process, the services we provide, and payment options. Once we have received your signed retainer agreement, you will be under the protection of attorney-client privilege, and we can begin representing you.

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Step Two

Client Intake
Process

Client Intake Process

One of the most important steps you will take in retaining ART legal services is to complete a detailed client intake form and answer all questions as completely and accurately as possible. Your attorney must understand the specifics of your situation in order to develop the most effective strategy for managing your case. For intended parents who are not U.S. residents, it is especially critical that you provide complete and accurate information about your citizenship, residency and future plans.

During the intake process, you will be asked your place of residence and where you hold citizenship, the surrogate’s place of residence, your marital or relationship status, whose genetics are being used, and where you and your family plan to live following the birth. We will ask for copies of certain identifying documents for your legal case file. All of this detailed information will be used to determine what legal measures must be taken to ensure your parental rights and the security of your family. If you are already working with a fertility clinic or donor/surrogacy agency, some of this background information will already have been gathered.

U.S. attorneys are not licensed to practice law in other countries, so it is advisable that you retain the services of an attorney from your home country. IFLG has developed an extensive network of attorneys in more than 90 countries who are knowledgeable about local laws and policies governing assisted reproduction, parentage, citizenship and residency, and we can assist you in locating qualified local counsel.

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Step Three

Execute Customized Donor
Agreement (As Applicable)

Execute Customized Donor Agreement (as applicable)

For intended parents who are using sperm, egg or embryo donation to conceive, a properly executed donor agreement is essential.

Many of our clients are already working with a licensed fertility clinic or surrogate/donor agency when they come to us. If you have not already selected an agency or clinic, we can refer you to an experienced, reputable provider.

The donor agreement will document that intended parents are the legal parents and that the donor is not the parent. The agreement will establish whether and how intended parents will remunerate the donor and how intended parents will cover all associated medical expenses. Our experienced IFLG team will work with you to create an agreement customized for your family and situation that ensures all parties are protected in this extremely intimate, collaborative relationship between intended parents and donor.

After the contract documents are properly executed, IFLG will issue legal clearance to your physician and you can proceed with the appropriate medical cycle.

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Step Four

Execute Customized Surrogacy Agreement (As Applicable)

Execute Customized Surrogacy Agreement (As Applicable)

Often our clients have already been matched with a surrogate before retaining our services, usually with the help of an experienced surrogacy agency. If you are not currently working with a donor/surrogacy agency, we would be happy to refer you to an experienced, reputable provider.

During the matching process the surrogate and intended parents undergo criminal background checks as well as medical and psychological screening. Intended parents and surrogate meet and determine whether they are comfortable going through the lengthy and intimate process of assisted reproduction together, taking into consideration personal feelings and beliefs about selective reduction of embryos, termination for medical reasons, the type of relationship that will best suit them, and attitudes toward single and LGBT parents, if pertinent. Ideally, intended parents and surrogate have discussed and resolved most of these issues before we begin drafting the agreement.

The surrogacy agreement will document all parties’ obligations and rights under the agreement, including establishing the parentage of the intended parents, payment of surrogate fees and expenses, surrogate behavior during pregnancy, where delivery will occur, and remedies for breach of contract. During the drafting, negotiation and finalization of the surrogacy agreement, the parties should be represented by separate legal counsel.

In drafting a surrogacy agreement, IFLG can assist intended parents who do not reside in the United States in retaining legal counsel familiar with the laws of your home country. This will enable us to tailor your surrogacy agreement to comply with those laws and make your return home with your baby as safe and convenient as possible. After the contract documents are properly executed, IFLG will issue legal clearance to your physician and you can proceed with the appropriate medical cycle.

For single or LGBT intended parents, parentage and citizenship laws in your home country may pose extra obstacles. Our IFLG team has extensive experience with helping single intended parents and same-sex couples navigate the extra challenges they face in many countries. Learn more about our services for LGBT individuals.

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Step Five

Plan Ahead For Your
Family's Future

Plan Ahead For Your Family's Future

As a parent with a new baby on the way, it’s important to consider the future. Arrangements for guardianship of the infant in the event of parental death should be part of any surrogacy arrangement. Depending on your family’s specific circumstances, it may be advisable to update your will or establish trusts, and to draw up embryo disposition agreements to formally document your wishes regarding future use and disposition of any remaining embryos. Our experienced team will work with you to draft guardianship documentation or refer you to expert legal counsel to draw up your full estate planning portfolio to ensure your family’s security.

Similarly, advanced healthcare directives and healthcare powers of attorney will be drafted for your surrogate to sign so that you can make medical decisions for the baby (to the extent such decisions do not put your surrogate in harm’s way), speak directly to her doctors, access medical records and be present for medical appointments and delivery.

For more detailed information, see our Family Planning Documents HERE.

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Step Six

Establishing
Parental Rights

Establishing Parental Rights

The process for establishing parental rights varies widely depending on the state where the birth occurs. Some states allow you to obtain a parentage order prior to the birth (“pre-birth order”) establishing the intended parents’ parental rights immediately at birth. Other states require parents to wait until after the birth to get the parentage order (“post-birth order”); still others require both a pre-birth order validating the surrogacy agreement coupled with a preliminary parentage order and a final post-birth order confirming parental rights. It is important to understand, however, that even within the same state, court and vital records requirements may vary from county to county.

IFLG will coordinate the legal aspects of the upcoming birth with the birth hospital and provide a copy of the court order once available. Then the hospital birth certificate clerk will prepare paperwork to register the birth of the child and send this paperwork, along with the court order, to the state’s vital records office where the birth certificate is printed.

For intended parents who reside outside the United States, additional steps may be needed to prepare for returning home with your baby. IFLG will work with experienced legal counsel in your home country to prepare appropriate documentation.

For more detailed information, see our Family Planning Documents HERE.

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More questions?

Give us a call at:

323-331-9343

To schedule your free initial consultation

What We Do

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Click on the icons below to learn more about our suite of services designed to support you and your family through all aspects of the assisted reproduction process, from egg or sperm donation to your baby’s birth certificate.

Contact Us

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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, 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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OFFICES
Los Angeles

5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 645

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Phone:  +1 323 331 9343

Email:  info@iflg.net

Website:  www.iflg.net

New York
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501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1900

New York, NY 10017

Phone:  +1 844 400 2016

Email:  info@iflg.net

Website:  www.iflg.net

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.