Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nevada Supreme Court Case

Two justices of the Nevada Supreme court heard a lesbian parental-rights case on Monday, November 5, in Carson City.  The two women birthed a child together via in vitro fertilization back in 2008.  Since then, the relationship has gone sour.  However, the justices realized that no official guardian was appointed in lower-court proceedings, and they were "troubled" by the fact the child had no legal voice in the hearings about whether or not the birth mother has parental rights.  Biological mother Veronica Damon's lawyer Bradley Schrager argues Nevada state statutes "don't automatically grant parental rights to" Sha'Kayla St. Mary, the "gestational surrogate" (said by Schrager).  St. Mary's lawyer Joseph Nold argues his client's name is on the birth certificate in the form of a hyphenated last name for the child, and "both women signed a fertility clinic document before St. Mary underwent in vitro fertilization of eggs from Damon fertilized by an anonymous sperm donor."  The court made no immediate ruling.

Read more here.


November 24, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 23, 2012

WA Adoption Support

From the Seattle Times:

How many families who adopted special needs children that were in state custody could use less support from the state of Washington? The Legislature told the state Department of Social and Health Services to ask.

The department recently sent letters to more than 9,000 families, asking them to make a voluntary reduction in their monthly support payments, The Columbian reported Monday (

Read more here.


November 23, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Table

November 21, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

IVF, but not for Genetic Children

From the Los Angeles Times:

Dr. Ernest Zeringue was looking for a niche in the cutthroat industry of fertility treatments.

He seized on price, a huge obstacle for many patients, and in late 2010 began advertising a deal at his Davis, Calif., clinic unheard of anywhere else: Pregnancy for $9,800 or your money back.

That's about half the price for in vitro fertilization at many other clinics, which do not include money-back guarantees. Typically, insurance coverage is limited and patients pay again and again until they give birth — or give up.


Zeringue sharply cuts costs by creating a single batch of embryos from one egg donor and one sperm donor, then divvying it up among several patients. The clinic, not the customer, controls the embryos, typically making babies for three or four patients while paying just once for the donors and the laboratory work.

People buying this option from Zeringue must accept concessions: They have no genetic connection to their children, and those children will probably have full biological siblings born to other parents.

Read more here.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

November 21, 2012 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marriage Penalty

From Nevada Appeal:

There are several proposals about income tax rates in the future. Most of those proposals have a “threshold” of $200,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint returns.

The new, additional 3.8 percent Medicare Surtax starts Jan. 1, 2013, for taxpayers with adjusted gross income above those thresholds who have investment income.

What I don't understand is why the joint return threshold is not twice what it is for a single person.

If a single person has a allowable Adjusted Gross Income of $200,000 before the 3.8 percent surtax may apply, why wouldn't a couple filing a joint return have a threshold of $400,000? Instead, the couple starts paying this at only $250,000.

Is Congress suggesting a way for high-income taxpayers to save tax is that they get divorced and file as single persons?

Read more here.


November 20, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Women at Work

Monday, November 19, 2012

Helping an Ex

From the Huffington Post:

Su Dan, 32, of China, gave part of herself -- literally -- to her former ex-husband, Tian Xinbing, 39, when she donated a portion of her liver to him.

Dan and Xinbing divorced in July after 10 years of marriage. Two months later, Xinbing was diagnosed with liver cancer and late-stage cirrhosis. After learning that her ex was tenth on the donor waiting list, Dan offered to donate part of her liver.

In China, though, the law states that only blood relatives and spouses are eligible to give living organ donations, so the pair remarried in August.

Read more here.


November 19, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)