Family Law Prof Blog

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

Thursday, June 6, 2019

German LGBT's Fight for Right to a Family

From Reuters:

When German IT professional Sarah Kinzebach had her first child, it took six months of lengthy checks for her female partner to be legally recognized as a co-parent. Had her partner been a man, it would have happened automatically.

Germany recognized same-sex relationships in 2001, granting couples greater rights on inheritance, tax and other benefits, and legalized same-sex marriage in 2017 despite stiff opposition from conservative politicians and the Catholic church.

Read more here.

 

June 6, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Female Veteran Denied In Vitro Because She's Single

From CBS News:

Hundreds of military families have had access to fertility treatments in recent years but not all veterans qualify for them. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 567 families have benefited from in vitro fertilization since the military started covering the procedures in 2016 but veterans who are single still have to pay for the roughly $12,000 treatment on their own.

Toni Hackney said she'd always planned on being a mom, but the call of duty complicated her ambitions. After serving in the United States Army for 16 years, Hackney decided to start a family in retirement. But complications meant exploring in vitro fertility treatments. When Hackney looked to Veterans Affairs, it wouldn't pay – because she isn't married.

"Whether people like it or not, as a female in the military if you're not there more than your male counterpart, the odds of you getting promoted or getting a good evaluation, it's not, it's not there," Hackney told CBS News' Michelle Miller.

Read more here.

April 9, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Australian High Court to Determine Legal Parentage of a Child Born via Sperm Donation

From The Conversation:

The family courts have historically treated legal parentage as a question of who has “begotten or borne” a child. But increasingly complex family situations created as a result of donor conception, surrogacy, IVF and DNA testing are sorely testing this biblical-sounding definition.

In 2019, the Australian High Court will be hearing the appeal concerning the legal parentage of a child born via sperm donation. This is a crucial opportunity for the court to reconsider the “begotten or borne” definition, and the emphasis currently placed on biology and how someone was conceived.

Read more here.

 

March 17, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

California Trying to Get Health Insurance to Cover In Vitro Fertilization

From CBS:

In vitro fertilization may be covered by health insurance in California soon.

Currently, the Knox-Keen Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 requires health care service plans and health insurers to offer coverage for infertility treatment, except in vitro fertilization. The law also exempts any employer, health care service plan, or health insurer that is a religious organization from offering infertility coverage.

AB 767 would do away with those exemptions and require insurance policies and service plans to cover in vitro fertilization and mature oocyte cryopreservation. The new coverage law would take effect January 1, 2020 if it’s passed and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Read more here.

February 27, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Judge Grants US citizenship to Twin Son of Gay Married Couple

From BBC News:

A twin boy born to American and Israeli same-sex parents was wrongly denied US citizenship when his twin brother was not, a US judge has ruled.

The judge in Los Angeles found that the state department was wrong to request biological evidence that the boy was blood-related to his American father.

The US had originally only granted citizenship to his brother after his test showed DNA from the American dad.

Read more here.

February 24, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Arizona Law Determines Fate of Frozen Embryos in Divorce

From ABA Journal:

For more than two decades, state courts have wrestled with how to settle disputes over frozen embryos when couples divorce or otherwise split. In such cases, one spouse typically wants to keep the embryos to eventually conceive children, while the other doesn’t.

Courts have tended to side with the party who doesn’t wish to be-come a parent on the grounds that no one can be forced to procreate. But at times, rulings have gone the other way—especially in instances where the frozen embryos represent a person’s only chance of having biological children—leaving a split in the courts and uncertainty for litigants.

But a first-of-its-kind law would end that uncertainty in Arizona. The state’s Parental Right to Embryo law, which took effect in July, requires courts in divorce proceedings to award in vitro embryos to the spouse who intends to allow them to “develop to birth.”

Read more here.

February 4, 2019 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 26, 2018

IVF Kids May Suffer From High Blood Pressure

From Business Standard:

Turns out, kids born through fertilization may be more likely to develop

A research published in the Journal of the found a higher average blood pressure among teens born through IVF than in children conceived naturally.

For the study, researchers compared 54 teens conceived through IVF with 43 of their friends who had been conceived naturally. The teens' average age was 17.

In adults, a blood pressure above 120/80 is considered high. But in children and adolescents, a normal blood pressure depends on age and height. If a youngster has a higher blood pressure than 90 percent to 95 percent of other males or females his or her age and height, then the child may have high blood pressure.

Read more here.

October 26, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

New Law Will Require Insurers To Cover Egg, Embryo Freezing For Cancer Patients

From The Chicago Tribune:

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Monday that, beginning Jan. 1, will require health insurance companies in Illinois to cover the preservation of eggs, sperm and embryos for patients with cancer and certain other diseases.

Those patients often have to undergo treatments that can leave them sterile. Yet, until now, not all insurers have covered the costs of preserving their fertility.

Sperm freezing can cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars, while the process of preserving eggs and embryos can cost more than $10,000.

About 5,800 Illinois residents of reproductive age — between 14 and 45 — are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Read more here.

September 16, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Surrogacy and Thorny Issues of Identity, Parenthood and Status in Modern Families

From Lexis Nexis:

AB v CD and others [2018] EWHC 1590 (Fam) illustrates how the needs of modern families formed through assisted conception and surrogacy continue to challenge and outpace the law. Louisa Ghevaert and Richard Jones analyse the case in the September issue of Family Law ([2018] Fam Law 1187).

On one level, the case focused on disputes about arrangements for the children’s upbringing, including exercise of parental responsibility and contact. However, at the heart of this case were fundamental issues about the legal identity and status of the parents and children because the biological intended parents had not applied for parental orders.

This case marked the first time the court had to deal with a situation whereby a family created through surrogacy encountered serious domestic violence, marital breakdown, divorce and remarriage forming a new blended family.

Read more here.

September 3, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Custody (parenting plans), International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 2, 2018

This Company Covers IVF Treatment for Employees

From People:

For more than 14 years, Tosha Pratt and her husband, Nick Pratt, had tried to conceive a baby without any luck. Unable to afford costly in vitro fertilization treatments, they wondered if they would have to give up.

Then, a few days after Thanksgiving in 2016, Pratt sat down at her desk at Ultimate Software in Dawsonville, Georgia — where she works as an implementation consultant — and opened a company email delivering some incredible news: Her employer had decided to cover IVF treatments for any worker who was struggling to have a family.

“I sat there and cried tears of joy,” Pratt, now 35, tells PEOPLE. “This was finally our channel to have the family we’d always wanted. It was the best early Christmas present ever.”

She and her husband, 38, are now parents to a 4 1/2-month daughter, Alayna Faith, born on March 5, 2018, after a successful IVF treatment done last June.

Read more here.

August 2, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Single Men Increasingly Having Biological Children via Surrogacy

From Chicago Tribune:

Bill Guest was about 30 when his biological clock kicked in.

His friends were having kids left and right, and suddenly being a doting uncle wasn’t enough. Guest wasn’t particularly interested in getting married, but he did very much want a child, and not an older child.

“I wanted a baby,” said Guest, 40, of Villa Park. “I wanted to experience all of the stages of life.”

With Father’s Day approaching, single fathers such as Guest are a reminder of how far modern men will go to become parents.

Read more here.

July 15, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Supreme Court Rules Against Women in NIFLA v Becerra

From NBC News:

This week the United States Supreme Court ruled against women. Or at least, it ruled against women who might be looking for information about their reproductive rights.

And things are likely to get worse. On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on so many important issues including gay rights, affirmative action and abortion, announced that he is retiring from the high court. We will only continue to see more harmful decisions when it comes to the ability of women to control what happens to their bodies.

The court's decision in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra is just the tip of the iceberg. While there can be no doubt that we must zealously guard the First Amendment rights of those who do not wish to speak, particularly when that speech contravenes their religious beliefs, those rights are not absolute. At some point they must give way to public health concerns and the need to provide patients and would-be patients with accurate information.

Read more here.

July 5, 2018 in Abortion, Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

USAID Cuts Funding for Family Planning in Africa

From Independent Online:

The Marie Stopes Ladies who drive from village to village in the remote north of Burkina Faso offering free contraception, advice on family planning, sexual health and sometimes abortion, may have to stop work in June.

The ten have been entirely funded by a $1.25 million (about R15.7 million) grant from USAID but the US development agency cut all money for Marie Stopes International when it refused to comply with a rule reinstated by Republican President Donald Trump in January 2017.

It bans funding to any foreign NGO carrying out or offering advice on abortions anywhere. The goal is to please Christian conservatives who strongly oppose abortion and are a major part of Trump's political base.

MSI and the International Planned Parenthood Federation are among only four to reject the conditions of the order. They offer abortion services, in accordance with local rules, and say it is a last resort in preventing unwanted or unsafe births.

Read more here.

June 23, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Eating Fast Food Linked to Infertility

From Reuters:

Women who eat a lot of fast food may take longer to become pregnant and be more likely to experience infertility than their counterparts who rarely if ever eat these types of meals, a recent study suggests.

Compared to women who generally avoided fast food, women who indulged four or more times a week before they conceived took almost a month longer to become pregnant, the study of 5,598 first-time mothers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK found.

Overall, 2,204 women, or 39 percent, conceived within one month of when they began having sex with their partner without contraception and 468, or 8 percent, experienced infertility and failed to conceive after 12 months of trying.

Read more here.

May 27, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Who Gets Embryos In Divorce?

From AZ Today (part of the USA Today Network):

State law may soon dictate who has the right to their own frozen embryos, regardless of what the potential parents think.

In cases of divorce, Senate Bill 1393 would require courts to give frozen embryos to the spouse who "intends to allow the embryos to develop to birth."

If both adults want to use the embryos to have a baby, the court would have to give them to the one who "provides the best chance" of successfully doing so.

The bill, which has passed the Senate and now just needs a final vote in the House before going to the governor, would override any agreements or contracts that the couple previously had on the matter, and would ignore either person's current objections or concerns. 

Read more here.

March 13, 2018 in Alternative Reproduction, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans), Divorce (grounds) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Women Turn to Black Market for Fertility Drugs

From WPTV5:

TULSA -- Women looking to conceive are turning to the black market to buy fertility drugs. 

One in ten women struggles with getting pregnant and turn to doctors for help. 

KJRH spoke to an Oklahoma woman, who asked to remain anonymous, who sells her leftover fertility drugs. 

When asked if she thought she was doing something dangerous in any way she said no. 

"I know I have good intentions and I know that I want to help someone else and do everything I can," the woman said. 

She posted her leftovers to an online marketplace. She listed her Follistim for $375, Menopur for $175 and Ganirelix for $65. Compare that to the price those drugs are sold in the pharmacy and the savings run into the thousands. 

"You're maxing out your credit card and financing and everything," the woman said. "It's just you would do anything to have [a baby], but you're just hemorrhaging money." 

Read more here

November 6, 2017 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Under NY Law, Insurance Companies Now Required To Cover Fertility Treatments For All Women

From CBS New York:

Under New York law, insurance companies are now responsible to provide coverage for fertility treatment to all women regardless of sexual orientation or marital status, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Prior to the announcement, coverage only included women trying to conceive naturally.

“In New York, we firmly believe that everyone, no matter who they are, deserves the right to control their own bodies and make their own reproductive health decisions,” Cuomo said. “All women who wish to have a child are entitled to insurance coverage for fertility treatment regardless of their sexual orientation or marital status, just as all women have the right to reproductive choice and to decide if and when to start a family, and New York will always stand up to protect and preserve those rights.”

Read more here

May 7, 2017 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

In world first, Singapore court rules parents deserve kids with their genes

From Asia Times:

Blood is thicker than water, or so the saying goes, reflecting the value we put on biological relationships. But is it something the law should recognize?

Singapore’s Supreme Court recently ruled on a case that asks this very question, and it gave a fascinating answer: parents have a strong interest in “genetic affinity” with their children, one that can merit compensation if subverted.

Genetic affinity is an entirely new legal standard. It has no clear precedent in any jurisdiction. But the court made a compelling argument that it has a sound basis in the way we value family and heredity.

Read more here

April 23, 2017 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 3, 2017

3-person IVF approved by HFEA – what does this mean?

From LexisNexis:

On 15 December 2016, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved the use of a new medical technique, known as mitochondrial donation, at UK fertility clinics.

This means people at high risk of conceiving a baby with certain life-threatening genetic conditions can have the chance to conceive a healthy, genetically related child. This technique is encompassed in a range of techniques often referred to as 3-Person IVF.  UK licensed fertility clinics can now apply to the HFEA for permission to offer this on a case-by-case basis to fertility patients.

How does the new 3-Person IVF technique work?

This new technique works by transferring the nucleus of an affected woman's egg (or nucleus of a fertilised embryo) into the shell of another woman's egg or embryo (having first removed the nucleus). This technique creates an embryo from the genetic material of three people.

Read more here.

February 3, 2017 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

When it comes to starting a family, you can’t have your cake and eat it too

From The Huffington Post:

A woman is 35 years old. She is unmarried. She wants to have a child. She realizes that her childbearing years are coming to an end relatively soon. The proverbial “clock” is ticking away. She goes to a sperm bank and looks at the profiles. She doesn’t like the idea of picking the sperm of a stranger, so instead she decides to approach a male friend of hers and ask him to provide sperm.

Her male friend has no children of his own and likes the idea. He is interested in helping her. He wants to know what his involvement will be. Will they share the child and raise the child together? Will the child spend nights at each of their homes? Can they be like divorced parents sharing custody?

Her response to this is “not exactly”. When asked what that means, she explains to him that he will help her achieve the pregnancy but he will not have legal responsibility to the child. He will be the child’s “uncle” and he can take the child out once in a while on outings or to play, he can babysit, and he can celebrate some holidays with the child, but in the end she is the mother and the child’s only parent. She tells him that this is a good arrangement for him because he never has to pay child support. He gets to see his child grow up and participate in that in a limited way, but he is also untethered and can do whatever he wants.

Read more here.

 

November 26, 2016 in Alternative Reproduction | Permalink | Comments (0)