Steven H. Snyder & Associates Attorneys at Law

Hennepin County Adoption Law Blog

Another case highlights parental rights of same-sex couples

We have discussed many instances of same-sex parents who have seen challenges to their parental rights because of gaps in current state laws. When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country, it changed the way that states interpreted laws regarding marriage. These changes have had a major impact for many couples, and have led to uncertainty about custody when relationships come to an end.

A recent case out of Arizona again emphasizes the challenges that face same-sex parents. This case involves two women who were married in California, where gay marriage was legal, and then moved to Arizona, where the courts had not yet recognized such marriages.

Things to know about surrogacy in Minnesota

Minnesota currently has no law in effect to regulate or govern surrogacy. Because of this, surrogacy has become a visible issue in the state legislature. Currently, legislators are considering a new bill that would reasonably regulate both the surrogacy process itself and the individuals who are participating in the process - including both surrogates and intended parents.

The bill has received a lot of attention from various groups throughout the state, many who support surrogacy and some who strenuously oppose the practice. In this post, we want to address some aspects of surrogacy that participants in the process should consider before resorting to the surrogacy process to start a family. 

Changes being considered that would impact the parental rights of same sex couples considering using artificial insemination

We have talked a lot on this blog about the many challenges that same sex couples face when they attempt to assert their parental rights. Because the laws vary so drastically from state to state, these parents must take additional measures to make sure that their rights are protected in the event that their relationship or marriage ends.

In some states, legislatures continue to discuss changes to laws that would make it more difficult for same sex partners to start a family. For example, in Tennessee, the legislature is currently considering a new law that would greatly impact the rights of same sex parents in the state. 

ANOTHER CHANGE IN THE RIGHTS OF SAME SEX PARENTS

For same-sex couples, the fight for equal rights has been a long and arduous journey. For every state ruling which offers forward progress on this subject, another is passed which takes us three steps back, muddying the waters even more. This is particularly disappointing when addressing a couple's legal parental rights.

VERGARA FACES LAWSUIT OVER FROZEN EMBRYOS

On our blog, we have highlighted various examples of things that can go wrong for couples who do not take the proper steps to protect their legal rights when starting a family using assisted reproduction. This often occurs in the relatively straightforward act of creating and storing embryos for use in in vitro fertilization using the intended parents' own genetics. Even the rich and famous are not immune to these problems as a recent case involving actress Sofia Vergara demonstrates.

Alternative Facts And Surrogacy

I have just had the time to sit down and peruse Jason Adkins' counterpoint editorial on surrogacy in the January 31 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It is disturbing how factually inaccurate it is when asserted in the context of consideration of surrogacy regulation in Minnesota. It seems we are moving as a society in the direction of political and social awareness based on a universe of "alternative facts." If someone says something without any factual foundation loud and often enough, it apparently becomes credible - it becomes "true" even when it is not. 

What is the law governing surrogate pregnancy?

Aspiring parents resort to using a surrogate pregnancy to have a child when no intended parent can gestate the child. This can happen for many different reasons. An aspiring mother may be unable to gestate because she no longer has a functioning uterus or because of her own health risks during a pregnancy. Same-sex male couples use surrogacy to supply the uterus they do not possess. 

Why seeking surrogacy in Canada is uncertain

Starting a family is harder for those suffering from uterine infertility and same-sex couples who must use a surrogate to have a child. As with other issues related to the parentage of children, the laws in each state and each country differ, and it's very complex to plan a reliable family-building process amid the discrepancies. 

States make it difficult for parents with stored embryos

"Clear" or "well-settled" are not words that typically arise when talking about assisted reproduction or surrogacy laws, and this can leave some families using these technologies in difficult positions. Recently, there have been an increasing number of disputed legal issues regarding embryo disposition in divorce which have been both testing and setting the legal precedent for court cases of this type.

In one California case - Lee vs. Findley - a couple who created embryos during their marriage for the purpose of having children within their marriage are getting divorced. They are now in a dispute about possession and use of their frozen embryo(s). In this case, if Lee wins, Findley could become a parent against his wishes; if Findley prevails, Lee will probably never have a child that is genetically related to her. It is a complicated battle fraught with intense emotional overtones. 

Will military members be able to use IVF to start a family?

Almost all couples think about having children, and military couples are no different from others in this respect. You should not have to sacrifice your dream of having a family when you choose to serve your country.

If you are a member of the military or a family member of a person in the military and you are considering assisted reproduction, you should know there may soon be changes in the rules regarding IVF. These changes may help military members start families. However, if you do choose to use IVF under the new rules, it is still critically important to work with an experienced law firm so that all parties have their intended parental rights properly established and protected. 

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