Steven H. Snyder & Associates Attorneys at Law

Hennepin County Adoption Law Blog

Implications from egg destruction a legal wake-up call

A lawsuit that resulted from the inadvertent destruction of more than 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos is causing legal repercussions far beyond the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Last March, a storage tank malfunctioned at the University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland, destroying the saved eggs and embryos of 950 patients. Several weeks later, Wendy and Rick Penniman sued to challenge Ohio's legal precedent that a fetus that is not yet viable is not a person under the wrongful death law.

Can a doctor harvest sperm from a cadaver?

The answer is yes, a doctor can harvest sperm from a cadaver. The next question is whether the doctor should.

Sperm can remain viable for between 24 and 48 hours after a man dies. Doctors will first look for physical damage to the testicles, then talk to survivors to determine if the man's sperm had been previously viable for conception and that no testosterone or steroid use has affected the sperm viability.

Catching Up to Medical Science - New Jersey to Make Compensated Surrogacy Possible

By January 1, 2019 there will only be three states that have published statutes or case law that prohibit compensated surrogacy contracts - those states being Louisiana, Michigan and New York. With the State of Washington amending its Uniform Parentage Act to decriminalize compensated surrogacy to be effective January 1, 2019 and New Jersey just recently providing for enforceable gestational carrier agreements.

Who gets frozen embryos in a divorce?

There are still so many grey areas when it comes to the laws surrounding assisted reproduction. At the same time, more couples are using procedures like in vitro fertilization to have their own families. Because of this, the courts are hearing more and more cases where there just aren't any hard and fast rules - or real precedent - to look at.

Take for example a Supreme Court case in Colorado. In this case, a couple went through in vitro fertilization years prior - using their own sperm and eggs -- and now have three children together. The husband and wife have since divorced, and the question at hand is what should happen to the frozen embryos. The husband does not want more children, while the wife still does.

SURROGACY ON THE RISE IN POP CULTURE

Surrogacy in Pop Culture

Surrogacy is making a dramatic entrance into the pop culture world with many celebrities and public figures coming forward about having children via surrogacy as well as many television shows now addressing the topic of surrogacy. Actors Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick welcomed twins in 2009 using a surrogate after struggling to conceive after the birth of their son. Actor Neil Patrick Harris and his husband, David Burtka, welcomed twins in 2010 via surrogacy. Comedienne and television host, Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, used a surrogate for both of their children after struggling with infertility. Most recently, Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West welcomed their third child via surrogacy after doctors told Kim it would not be safe for her or her child's health to carry a pregnancy due to her struggles with preeclampsia and placenta accrete. Whatever the reason, surrogacy is making its mark and redefining how we perceive a family.

Sharing your fertility story on social media

The decision to start a family can be both a very personal and a very public one. On the one hand, couples who are trying to get pregnant can get weary with the constant questions of “are you pregnant yet?” But on the other hand, many couples are overjoyed to share an image on Facebook or Instagram of baby shoes or a sonogram.

For couples who are looking to assisted reproductive technology to achieve the dream of the pitter patter of little feet, the decision on what to share and when can be even more challenging. Especially with people who will, for better or worse, share their opinions about your very personal decision.

Advocacy Day: A Call to Arms in Supporting Surrogacy in Minnesota

Every year RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, puts together an advocacy event at the Minnesota State Capitol enlisting the help of surrogates, intended parents, professionals in the infertility field, and anyone who has ever been affected by infertility, whether personally or by association, to come together and educate each of their respective legislators and senators on surrogacy and the need for proper regulation to ensure that all parties involved are adequately protected.

Currently, there are no laws in Minnesota that govern surrogacy arrangements, thus making Minnesota unclear as to the rights and responsibilities of surrogates, intended parents, and the children born as the result of these arrangements. This puts Minnesota behind the nationwide trend as 24 states in the past 30 years have created new laws to support surrogacy. The Gestational Carrier Act (HF2593/SF707) was introduced this year to try and address this need for state regulations surrounding surrogacy arrangements.

Enforceable agreements protect intended parental rights

Not everyone can biologically have children. Some couples face infertility, while others are in same-sex relationships. There are also other situations where couples have genetic concerns and would rather use embryo, egg, or sperm donation to grow their family. No matter the reason for turning to assisted reproduction, the same is true for everyone: You simply must have an ironclad agreement in place to properly protect your parental rights.

Deciding to become a surrogate: One woman's journey

More and more men and women are starting to come forward and share their own stories of infertility. For the millions of men and women affected by infertility, these stories can really help to show they are not alone and that this is something many people -- more than they may even realize -- deal with too.

Along with these stories of infertility, many are also sharing stories of surrogacy -- both from the perspective of the surrogate carrying the child to the parents anxiously awaiting the birth.

Proposed bill to strengthen surrogacy rights

Many couples anxiously look forward to the day when they can start their own family and welcome a child into the world. Unfortunately, for many couples it is not always as easy as deciding to have a child. Many end up facing their own infertility issues that prevent them from getting pregnant or carrying a child to full-term.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 12.1 percent of women who are the childbearing age struggle to conceive. In this same age range, 6.7 percent of women are infertile. Among this age group, 7.3 million women have turned to infertility services in hopes of having a successful pregnancy.

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Steven H. Snyder & Associates
11270 86th Ave N
Maple Grove, MN 55369

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Phone: 612-504-6499
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