Tuesday, October 24, 2017

US Supreme Court turns down appeal of surrogate mother who refused to have abortion

Melissa Cook appears in a screen capture of a press conference held on May 24, 2016
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of a surrogate mother who was pressured, but refused, to have an abortion after it was found that she was carrying triplets.
Melissa Cook, 47, became pregnant with triplets after she was implanted with anonymous donor eggs fertilized by the sperm of Chester Moore Jr., who had hired her as a surrogate.
When Moore found out that all three embryos survived, he decided that he could not afford to raise all three babies and told Cook to abort one.
Cook refused and gave birth in California to all three babies in February 2016, but she did not want Moore to have the third baby. She also wanted the government to ensure that Moore was a fit father before he obtained custody of any of the babies.
Before giving birth, she filed a lawsuit challenging California's surrogacy laws, saying they violate her and the then-unborn babies' rights to due process and equal protection under the Constitution.
She lost in both federal and state courts, and the California Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal. As a result, Cook's parental rights were terminated when she went into labor two months early. Moore, a postal worker in Georgia, was declared the sole parent of the three newborn babies, who remained at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for three months without mother or father at their sides.
The hospital reportedly refused Cook's request to see the babies, while Moore had only visited them for a short time.
Cook continued her efforts to challenge the lower court decisions by filing a petition for review in the U.S. Supreme Court in July 2017.
According to The Federalist, Cook's lawsuit poses the question of whether the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection trump state surrogacy laws.
Under California law, a surrogate mother's parental rights may be terminated before birth based on the surrogacy contract's terms, even if the surrogate later seeks to assert parental rights. The child purchaser can also be named by courts as the legal parent before birth and without any consideration of "the best interests of the child."
Moore's sister, Melinda Burnett, has stated in an affidavit that her brother, who is deaf and mute, is unable to care for the three babies. She claims that the children, who are now 18 months old, are currently living in deplorable conditions in a basement with Moore.
Kathleen Sloan, the co-author of a friend of the court brief filed in support of Cook, said that the Supreme Court's refusal to hear her appeal can have dire consequences.
"Surrogacy is creating a generation of children severed from biological and genetic identity and a breeder class of marginalized women," Sloan said.
"Both are being transformed into commodities for sale on the global marketplace. This can only be accepted and condoned by a society untethered from any sense of ethics, human rights, dignity, or moral values. When the primal bond—as ancient as humankind itself—between mother and child is destroyed, what will be left?" she added.

Perez Hilton Welcomes Daughter Mayte Amor

Perez Hilton is a dad again!

The 39-year-old father of two and infamous gossip blogger (whose given name is Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr.) welcomed daughter Mayte Amor on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 3:26 p.m. Born via surrogacy, the baby girl weighed in at 7 lbs., 4 oz., measuring 20 inches long.

Hilton shared the good news with his followers on Instagram Tuesday — uploading a photo of himself holding the newborn baby in the hospital alongside his mother, Teresita Lavandeira.

“I am beaming with joy and pride as I share with you that my family has grown yet again,” he wrote in the sweet picture’s caption, adding “she’s perfect.”

Woman Carries Sister's Rainbow Baby After Three Miscarriages and Loss of Two Newborns

Sisters share an unbreakable bond, and that statement couldn’t be any truer for Beth Guadino and Anna Howat.
The two, who have both experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage, will now be forever linked through the birth of Guadino’s first child through surrogacy via Howat. 
It was in May of 2015 when Guadino, now 32, revealed to her sister that she was pregnant with twins. Having endometriosis, a condition that can make becoming pregnant difficult and ultimately caused her pregnancy to be considered high risk, she didn’t allow herself to become too excited. In August 2015, Guadino gave birth to Grace and Savage at just 20 weeks, both of whom passed away within hours.
“We went through similar things together,” said Howat, who had experienced two miscarriages prior to her sister’s and her third in October of 2015. “So I could understand what she was going through and she could understand what I was going through. I think that the whole experience, my miscarriages and her losses, brought us much closer.”
It was the birth of Anna Howat’s now 1-year-old daughter Penelope in 2016 that brought the sister’s new hope, and after hearing that doctors weren’t sure if her sister would be able to become pregnant again, Howat began inquiring about surrogacy.
“I just remember saying: ‘Well, I’ll just carry your baby,’ ” Howat told PEOPLE, recalling the heartbreak and the subsequent successful transfer that took place in May. “It wasn’t even like an offer, and there were no questions. It was just like, obviously I would do that for [her].”
To celebrate Charlotte Grace, who is to be born in February and to honor the babies that they’ve lost, the two sisters participated in a “rainbow baby” maternity photoshoot.

The photoshoot, organized by photographer JoAnn Marrero, who has also experienced the loss of a child, included hair and makeup for the expectant mothers and prenatal massages.
As for what Guadino and Howat hope for the future, Guadino says that she hopes their childrens’ families “are just as close as we are.”
Photo credit: Twitter / @surrogacylawyer

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

We are so proud to be a part of this surrogacy journey with Celynn McManus and her husband and their amazing surrogate and her family. Please follow both side’s journey through surrogacy, you can read about the IP experiences on their blog: http://www.ourpeaherpod.com/blog
Then get a view from the other side as you follow their surrogates experience: http://www.bunjourney.weebly.com/
Celynn and her Hubbie on the left. Their surrogate and her Hubbie on the right.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Surrogacy laws for single parents in the UK to change after court ruling

Surrogacy laws which prevent single people from claiming parental rights are set to change following a ruling by the Family Division of the High Court.

 The court ruled earlier this month that a single man who fathered a child via a surrogate mother had his right to raise the child discriminated against.

 The man claimed the current law meant an application for a "parental order" could only be made by two people.

The government said it was now considering updating the legislation.

The child was born in August 2014 in Minnesota in the US, to an American surrogate mother using the father's sperm and a third party donor's egg.

The father then returned to the UK, bringing the child, known in court as “Z”, with him. But legally he did not have parental responsibility for the child, as under British law the surrogate mother is regarded as his mother, whatever the wishes of either party.

The current laws, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, allow married couples, civil partners and couples in an "enduring family relationship" to apply for parental orders after a surrogacy arrangement.

This transfers legal parenthood from the surrogate mother to the commissioning parents. But the legislation does not currently allow parental orders to be awarded to single people.

In this case, the only option available to the would-be father was to apply to adopt the child.

Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, has agreed with the father, who said the legislation was incompatible with human rights laws.

The president of the Family Division of the High Court made a "declaration of incompatibility" in a ruling, after considering the case at a hearing in London.

He also said the child had been made a ward of court at an earlier stage of litigation and been placed in his father's care.

Adoption 'solution'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's legal team had accepted that provisions of the Act were incompatible with human rights covering respect for family life and discrimination.

Barrister Samantha Broadfoot, representing Mr Hunt, told the judge: "It is accepted that there is a difference in treatment between a single person entering into a lawful surrogacy arrangement and a couple entering the same arrangement."

She did add that adoption was an "available solution".

Sir James gave the man permission to make further applications relating to parental status.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We accept this judgment from the High Court. We will be looking to update the legislation on parental orders, and are considering how best to do this."

Friday, February 26, 2016

SSA at Families Through Surrogacy seminar in Australia

Lauri and Kathryn are in Australia in support of Families Through Surrogacy, who is hosting a multi city seminar series on what’s new in surrogacy.

Here are some of Lauri's notes:

Our first seminar session was in Sydney – very well attended – probably about 40 people.  Kathryn and I spoke about “Costs of Surrogacy in the US” – why it’s so expensive and how to keep costs down.   And “what makes a good surrogacy match” --- how an agency should match IPs with surrogates, what’s important, etc.

Lots of interest from the audience and looks like SSA will be helping lots of Aussies to do surrogacy in the States.  We loved talking with the Aussies, what a great group of people!

Surrogacy is legal in Australia but it is uncompensated, and very difficult to make happen.

Sam Everingham from Families Through gave a presentation that reviewed the current status of all international countries for surrogacy; it was a wonderful presentation with new facts and information, click here for the pdf, FTS surrogacy presentation.

The take away from the presentation is the US is quickly becoming the only really legal place to do surrogacy; there are some other options, like Cambodia, Greece and Nigeria.  But all of these countries have serious downsides.  Sadly Mexico is pretty much closed, ending its surrogacy program. Thailand is closed, India is now closed and Nepal is “sort of open” but is very questionable.

Next, we did conference in Gold Coast, which had a much smaller turnout, but we spoke with a few people who made strong impacts on us.  One mother in law, probably in her 60s, was a surrogate for her daughter in law – how amazing!! – but she lost the baby at 23 weeks.  So tragic and heart wrenching.

We had a short break in Cairns, where we went diving at the Great Barrier Reef, it so wonderful!

Next stop for the seminar is in Adelaide, then on to Perth, and finally in Melbourne.

We’ll keep you posted of all the information that comes out the seminar!

Friday, May 7, 2010

This week Global IVF is featuring Dr. Viken Sahakian

This week Global IVF is featuring Dr. Viken Sahakian who is Board Certified in both Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility and assumes teaching responsibilities at Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at UCLA Hospitals. His clinic, Pacific Fertility Center is located in Los Angeles.

Dr. Sahakian has performed over 6000 IVF procedures and is responsible for the birth of over 3000 babies all over the world. He, along with his colleagues, pioneered the most revolutionary financial program in modern medicine, the IVF Refund Plan. Now for the first time, the doctor was willing to assume risk in treating women with infertility. He was able to achieve this by having consistently higher success rates. This program has forever changed the way we practice medicine in the field of reproductive sciences.

Dr. Sahakian also specializes in treating patients with advanced maternal age including postmenopausal women seeking infertility treatment through egg donation. He is responsible for the oldest woman on record to have given birth at the age of 67.

Hundreds of same sex partners have also been helped by Dr. Sahakian in achieving their dream of building a family through egg donation and surrogacy.

It is his mission to help couples with infertility and to be there for them every step of the way.
Please visit http://www.globalivf.com/expert-interviews.php at GlobalIVF.com to listen to Dr. Sahakian to learn more. While you are on Global IVF please take the time to sign up for our newsletters and join our online community. Your input and feed back are what makes Global IVF so successful!