Archive for September, 2009

Press Release: ACARAL Stands by Independent Adoption

Posted on September 30th, 2009 in ACARAL News | No Comments »

New York adoption lawyer Kevin Cohen has allegedly stolen thousands of dollars from trusting, hopeful adoptive parents while promising them newborns that never existed. Despite the fact that these charges are reprehensible, they should not serve as an indictment of all adoption lawyers.

For more information, click here.

Donating Leftover Embryos to Medical Research

Posted on September 24th, 2009 in Assisted Reproduction, Embryo Donation, Embryo Storage, Technology | No Comments »

The National Institutes of Health moved closer this week to fulfilling President Obama’s promise earlier this year that he would lift restrictions on funding human embryonic stem cell research. Human embryonic stem cell research can help us determine how diseases arise, test new drugs, and create new cells to repair ailing tissue.

These latest developments give realistic options to patients who have leftover embryos stored at clinics around the country. When patients go through IVF to create embryos, whether with their own genetic material or that of a donor, they often have leftover embryos. With the increasingly successful IVF rates, doctors implant fewer embryos with better results. That means there are more leftover embryos of which to dispose.

Patients may choose to keep the embryos in storage, but that can cost hundreds of dollars a year in fees, and isn’t a final answer. They may choose to donate them to another person, but are often hesitant as the embryos would be the genetic siblings to their own children. Finally, they may choose to destroy them. However, after years of infertility, and the emotional and financial struggles that go along with that, patients have a philosophically hard time in doing so. A more popular option, therefore, may be to donate them to medical research with the idea that they are then helping society as a whole, even if the embryos are ultimately destroyed.

However the patients feel, they should speak with a fertility counselor, their doctor and an attorney in making their decision.

Balance rights of children, egg donors and intended parents

Posted on September 23rd, 2009 in Egg Donation | No Comments »

One of my areas of interest is how to balance the rights of the future child with that of the egg donor and the intended parents.

I had an example this year when, this Spring, I represented my client for the second time in 23 years – the first time as a nine month old, born in another state, when I finalized his MA adoption in 1986 and the second time in 2009 when I petitioned the MA Probate and Family Court to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to find the birth mother since my client had a severe genetically related medical condition and faced major surgery unless his treating physicians could obtain more medical information on how this condition was treated with my client’s blood relatives who had this condition. The out of state adoption agency, which had the most complete records, had gone out of business and my 23 year old records were long gone (MA requires attorneys to keeps files for 6 years from completion of the legal matter). Long story short, the court appointed GAL found the birth mother and it turned out that she and her two daughters had been looking for my client – excellent medical and social ending.

How should we provide, at a minimum, for contact routes which will survive the test of time as here – say 10 years plus after the birth of the child via egg donation?

Birth Certificate Request Documents

Posted on September 23rd, 2009 in Assisted Reproduction | No Comments »

On the birth certificate application filled out at the hospital, the birth mother chooses whatever name she wishes for the baby (or it is labeled “Baby Girl/Boy” with her last name). Then, in order to have the birth certificate released to my office, she executes my office’s birth certificate request form and must use the same name as on the birth certificate application (which I often don’t have a chance to see, as it is filled out during her stay prior to discharge). These names must also mirror the name listed on the consent/surrender documents (or at least the consents must include an a/k/a notation). I have had an increasingly difficult time trying to keep these matched up.

Some counties will just not release a birth certificate if there is a slight inconsistency in spelling, even though they know full well about whom the request pertains.

Are others dealing with this?  Any ideas?