Conceptual Options IVF News: Divorced Couple Must Destroy Embryos

Conceptual Options IVF News: Divorced Couple Must Destroy Embryos

A San Francisco judge ruled last month that effectively ordered a divorced couple to thaw and discard any remaining embryos currently frozen in their IVF clinic’s office.

San Francisco judge ruled Wednesday that frozen embryos a woman wants to use over her ex-husband’s objections must be “thawed and discarded.”

Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo, in an 83-page decision, upheld a consent form the couple signed shortly after their marriage in 2010. The couple agreed on the form provided by the fertility clinic that the embryos should be destroyed if they divorced.

“It is a disturbing consequence of modern biological technology that the fate of nascent human life, which the embryos in this case represent, must be determined in a court by reference to cold legal principles,” Massullo wrote.

In addition, despite the woman’s objections the judge determined the following:

In about a dozen other embryo disputes around the country, not one high court has decided to award an embryo to someone over the ex-partner’s objection. No appellate court in California has decided the issues posed in the Lee-Findley case, but Massullo (judge) said her ruling was consistent with how other courts in the nation have viewed such cases.

Binding agreements minimize the need for court resolution of what many believe is one of the most personal decisions an individual makes: when and under what circumstances to bring a child into the world.

A spokeswoman for Lee said she was disappointed and considering her options. She had indicated previously that she would appeal if she lost.

Read more here about the Divorced Couple who must thaw and destroy their embryos.

Conceptual Options IVF

Conceptual Options IVF News Embryo Dispute

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Gay Couple Challenges IRS over Medical Deductions

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Gay Couple Challenges IRS over Medical Deductions

A gay couple in Florida is suing the IRS for denying their medical deductions for surrogacy and IVF.
According to Tampa Online,

Is being gay, in a long-term committed relationship, the same as being biologically infertile?

That’s the argument being made by a Stetson law professor in a lawsuit against the federal government.

Joseph F. Morrissey, who teaches constitutional and business law at Stetson, is seeking to overturn a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that denied him and his partner a tax deduction. The deduction would have been for costs associated with their use of in-vitro fertilization and a surrogate who gave birth to their twin sons.

An IRS revenue agent who denied the claim said Morrissey’s sexual orientation was a “choice,” according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa.

Although there have been unsuccessful legal challenges to these deduction denials for gay men, Davis told The Tampa Tribune that Morrissey’s lawsuit makes a different legal argument — that being gay and in a committed relationship is the same as being medically infertile.

“I think it pushes the issue more clearly than perhaps was argued in (a previous case). It’s going to push the (IRS) to address this issue of, ‘Look I may not be infertile as defined by your standards historically or even as defined by medical textbooks, but the bare reality is that I can’t have a child without some type of costs that derive from the opposite gender.’ ’’

We also think that it is about time that the IRS catch up with the realities of real life – gay or straight.

Read more here about the gay couple suing the IRS over medical deductions.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Gay Couple Sues IRS

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Gay Couple Sues IRS

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: China’s Ban on Egg Freezing Becoming National Debate

Conceptual Options IVF & Surrogacy News: China’s Ban on Egg Freezing Becoming National Debate

Many women in China are in a outrage over the Chinese government’s ban on egg freezing for single women who want to preserve their fertility.  As they rightly should be, if you ask us.

According to Quartz,

If only it were equally simple for women in China to store their eggs—a hot topic since local media reported on several celebrities who, concerned about their age or the quality of their ova, have had their eggs frozen to allow them to delay motherhood. Of particular concern to Chinese women: The celebrities traveled abroad to escape strict laws on egg freezing; in China, married women face many restrictions on freezing their eggs, and the process is entirely closed to single women.

China’s ban on freezing eggs is officially in place to prevent an illegal ova trade but—unfortunately for many—freezing eggs is also against the interests of the state. In recent years the government has been trying to encourage women to give birth, rather than to put off motherhood, and freezing eggs could act against that…

The ACWF also ended its report on the topic with quotes from a gynecology doctor at the respected Fudan University, who detailed the dangers of storing eggs, and added: “I would suggest that healthy women have children rather than store eggs as an ‘insurance policy.’”

Interesting discussion on the concept of egg freezing, and one that we are also dealing with here in the US on a different level – not one that includes a ban, but one that questions if a woman should delay childbirth for her career. Read more here about China’s Ban on Egg Freezing.

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Ban China

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Ban China

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Update: Domenico Dolce Finally Apologizes for Comments on Surrogacy & IVF

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News Update: Domenico Dolce Finally Apologizes for Comments on Surrogacy & IVF

As we discussed here almost six months ago about Dolce & Gabbana’s comments against IVF and Surrogacy, Domenico Dolce caused a stir, with celebrities such as Ricki Martin, Elton John and others calling for a boycott of the company.

According to Cosmopolitan,

Six months ago, Domenico Dolce (or the Dolce half of design duo Dolce & Gabbana) surprised and offended many with his views on family: “We oppose gay adoptions,” he said in an interview with the Italian magazine Panorama. “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.​”

Dolce went on to say, “You are born to a mother and a father — or at least that’s how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteri [for] rent, semen chosen from a catalog​.”


Elton John even started a hashtag of #boycottDolceGabbana.

But the article continued,

Now, after a period of “soul-searching,” Dolce is opening up about his feelings to Vogue“I am so sorry,” he said. “It was not my intention to offend anyone.”

Dolce claims he has since changed his mind about this subject. “I’ve talked to Stefano [Gabbana] a lot about this,” Dolce said. “I’ve realized that my words were inappropriate, and I apologize. They are just kids. You don’t need labels, baby labels.”

Hmmm….baby labels?  Well, we certainly hope that he continues on his journey to understanding.

Read more here about Domenico Dolce’s apology.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Dolce & Gabbana

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Dolce & Gabbana

Conceptual Options Egg Donor News: The Egg Donor Class Action Against ASRM, etc. Heats Up

Conceptual Options Egg Donor News: The Egg Donor Class Action Against ASRM, etc. Heats Up

Many in this industry have been following this case, Kamakahi v. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, for some time regarding whether or not the actions of the ASRM and its affiliate doctors were considered price fixing pursuant to the Sherman Antitrust Act or not.  It looks as if it may go to trial next year.

According to the News & Observer,

If nothing is beyond reach of the law, then we shouldn’t be surprised that the Sherman Antitrust Act is being invoked in a potentially game-changing California case centered on the price of … human eggs.

Two women who object to the generally accepted $10,000 cap for an egg donation say the market should set the cap, not two professional fertility organizations that dominate donors’ compensation.

If the women win, they will turn the fertility trade upside down. That has big implications for fertility clinics such as the one at Duke Medical Center and some 15 other providers in the Triangle area….

Legally, there is no cap on what a woman can charge for her eggs. In this respect, the United States is unusual among the world’s nations because it has allowed a market for eggs to thrive.

However, the donor compensation amounts recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the alpha male of the egg business, are $5,000 and cap at $10,000. The larger amount must be “justified” by ASRM guidelines…

It sounds off-key to haggle over the price of DNA, which is the core of the issue in the California case, but think about this brave new world.

Should the price of an egg be capped at $10,000 by organizations that write the guidelines? Or should the price be determined by what the market will pay?

The Sherman Antitrust Act suggests the latter, and I agree.

What are your thoughts on this case?
Read more here about Egg Donation Price Fixing Case.
Egg Donation Agency Conceptual Options

Egg Donor Case & ASRM – Conceptual Options News

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: More Women in China are Turning to Egg Freezing – Especially Celebrities

Conceptual Options
Surrogacy News: More Women in China are Turning to Egg Freezing – Especially Celebrities

More and more women reaching their 40’s are turning to egg freezing in order to give themselves more time to consider having a family.

As is being reported in Your Health Online Magazine,

Top Taiwanese model-actress Lin Chi-ling made the news recently after it was reported that she had frozen her eggs secretly at the National Taiwan University Hospital.

A friend had revealed: “After Lin Chi-ling turned 39 last year, her mother got very anxious about her getting married and having kids. In order to lessen her worries, Chi-ling went… for egg-freezing.”

Furthermore, as was just reported today in Asia One Women,

Chinese actress Michelle Ye revealed that she has frozen her eggs, not once but twice to ensure she can have a baby at a later date, My Paper reported.

With the topic of egg-freezing among China’s female celebrities a hot topic in the Chinese media recently, Ye revealed that she has done two operations to retrieve her eggs, with the first retrieval performed three years ago…

The 35-year-old Hong Kong-based actress, who is known to be dating renowned Chinese stylist “Mr Xiao Mo”, added: “To guarantee success, I’ve done the operation twice. Now women can be released from the pressure (of bearing children) and enjoy their life and work, I think it’s great.”

Read more here about Chinese celebrity women freezing their eggs.

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Michelle Ye

Conceptual Options News: Egg Freezing Michelle Ye

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Viva La France! Surrogate Children are Granted Legal Recognition Finally!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Viva La France!  Surrogate Children are Granted Legal Recognition Finally!

According to news reports out of France from last week, it appears that France has finally changed their tune regarding surrogacy births overseas.  There have been many of our own clients over the years who have had to live in fear regarding the legal recognition of their children, but not any longer.

Time Magazine stated the following:

France’s highest court has granted legal recognition to surrogate children, in a major turnaround that will make their daily lives easier and could lead to greater acceptance of new forms of families.

The Cour de cassation ruled Friday that, while surrogacy will remain banned in France, children born abroad through this practice will now be legally tied to their parents and will be granted birth certificates and immediate means to prove their French citizenship…

Until now, surrogate children were deprived of any legal connection to their parents, or any civil status in France. They were considered as children born from unknown legal parents, since their foreign birth certificates weren’t recognized. One lawyer has described them as “ghosts of the republic.”

Unlike other children born abroad to a French parent, these children couldn’t get automatic ID cards or passports, or register for state health care or other services.

This exposed them to frequent problems, because many basic tasks are impossible in France without an ID or authorization from a legal parent.

Congrats to all of the parents in France who have been dealing with this issue for so long – Viva La France!!

Read more here about France legally recognizing children born via surrogacy.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy in France Ruling

Conceptual Options Surrogacy in France Ruling

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

As we all know, Princess Charlotte was just born to the royal couple, Kate and William, last month.  But, Kate’s morning sickness was the original media story – for both Charlotte and George.  Instead of speculating on the gender and possible name of the new royal baby, all news outlets had been focusing on Kate’s horrendous battle with morning sickness.  Now, that the worst is behind Kate, we wanted to remind everyone about morning sickness, and how you can counter the effects to provide you a safe and healthy (and happy) pregnancy.

As was with her first pregnancy, the Duchess has once again been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Unfortunately, this isn’t just your regular “I feel a tad nauseous” type of morning sickness, we are talking about a sickness so severe that it can cause hospitalization and even death if not properly treated.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of all pregnant woman experience some sort of morning sickness during their first trimester. Whereas only a very small percentage of women (1% – 2%) are diagnosed with HG.

What is the difference between your typical morning sickness and HG? Below is a chart by the American Pregnancy Association, detailing the differences:

Morning Sickness: Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
Nausea that subsides at 12 weeks or soon after Nausea that does not subside
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food down

Additional signs and symptoms of HG include:

  • Rapid Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure

Why does HG and or morning sickness even happen? Although research has not nailed down the exact cause, it is believed that it may be due to a rise in hormone levels. Specifically, the rapidly rising levels of the hormones: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen.

What is hCG? When an egg is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall, the placenta  starts to develop. This developing placenta then begins to release hcG. The function of this hormone is to basically ensure the production of progesterone, thereby preventing a woman’s body from having her period, which in turns helps to maintain a pregnancy.

What about estrogen? What is it and what does it do? During pregnancy, estrogen is also produced by the placenta. It’s role is to help the uterus grow, and to maintain the uterine lining, it also helps increase blood circulation and after birth helps with milk production.

The increased combination of these two hormones can throw things off in your system, producing the symptoms mentioned above. However, typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, in fact, many doctors think morning sickness is actually a good sign! Studies have found that women who have signs of morning sickness are less likely to miscarry and even have a reduced risk of preterm birth. But, not having morning sickness does not mean that you are at a higher risk of these things either, just means you lucked out!  Although typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or baby, hyperemesis gravidarum, if severe enough and left untreated, can be harmful.

How is it treated? For mild cases dietary changes, antacids and rest will do the trick. However for more severe cases, the mom-to-be will most likely be hospitalized so she can be hooked to an IV to replenish all her lost nutrients and electrolytes.

According to research,  here are some things you can do to relieve morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Drink fluids before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid warm places since heat can add to nausea
  • Acupressure  also has been used by many to help relieve the duration and severity of the sickness.

During pregnancy, a women’s body is put through a million different physical changes.. some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Regardless, it is very important for all women to be their own advocates. If something does not feel right, please speak to your doctor right away.

Read more here about Morning Sickness and How to Treat it in a healthy way for you and baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test-Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

There are reports that now claim that “Test tube babies” are not that rare these days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.5% of babies born in the US are conceived using what’s called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), of which the most common procedure is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to Business Insider UK,

Though thousands of IVF cycles are done every year in the US, it’s tricky to get a sense of an individual woman’s chance of conceiving with the procedure. Graphs from the CDC show exactly how often IVF resulted in a baby for women who went through the costly treatment using their own eggs, not donor eggs. A single IVF cycle costs an average of $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and women often need multiple tries to get pregnant.

About 36% of IVF cycles result in pregnancy, and 29.4% of cycles result in a baby…

A live birth rate of about 30% for IVF cycles is really pretty respectable. A healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant without assistance every month that she tries, according to the ASRM. That decreases to 5% chance each month for women aged 40.

For couples who try to conceive through IVF, a lot more is at stake financially, emotionally, and physically, even if the success rate is often better than the traditional method.

While looking at the national averages for IVF success rates is a good start for dispelling misconceptions, pregnancy and live birth rates differ from clinic to clinic, and the data don’t tell the whole story. There are many different causes of infertility, and IVF does not address the direct problem for every cause. Only a doctor can say what chance IVF has of success for a particular couple.

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options LGBT News: Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & LGBT Families Achieve Fairness in New California Bill AB 960

Conceptual Options LGBT News: Egg Donors, Sperm Donors & LGBT Families Achieve Fairness in New California Bill AB 960

The Equal Protection for All Families Act, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu and co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Our Family Coalition, passed the California Assembly May 18 with unanimous support. The bill updates California assisted reproduction laws to help ensure that all families are protected equally under California law.

Conceptual Options applauds the efforts of Assemblymember David Chiu and those sponsoring this bill to ensure fairness to egg donors, sperm donors and the families that they help create in the great state of California.

According to LGBT Weekly,

AB 960, the Equal Protection For All Families Act, updates the state’s assisted reproduction laws to ensure all couples using assisted reproduction are fully recognized as parents as intended. Specifically, AB 960 would allow unmarried people using assisted reproduction to be fully recognized as parents on the same terms as married parents. Further, this bill would remove the requirement from family law that couples must involve a doctor when using assisted reproduction in order to ensure that the donor is not recognized as a parent. AB 960 also provides clear direction for how egg donors should be treated under California law. These important changes in the law will increase access to family building options by eliminating economic barriers.

Read more here about AB 960.

Conceptual Options LGBT News: AB 960

Conceptual Options LGBT News: AB 960