USCIS Updates Policy on Children Born Through Assistive Reproductive Technology

Jordan Williams | The Hill | August 5, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy regarding children born through surrogacy and IVF abroad. The new policy means that a child born to a non-genetic or non-gestational parent will be a US citizen if the parent is married to the genetic or gestational parent. This allows for greater recognition of children born to same sex couples as well as families where there are not two genetic parents. 

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Duckworth Pushes For Paid Leave For Pregnancy Loss

Caitlin Huey-Burns | CBS News | July 20, 2021

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced the “Support Through Loss Act” which would require employers to provide at least three days paid leave following any reproductive loss, including miscarriage, failed adoption or surrogacy arrangement, or unsuccessful fertility procedure. Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows people to take upwards of 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, but there is no paid leave program yet.

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Sex, Money, and a Baby: Canadian Judge Rules on Wild Surrogacy Case

Ellen Trachman | Above The Law | July 14, 2021

This case involves a Canadian couple struggling with infertility who had attempted unsuccessfully multiple times to conceive via IVF and surrogacy in India. The husband had an affair with a woman, who later entered an unsupervised surrogacy agreement with the couple. After various attempts to conceive, the woman eventually gave birth to a child with her donated egg and the husband’s sperm through a disputed method.  In 2020, she demanded more compensation and parenting time with the child, eventually filing a legal case. So far, the court has classified her as a nonguardian and deemed her request harmful to the child, and the case will go to trial in January 2022.

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Travel Exemptions Granted For IVF Tourism and Surrogacy

Caitlin Fitzsimmons | The Sydney Morning Herald | June 13, 2021

A surrogacy education charity is helping Australian citizens obtain COVID travel exemptions from the government to go abroad for IVF treatment or surrogacy arrangements not available under federal or state law. All but one state in Australia forbid commercial surrogacy and all require egg donation be altruistic, so eggs are not available and intended parents are traveling outside the country for fertility treatments. Proponents of the Australian surrogacy legislation express shock that such a charity would help citizens circumvent a law meant to protect women from the exploitative nature of commercial surrogacy. 

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Female Politicians Want to See Paid Leave for IVF and Miscarriage Ordeals Introduced

Louise Burne | Extra.ie | May 31, 2021

Sparked by a Labor Party Bill which proposed 20 days paid leave after miscarriage as well as 10 days paid leave for fertility treatment, many female politicians in Ireland have been sharing personal stories regarding their fertility journeys. Currently, Ireland is the only country in the European Union that does not offer state support for fertility treatment. During the legislative debate, several senators spoke about the emotional and physical trauma that followed fertility treatments or miscarriages and called for government-funded IVF and paid leave.

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The Egg Hunt

Katherine Plumhoff | Teen Vogue | April 9, 2021

This article describes the United States’ fertility industry as a commercial market in which egg donors are paid differential amounts based on race, social class, physical traits, and education level. It raises questions about whether targeted marketing may particularly entice low-income college students without providing adequate information about how little is known about the long-term risks. Researcher Dr. Diane Tober suggests increasing information about risks during the informed consent process, ongoing tracking of donor health, and eliminating the burden of the cost of education.

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Bill Submitted in Japan to Recognize Donated Egg, Sperm Users as Parents

Kyodo News | November 16, 2020

In Japan, ruling and opposition parties have submitted a bill that legally recognizes the parentage of those having children using donated eggs or sperm. Current Japanese law has no provisions for in vitro fertilization involving donors. There has been some pushback against the bill, as it does not grant those born under these circumstances access to the identities of the donors. Additionally, this bill postpones decisions on legalizing surrogacy and payment for eggs and sperm.

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Egg-freezing: What’s the Success Rate?

BBC News | February 17, 2020

Lord Winston is a professor of fertility studies who is calling into question the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s advertised success rate of pregnancy using frozen eggs. As this article and video explain, his estimates rely on measuring the success rate at a different stage of fertility treatment, which—he says—is more accurate than the one used by the HFEA.

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