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Our Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Blog
Day Two of the Today Show’s Coverage of Adoption. The second installment focused on Adoption Process on Today Show. As an adoption attorney, I talk about adoption all the time. People often think of the wonderful outcome at the end of the adoption. They don’t think about the difficult road of the adoption process. There is no question that the adoption process is difficult. An adoptive family can feel exposed or intruded upon during the homestudy. They can become frustrated by the wait. The adoption process can feel bureaucratic and expensive. Pick an attorney or agency that can get you through the highs and lows of the adoption process. Keep yourself on the goal of becoming a parent. Take care of yourself. Don’t let the adoption process become your only focus. The video highlights one family and there story is similar to many adoptive families. When the match is right it works. There is one additional element that can sound hokey. Put all your positive energy out into the world towards your adoption. Talk about it with friends if you are comfortable. All in all, make it your adoption process.
November is National Adoption Month! All this week, the Today Show will be featuring stories on Adoption, and I will be offering my take on their stories. Monday’s story is about Open Adoption on the Today Show. The story features the Open Adoption relationship between two mothers of a 12 year old boy: the adoptive mother and birth mother. Most adoptions today feature some level of openness, but the level of the Open Adoption on the Today Show story is unusual. Most families in an open adoption share the family story and the adoption story with their child. They often exchange pictures and letters and many families have family visits together. Some families see each other once a year, some less often. Just like our biological families, the amount they have contact or see each other depends on their connection, other responsibilities, and being financially able to travel. One part of the story about open adoption that stood out to me was the connection between the adoptive mom and the birth mother, and this is something i’ve seen often. When the “match” is right, a connection really develops between the adoptive parents and birthparents. A bond is created between them that is strong and lasting: that bond is the child they share, the child they both love, and that really came across in the story. This family is lucky to have such a strong open adoption. The idea of “future contact” can be scary when you are starting the adoption process. But open adoption can be the beautiful and rewarding relationship that you couldn’t quite imagine when you started.
Surrogacy in India has reached prime-time. The San Francisco Chronicle, our hometown paper, published a huge article this week on Surrogacy in India. (You can find it here). The article did a great job of laying out the pros and cons of taking this path. Surrogacy is expensive. It is out of reach for many. Not many people have the resources to afford a surrogacy. Yet many couples are not ready to let go of having a genetic link to their child. Surrogacy in India is cheaper – there is no question. However, there is also no connection and often no communication with the surrogate throughout the pregnancy. Intended parents experience a lack of control over the process. They are often unsure what steps will need to be taken to legalize their parenthood. There can also be hang ups in gaining exit from the country with their child and getting the necessary legal documents to go home. And then there are the moral and ethical issues with surrogacy in India. How is the surrogate being treated? There is no question that money the surrogates are paid is life-changing for them. But their treatment from clinic to clinic varies. Many attorneys who practice assisted reproduction and surrogacy law in the United States are still uneasy when it comes to surrogacy in India. Nevertheless, it is an attractive option for many. If you choose to go this route, consult with an attorney where you live. Get the information you need, and ask the clinic in India specific questions. Find out how long you will be expected to stay in country. Dealing with an intimate process such as surrogacy from thousands of miles away has its pitfalls. And of course the rules are constantly changing. For example, single parents and lgbt couples are currently not permitted to gain exit visas from the country for the purpose of surrogacy. But this could turn around at any time. The bottom line – do your homework before you decide this is right for you and your family.Add Comment
Uncovering Adoption in California
PLEASE JOIN GYEMANT PARIS LAW’S OCTOBER ADOPTION WORKSHOPS
AND LEAVE WITH YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED!
Step-parent/Domestic Partner, Relative and Adult Adoptions
What protection does adoption provide? How are the rights of birthparents handled in each type of adoption? We will walk you through the type of adoption you are interested in learning about from beginning to end. We will discuss the process, time frames, and estimated costs. We will also talk about what you can expect from your attorney and what is expected of you. Our adoption workshop will clarify the process and give you key information.
October 15, 2013 Presidio, San Francisco
Learn about the adoption process, estimated costs, birthparent rights, and the roles of agencies and attorneys. Balance the options of domestic and international adoption and surrogacy. Find out the importance of future contract in adoption. If you are just starting the process come to our adoption workshop and leave with the information you need to get started as an adoptive family. We will answers all the questions you have been searching for. Take advantage of the time of experienced professionals working in adoption and learn the ins and outs of the process.
October 17, 2013 Noe Valley, San Francisco
We are a boutique law firm located in San Francisco focused on creating families through adoption & assisted reproduction.
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I’m really curious about the new Glow Fertility App: Have you heard about this? I know that there have been plenty of Fertility App launches before the Glow Fertility App. But the Glow Fertility App has some pretty cool features. I like founders who have some skin in the game, and these founders created the App after experiencing infertility in their own lives and relationships. They have also ponied up $1 million dollars for fertility treatments if users who are on their premium program ($50 per month) have not conceived after 10 months. I wasn’t clear on how much they would be providing, and it seems like it is really in very beginning stages, but I like the idea. It’s also not clear if that money can go towards egg donor or surrogacy. Is this Glow Fertility App for LGBT families too? Lots of questions remain. Putting all this aside, the fertility app is easy to use! You can flip though the days of the month to find the best chances for fertility, you receive peppy messages from the app with daily tasks, and you can get your partner involved in supporting you through the ups and downs that come with assisted reproduction and conception. Find out more about it here and also here.Add Comment
In honor of George Lucas and Mellody Hobson’s newborn baby: We’re going to offer a free 1/2 hour consultation in August on surrogacy and assisted reproduction matters if you can answer a Star Wars trivia question! (That means egg donor, sperm donor, surrogacy, embryo adoption and everything else in between) Surrogacy is coming mainstream with the births in the last few weeks of a baby born by gestational surrogate to both George Lucas and Jimmy Fallon. As a Star Wars fan, can you name all the references to assisted reproduction in the movies? Everything from carbon-freezing Darth Vader to twins Luke and Princess Leia separated at birth. And did you know that George Lucas was already a father through adoption? So, Star Wars fans, ready set go: Do you need an attorney to help you with a baby Ewok to call your own – I help my clients in creating their families by providing legal help related to Carbonite Freezing (can do Han Solo’s or Princess Leia’s). Do you need a Bobba Fett on your side to help you with an egg donor, sperm donor, surrogacy or embryo adoption? Have you grown past dancing for Jabba, and want to grow the family? When you call, answer a simple Star Wars question, and I will help you on your way to creating your family and answer your questions about surrogacy, egg donor, sperm donor or embryo adoption. My great passion to help others to become parents, and modern technology offers so many options to creating your family. Congratulations to George Lucas and his growing family. (You can read more about them here.) And of course, may the Force to be with you…Add Comment
Honoring Infertility in the San Francisco Jewish Community. Last night I learned about a beautiful project being developed in the San Francisco Jewish Community. The San Francisco Jewish Community is honoring those who have experienced infertility, miscarriages and stillbirths by creating a place to mourn their losses. This touched me as such a simple and beautiful concept. These experiences are whispered between close friends and relatives. But they are rarely talked about in the community. This is no different in the San Francisco Jewish Community. We work with families each day who have felt the disappointment and heartache of losing a pregnancy or not being able to conceive. I am always honored to help my clients to be able to create their families and to heal from previous losses. You can learn more about the Jewish Community at www.jweekly.comAdd Comment
Adult adoption in California: This morning I went to Court to finalize an Adult Adoption. It was touching. The adoptive father had raised the adoptive daughter. She is also his stepdaughter – from a very young age. Today they made their father-daughter relationship a legal one. How does adult adoption in California work? Here are the basics: The person being adopted needs to be at least 10 years younger than their adoptive parent. This requirement often receives a lot of negative press. The sensational stories of a husband “adopting” his wife or a person adopting their friend in order to get around a will or trust. Crazy situations can come up. However most adult adoptions in California look nothing like that. The adoption often makes legal a relationship that already exists in fact. There is more to adult adoption in California besides the 10 year rule. No home study is required and consent of the adoptee’s parents is not necessary. Beyond that, in order to have an adult adoption in California: the Court needs to be satisfied that both the adoptive parent and child would benefit from the adult adoption. The Judge will also look for a public benefit to the adoption. More importantly, the Court will want to know the purpose of the adult adoption. What binds the adoptive parent and child so strongly. What is their story? It is up to the attorney to tell the client’s story to the Court lay the road to a successful adoption.Add Comment
Another update on Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl in the ICWA case that so many in the adoption community have been watching. I was surprised to see that the North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that custody of Baby Girl will go to the adoptive parents. As I mentioned earlier, the biological father filed an adoption petition in Oklahoma family court to permit him to adopt his daughter. I’m sure that this fight is not over yet – neither side is going to go. But the North Carolina Court ruling on Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl has said that Baby Girl should be immediately returned to her adoptive parents. See this article from the Washington Post. What will this Baby Girl understand about this fight and how will it affect her as she grows up. Whoever ends up raising her will have to help her understand this fight over her. Regardless of any Court’s decision in this case, one thing we know is that sending her back and forth will not be any good for her. There seemed to be no discussion about her best interests. Or what kind of transition will be required. In our law practice, we often see ICWA issues come up. It is crucial to address them as soon as possible so that everyone is clear whether an adoption can move forward in the best interest of the child, the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Many adoptive parents decide that it is not worth pursuing this type of adoption. There are definitely special considerations. The law in this area is complicated. You must have a good attorney who can explain the risks, and help you understand the process. Even if both birthparents support the adoption, there are requirements under ICWA that need to be completed. Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl will continue to inform our work, and we will be wishing the best for Baby Girl.Add Comment
Step-parent adoption in California after DOMA and Prop 8 decisions, is it still necessary? Many people are asking themselves whether they still have to go through the expense of a step-parent adoption now that same-sex couples can be legally married in California, with all the rights and privileges that come along with marriage. The answer is yes, it is still advised to complete a step-parent adoption. The reason behind this is that not all states or countries will recognize your marriage, so it is important to create the legal parent-child bond through adoption. Otherwise you may be stuck in a bad situation while travelling in another state or visiting another country.Add Comment