Embarking on the journey of assisted reproductive technology is both exciting and emotional. There are many factors to consider, all of which require careful thought and decision-making. Adding in the legal aspect may seem overwhelming. However, as the laws surrounding assisted reproductive technology are continuously evolving, it is extremely important for Intended Parent(s) to consult an attorney experienced in this area to guide them through the legal process.

Legal Agreement: Each third party reproductive arrangement will require a legal agreement between the Intended Parent(s) and their Egg Donor, Sperm Donor, Embryo Donor or Gestational Surrogate. Illinois law requires each party to have independent attorney representation. The legal agreement will set forth the Intended Parent(s)’ and the Donor’s or Gestational Surrogate’s expectations with respect to all aspects of the reproductive arrangement, and should strictly adhere to the applicable state law in order to protect the Intended Parent(s)’ legal rights to any children that are born, as well as their use of cyropreserved embryos. Having represented thousands of clients in this area, the attorneys at Ross & Zuckerman, LLP are experts in the drafting and negotiation of collaborative reproductive agreements. Throughout the process, Ross & Zuckerman, LLP collaborates with various fertility professionals in the field, including physicians, mental health professionals, medical ethicists, insurance specialists and matching entities to help guide you in making appropriate decisions for your reproductive arrangement. Due to the time commitments fertility treatments require, as well as the emotional and physical impact (f the process itself, it is our goal to guide Intended Parent(s) through the preparation and review of the legal agreements smoothly and compassionately. We charge a fixed fee so you can budget your legal expenses accordingly, and offer flexible meeting times for your convenience.

Parental Orders and Co-Parent Adoptions: Pursuant to and in compliance with the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act (“Gestational Surrogacy Act”), Intended Parent(s) working with a Gestational Surrogate who gives birth in Illinois will have his/her/their names placed on the original birth certificate at the time of birth without the necessity of a court order. The same holds true for most Intended Parent(s) using Donor gametes to conceive pursuant to the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (“Illinois Parentage Act”). Although for practical purposes a birth certificate is sufficient to demonstrate legal parentage to the child (i.e., to register for school, obtain a passport, etc.), a birth certificate does not carry the same legal weight as a judgment issued by a court of law. Judgments issued by any court in the United States are ‘portable’, meaning they should be recognized by other states pursuant to the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, and under international treaties, in many countries around the world. International clients may require a judgment to return to their home country, and Intended Parent(s) who reside in the United States may be advised to seek a judgment to fully protect their parental rights to the child. Practicing in this field for over 15 years, the attorneys at Ross & Zuckerman, LLP can help you determine whether a parental order or co-parent adoption is advisable, and if so, obtain the necessary judgment.