Late last year, former The View co-host, Sherri Shepard, lost her appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court requesting that the Court hold that she be free from any and obligations as the mother of a child conceived with her ex-husband through a surrogate. Ms. Shepard filed a Petition for Allocatur requesting that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania hear her case. The highest court of Pennsylvania declined to entertain her appeal this week.
Pennsylvania sperm donation is a growing industry for men. Often, one of the main concerns men have is that after donation occurs, they will find themselves being sued for child support even though they never intended to "parent" the child. Twenty years ago, this may have been a more significant issue for prospective sperm donors. As technology has expanded in the area of assisted reproduction in PA, so have the laws regarding these topics.
Gestational Surrogacy is becoming more common in Pennsylvania. Recently, there have been more numerous discussions and even depictions of struggles with infertility and conception depicted in pop culture. For example, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, of E! Network fame, have publicly documented their struggles with having children on their hit reality show. They currently have one son, Duke, who was delivered via gestational carrier. Unfortunately, their most recent attempt at having another baby was unsuccessful. The Rancics have always been open to sharing their struggles so they can help people start proactive conversations about fertility. The Rancics are lucky to have found a compatible surrogate who is willing to work with them throughout their attempts at expanding their family. Although gestational surrogates do not have standing to sue for custody of a child in Pennsylvania, it is still a good idea to have a written contract between the parents and the surrogate.
Through the in vitro fertilization ("IVF") process, medical professionals are able to "cryopreserve," or freeze embryos to use at a later date. This means that the woman's egg has already been fertilized outside of her body, and the resulting embryo is placed in storage for the date and time when the Mother chooses to have the embryo transferred to the uterus of a surrogate, or to the mother's uterus, so that the child can be born. These embryos are often cryopreserved for years until the Mother decides she wants to have a baby.
Written by: Lisa Marie Vari on G+