IVF, Surrogacy, And Cryogenics: Law And Assisted Reproduction

Our Allegheny County Surrogacy attorneys know that parenthood is one of the greatest joys in many people’s lives, and are discussing the new ways that parenthood can be achieved. Today, we are going to discuss various forms of Assisted Reproductive Technology, and some possible legal implications of those new ways.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a process by which the egg (oocyte) is fertilized by sperm outside of the body. The ovaries are stimulated to increase the number of eggs that are produced. The mature eggs are then removed from the body, and exposed to special sperm cultures in order to achieve fertilization. The fertilized eggs are then allowed to develop externally for 3-6 days, and reimplanted into the uterus to establish a successful pregnancy. IVF is currently one of the most common and popular forms of assisted reproductive technology, and over 5 million babies are estimated to have been born since IVF was first successfully developed.

Married couples who use IVF are generally not subject to different treatment legally, and children resulting from that use of IVF are legally equivalent to children conceived naturally. IVF may also be used in third party reproduction, where a third party is required in order to initiate the pregnancy. Types of third party reproduction include egg donation, embryo donation, and gestational surrogates.

Sperm and egg cryopreservation (aka “freezing”) is another means of ART. If a man or woman is not yet ready or willing to become pregnant, but wishes to preserve the option in the future, it is possible to extract both sperm cells and eggs, preserve, and store them for the future. This can be used for the purposes of donation, as well as in anticipation of health problems or military service. A newly developing area is the use of “elective” egg-freezing, wherein women choose to extract and freeze their eggs to preserve eggs from their most fertile period to be used later. In the case of anticipated cryopreservation, couples getting married may indicate in prenuptial agreements how the frozen eggs, embryos, or sperm should be distributed in the case of divorce.

ART is a new and constantly developing field of law. If you are considering undergoing any form of ART, contact our knowledgeable Pittsburgh family law attorneys today!

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