When processing an adoption in California, you must make inquiry as to whether birth parents have any Indian heritage. Most importantly, all California courts are requiring proof that this inquiry was made for all adoptions. Your adoption request may be rejected (think San Mateo County) for failure to file these forms with your request. This is true for newborn adoptions, stepparent adoptions, even relative adoptions. You can find the appropriate forms (right now there are two of them) at the Judicial Council website. If you have questions about this inquiry or need help noticing all necessary Indian tribes, contact our office for a 15-minute complimentary consultation.
We are currently working with several compassionate couples who want to donate embryos. Most of these couples are seeking no remuneration; however, some may need minimal costs for storage and freezing. Typically, donations can be made at no cost to donors. Recipients are responsible for attorney fees for drafting the embryo donation agreement. Donors can specify the characteristics and qualities of recipients, ranging from family composition to degree of openness post-birth to life style. If you want more information about how we can help donors and recipients, or to learn more about donors and recipients we are currently working with, call for a complimentary consultation. (800) 877-1880.
Don’t panic. When this has happened in the past, we have obtained court orders on behalf of our clients. We’ve worked with both our local courts as well as sending state courts to obtain orders which allow adopting parents and their children to return home without delay. By closing down the so-called non-essential ICPC office, the State of Minnesota inadvertently penalizes children placed for adoption out of state as well as their birth parents. Instead of going home to bond with their family in a loving, safe environment, children who are adopted out of state are forced to spend their first days in a motel for an indefinite period of time. Clearly this is not in the best interest of these children–a great argument to make which frequently carries the day.
The issuance of 1099s for surrogates and ovum donors has been hotly contested. It appears that the IRS and state tax boards have started to go after surrogates and donor agencies for non-issuance of 1099s. This is what happens when government goes broke. They start looking for money wherever they can find it. According to our attorney and agency colleagues across the country, the IRS and Franchise Boards have are also auditing surrogates and donors for non-reported income. Always discuss the tax implications of any assisted reproduction income or expenses with a tax expert to understand your rights and liabilities.
Several states are refusing to reissue birth certificates when adoptions have been completed out of state, but the adopting parents don’t meet the reissuing state’s statutes as to who may adopt. States which refuse to amend are not complying with constitutional rights to full faith and credit. Even if upheld by the Appellate court, when the cases are appealed to the Federal courts or Supreme Court, the states have been ordered to issue amended birth certificates. Doing so is not only in conformity with the Constitution, but is in the best interest of the child. It is unfair to penalize a child by denying an amended birth certificate which shows who the parents are, especially when the majority of states would recognize such parents and amend the certificate without incident.
Recent stories have proliferated on the internet regarding a lottery in the UK to win a baby. This is a publicity stunt and misnomer because, in fact, the lottery is to win infertility treatments. While these treatments could and should lead to the ultimate birth of a child, it is not the same at all to raffling off a baby. These lotteries are not uncommon among fertility centers who have often done this to publicize their services while making them accessible to those who otherwise could not afford it.
Adopting a child from Russia might be getting easier. Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, will be visiting the United States July 12-14 when he is expected to sign a bilateral adoption agreement with the United States. Among other things, this agreement will hopefully expedite foreign adoptions and make the Hague process more streamlined.
Adoption proceedings are confidential, and thus, original birth certificates with birth parents’ names are difficult, if not impossible, to access via the courts. Access to birth certificates has been a growing movement for the past 20 years as adoptees have increasingly searched for birth parents. Courts have struggled with this as they balance the rights of adoptees, adopting parents, and birth parents. Confidentiality had been not only promised but legally established in adoption cases. Courts are understandably concerned that they will abrogate peoples’ rights if they go backwards and open confidential records. Recent decisions by both the governor of New Jersey and the Rhode Island senate are illustrations of this struggle. To read more, visit our Facebook page.
Our intended parents and gestational surrogate mothers have worked successfully with the Pacific Fertility Center for many years. If you’re considering working with a gestational surrogate, be sure to research the program at PFC. Their next seminar is Wednesday, July 20th. Visit their website for more information at PacificFertilityCenter.com.
If you’re considering working with a surrogacy program in India to find a surrogate mother and build your family, be sure to do your immigration homework. This is probably the stickiest point of international surrogacy and the one most intended parents choose to address after their surrogate is pregnant, or worse, after their child(ren) is born. Always consult with an expert surrogacy attorney in your state as well as an immigration attorney PRIOR to starting the process. You can find links on our Facebook page to articles detailing the challenges parents have had with immigration at Faceebok.com.