Bad news for many same-sex male couples in Florida seeking to deduct expenses

Florida court decides that surrogacy expenses by same-sex Intended Parents are not tax deductible, despite equal protection arguments.

While this decision may not affect couples in other states, the case may be used as persuasive authority for any similar case against the IRS.

Morrissey v. United States, No. 8:15-cv-2736-T-26AEP, 2016 BL 447323 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 22, 2016).

Deductibility of Surrogacy Expenses by Same-Sex Couples: Florida District Court Weighs In | Bloomberg BNA 

Men Having Babies – Surrogacy & Gay Parenting Conference – Dallas, June 10-11, 2017

Texas flagAttorney Lori Meyers will be presenting at this year’s Men Having Babies Conference in Dallas. Conference details:

http://www.menhavingbabies.org/surrogacy-seminars/dallas/program/ 

Both gay and non-gay prospective surrogacy parents are welcome!

(Come speak to Lori about a special MHB legal rate.)

Hope to see y’all there!

 

Baby-Making Abbreviations

If you are new to the world of TTC (Trying to Conceive), you may feel like you have stumbled upon an entirely new world, complete with its own language. This handy little guide should help familiarize you with the commonly used abbreviations.(Click the image to see a larger view.)

TTC_Infographic

 

Visit Ovulation Calculator’s original page.

Same Sex Partnership may become legal in Italy

One million Italians are openly gay or bisexual, or one in 60, according to a recent survey. But, the country’s laws do not reflect this reality. In fact, Italy is the largest European country that hasn’t yet legalized any form of same-sex life partnership. That may change this year.

This week, the Italian parliament considered a bill that could become the country’s first law on civil unions, providing health benefits, inheritance rights, and all the other rights usually reserved for heterosexual couples. It’s not marriage, but it’s a start.

The bill, in italiano.

italy-rainbow

Zika Virus Infection & Pregnancy

Pregnant woman are cautioned not to travel to a country where cases of Zika have been reported. And, since the list of those countries is growing daily, it’s recommended to check frequently for the most up-to-date recommendations: Zika Travel Notices

Most surrogacy contracts prohibit international travel once pregnant. However, the interesting question arises: If a woman who is not pregnant is bitten by a mosquito and infected with Zika virus, will her future pregnancies be at risk? The CDC says: “Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for only a few days to a week. The virus will not cause infections in an infant that is conceived after the virus is cleared from the blood. There is currently no evidence that Zika virus infection poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies. A women contemplating pregnancy, who has recently recovered from Zika virus infection, should consult her healthcare provider after recovering.”

Italy moves towards same-sex civil unions and gay step-child adoptions.

First comes amore

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expects same-sex unions to be legalized in May. While it’s not marriage, it’s certainly a huge step for the Vatican-influenced country. The country seems ready for the change. In a controversial move, Rome’s mayor will perform a mass civil union ceremony for both straight and gay couples this May.

Major talks are also underway in both Houses of Parliament regarding legalizing same-sex adoption as long as one of the partners in a gay couple is the child’s biological parent. Hopefully, this eventually leads the way for our Italian surrogacy clients to freely and openly return home with both names on the birth certificate.

Una grande festa di amore e dei bambini!

FREE Patient Booklet on Third Party Reproduction

THE BASICS
Download this free ASRM Patient Education Booklet. Third Party Reproduction: Sperm, Egg, and Embryo Donation and Surrogacy
http://www.reproductivefacts.org/BOOKLET_Third-party_Reproduction/

BIG NEWS FOR FRANCE!

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that children born to surrogate mothers abroad must be recognized as French citizens even though surrogacy is banned in France.

Two French couples who have children born to surrogates in the US over 10 years ago fought long and hard through the French legal system to get their children recognized as French citizens. Finally, their dreams came true when the Court ruled that denying such citizenship was “an infringement of the children’s right to respect for their private life” and “undermined the children’s identity within French society.”

Congratulations to the Menesson and Labassee families, as well as attorney Patrice Spinosi!

UK provides simple steps for Intended Parents returning home with US born babies

The UK government has issued a document providing its citizens with steps for returning home with their US-born babies born to a surrogate. Since paid surrogacy is illegal in the UK, many couples choose to come to the US for help. Recognizing this, the government has provided information on securing British citizenship for the child. Our UK clients have clear guidelines when they return home to live happily ever after.

Click here for the “Surrogacy Overseas” document.

Made in the U.S.A.

When money isn’t an issue, global surrogacy also goes in the other direction.

Surrogacy is banned in China. So when Tony Jiang and his wife, who live in Shanghai, discovered they couldn’t have children on their own, they decided to look overseas, and ended up traveling to a surprising place for help.

“I already tried illegal underground surrogates in southern China, which turned out to be a total failure,” Jiang told America Tonight. “So that’s why afterwards I would try to explore international surrogacy industry. I checked with the surrogates from India, Ukraine, and Thailand. They had the solution in California.”

Three years and $275,000 later, Jiang and his wife now have three children: a daughter and a twin boy and girl, who were all born from the same surrogate. If they had been born in China, Jiang and his wife would be in violation of Chinese law. But the children were born in The Golden State; they’re all American citizens.

The government has already relaxed its one-child policy, permitting couples to have two children if at least one spouse is an only child, like both Jiang and his wife. But Chinese couples who have more than two children still face heavy penalties, so surrogacy is attracting the Chinese parents who can afford it to come to the U.S.

“It means that they’re getting their children with foreign passports,” said Jiang. “So they don’t bother registering that newborn as a Chinese citizen.”

Soon after his children were born, friends began asking Jiang for help. Before long, the young father was in the business of babies, setting up his own surrogacy agency, DiYi Consulting, which has helped nearly 100 couples since it began operating in 2012.

In addition to skirting China’s child restrictions, American surrogacy also opens a window for emigration. Upon turning 21, children born in the U.S. can apply for green cards for their parents.

Jiang pointed out another advantage in the American surrogate experience: gender selection.

Many Chinese seeking American surrogates request boys because male children are still culturally preferred. That’s possible in the U.S., where gender selection in technically straightforward through in vitro fertilization.

“It’s not commercially open or allowed in greater China region,” Jiang explained. “Especially for those couples already having a girl or a boy and they are doing further family building, gender selection will be very essential to them.”

Three of the nearly 100 Chinese couples Jiang’s agency has helped are gay, but he said infertility is what has motivated most of his clients to seek out surrogacy.

According to the Chinese Population Association, some 40 million Chinese citizens are infertile – about 12.5 percent of people of childbearing age. That number has quadrupled over the past 20 years.

But surrogacy in the U.S. is only available to those who can afford it. Jiang said a basic package, including one IVF cycle, costs between $120,000 and $170,000.

“I think 90 percent of my clients are private business owners,” Jiang said. “They have very high income. Also, maybe some middle class and above.”

Although there are no official statistics on the number of Chinese parents who come to the U.S. for surrogacy, agencies say it’s growing rapidly. All they have to do is point out the growing number of American surrogacy clinics and agencies that are hiring Mandarin speakers and developing websites in Chinese.

Going Global for a Family, Al Jazeera (May 12, 2014).