Cheers to the powerful 2nd Surrogacy Forum 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark! Snapshots from this inspiring, informative, and sometimes sobering gathering with updates and reports from experts worldwide. In these challenging times it feels more important than ever to work harder, stay involved, show leadership, and blaze trails in the spirit of building families. It’s what we’re about, and will fight for. #ABA
Around 17.5% of the adult population – roughly 1 in 6 worldwide – experience infertility, showing the urgent need for affordable, high-quality fertility care, according to the World Health Organization. But, since infertility treatment is usually excluded from comprehensive insurance coverage in the US, the majority of those people just cannot afford it. Infertility alone can cause significant distress and stigma. Combined with the financial hardship of paying for infertility treatment, mental and psychosocial well-being is at an increased risk.
Thankfully, larger US employers are starting to add fertility benefits to lure and retain staff. About 54% of the biggest U.S. employers covered IVF in 2022. Some businesses — but by no means many — aren’t limiting it to “infertility” and offering comparable benefits to same sex and single prospective parents.
About half the states in the US have laws mandating coverage of fertility treatments. Colorado became the latest state to have a fertility mandate at the beginning of this year. In California, Senator Caroline Menjivar introduced a bill that would require a health care service plan contract or health insurance policy that is issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2024, to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility and fertility services (Senate Bill 729).
Prosective parents are thinking outside the box to pay for IVF, surrogacy, and other treatment. GoFundMe, funds instead of wedding gifts, and loans are ways to afford the costs. Some non-profit groups such as Baby Quest Foundation, RESOLVE, the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, and Men Having Babies are addressing the need as well.
Creating a family takes a village, both financially and emotionally. Proper insurance coverage for fertility treatments — and mental health — must be addressed for the health of our families.
This year’s ABA Section of Family Law CLE Conference had an international flair, with attorneys from around the world speaking on surrogacy laws in their countries and how they relate to children born in the US. Ida Parisi (Italy) and Fabien Joly (France) graced us with their presence at a wonderful dinner at Momofuku. They and their foreign colleagues are at the forefront of creating laws and post-birth procedures in their respective countries.
Lori Meyers was the speaker on “Square Peg, Round Holes: Hybrid Surrogacy Arrangements & How Far Do You Go”, educating the attendees on the issues surrounding foreign and domestic surrogacy arrangements.
Seeing colleagues in person is always helpful and a lot of fun. We look forward to seeing you all again! Arrivederci!