Waldlaw Blog

Friday, November 15, 2013

Reporting Back from the AAARTA/ABA Conference in Charleston

I spent most of this past week at a conference on cross-border assisted reproduction, co-sponsored by the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) and the Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA).  The conference was attended by over 250 attorneys from around the world, including England, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, Argentina and the Hague (Netherlands). 

Several things became clear during the conference: (1) there is a growing body of very dedicated and talented attorneys around the world who are committed to practicing assisted reproductive law at a high level (that's the good news); (2) there is no consensus among the various countries on what ART practices are ethical or legal (that's the not-so-good news); and, therefore, (3) attorneys from the different countries need to work closely together to assure that individuals and couples engaging in cross-border assisted reproduction fully understand the legal complexities of their ART journeys.  To this end, it was wonderful not only to sit and listen to many thoughtful and detailed presentations on international ART law, but also to spend time socializing with and getting to know personally the top ART attorneys from the many countries represented at the conference. 

My take-away from this conference is a heightened conviction that no family should be engaging in cross-border ART without having consulted with skilled and experienced attorneys on both sides of the borders they are crossing.  Happily, having been practicing international ART law for many years now -- and having had the opportunity to deepen my relationships with many wonderful attorneys from across the globe this week -- I have excellent attorneys in many countries to whom I can refer my clients who are in need of their services.

International assisted reproduction law is about as cutting edge an area of law as there is.  I return from Charleston, South Carolina feeling privileged to be practicing law in this arena, surrounded by such a thoughtful and talented group of colleagues.


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