Creating Happy Families

8 October 2021

A recent large-scale Japanese study has found that couples in long-term relationships develop noticeable biological  similarities. It reports that their bodies synchronize on a deep biological level, which bolsters health deep into old age for those in happy relationships, whilst exacerbating health problems for others.

This recent study assessed health data from 5,391 couples from Japan and 28,262 couples from the Netherlands. The researchers found that the couples generally experienced similar levels of blood pressure and cholesterol and were also more likely to simultaneously suffer from chronic ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

These findings are similar to those of a previous smaller study in 2016 by researchers at the University of Michigan, which looked at health data from 1,568 older couples in the United States. This previous US study found that couples who had been together for more than 50 years had similar kidney function and grip strength. This built on research from the University of British Columbia, which found that couples in long-term relationships often experienced similar symptoms of depression.

Researchers concluded that lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking and drinking), daily activities and relationship dynamics all influenced the long-term happiness and health of a couple.

Specialist Fertility and Family Law

These findings bring into focus the importance of proactively managing our relationships, personal lives, family building and reproductive choices.  Building a happy and stable relationship and family life influences not just us as individuals, but also our children and wider family and friends.

The value of an experienced and specialist fertility and family lawyer extends beyond technical legal guidance and representation and helps individuals:

  • Achieve peace of mind about their or a loved-one’s personal and family situation.
  • Make informed decisions about their family building arrangements and family life.
  • Become empowered to make changes and take meaningful steps forward to create, restructure or protect a much-wanted family.
  • Identify, assess and minimise unwanted personal and family risks and pitfalls.
  • Create viable action plans to help balance work, personal and family life.

Specialist fertility and family law advice also navigates many complex legal and wider issues associated with fertility treatment, donor conception, surrogacy, co-parenting arrangements, adoption and complex personal situations. It can create a bespoke family building legal and practical action plan to help preserve and maximise individual fertility, understand options and make better informed decisions about conception, family creation, biological identity and legacy. It also helps effectively navigate many complex fertility and family law issues, including:

  • Acquisition of legal parentage following a domestic or international surrogacy arrangement.
  • Acquisition of legal parentage following a known donor arrangement.
  • Acquisition of legal parentage following a co-parenting arrangement.
  • An application to bring or defend a Declaration of Parentage (e.g. following a direct-to-consumer DNA test or to re-register a birth certificate).
  • An application to bring or defend a step-parent adoption order.
  • An application for an order to recognise a foreign adoption under English common law.
  • Unexpected death of a loved-one and related issues associated with posthumous storage and use of eggs, sperm and embryos in fertility treatment (e.g. due to an accident, illness including Covid-19).
  • Care and upbringing of children following a dispute with an ex-partner, parent, donor or surrogate.
  • Legal issues and options where women face rapidly declining age-related fertility and loss of opportunity for conception (e.g. fertility preservation and maximisation, management of existing personal relationships and implications of using donor gametes).
  • Delays in medical diagnosis and consequent treatment and associated impact on individual fertility.
  • Difficulties with storage and use of frozen eggs, sperm and embryos in fertility treatment in the UK (e.g. lack of consent and expiry of storage terms).
  • Issues associated with import of frozen gametes and embryos into the UK for use in fertility treatment and surrogacy (e.g. due to anonymous and commercially obtained gametes and embryos which engage UK public policy restrictions).
  • Issues associated with the export of frozen gametes and embryos abroad for use in fertility treatment and surrogacy (e.g. lack of consent and storage term difficulties).
  • Legal parentage disputes with an ex-partner, donor, co-parent, step-parent, surrogate.
  • Legal parentage disputes with a UK fertility clinic (e.g. problems and omissions with HFEA consent forms).

Need a fertility lawyer or a family lawyer? If you would like to discuss your family building needs or you would like specialist fertility and family law advice contact Louisa Ghevaert by email  or by telephone +44 (0)20 7965 8399.

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