23 June 2020
The world around us is evolving and shifting rapidly. This has been brought into sharp focus in recent months because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We have witnessed global loss of life and illness, state imposed lockdowns in our homes, economic recession, intensification of digital and genomic technology and restricted access to healthcare and fertility treatment. All of this impacts our day-to-day and future personal and family lives in ways that many of us are only just beginning to appreciate and take into account.
The pace and scale of change is unprecedented. It brings with it new issues, challenges and risks for those looking to embark on or proceed with plans to have a family, whether naturally or through assisted conception. There is also a greater need to carefully address the issues and implications if a relationship ends or a dispute arises with an ex-partner, parent, donor, surrogate or family member in this evolving landscape. This makes it more important than ever to proactively manage the legal and practical issues impacting our personal relationships, children and families.
The Covid-19 pandemic creates a wide range of questions. Should I delay starting a family to see what happens to my job as a result of this pandemic? Will it be better for me to undergo fertility treatment in the UK or overseas given the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 and further lockdowns and restrictions? Should I think about importing my frozen eggs, sperm or embryos into the UK for use in fertility treatment? What will happen to my family building wishes and frozen embryos if my partner dies unexpectedly? What are my options for having a baby if my relationship fails due to a change in circumstances? Should I take the next step with my partner in these uncertain times and try for a baby?
This new and evolving environment creates a range of legal and wider issues that require careful consideration and management. Specialist fertility and family law advice helps effectively navigate many complex legal issues, including:
- Legal options where women facing rapidly declining age-related fertility and loss of opportunity of fertility treatment and conception.
- Legal difficulties where frozen eggs, sperm or embryos are rapidly approaching (or have reached) the end of their storage period in the UK.
- Unexpected death of a loved-one and related issues associated with posthumous storage and use of eggs, sperm and embryos in fertility treatment.
- Options and legal issues associated with fertility preservation and maximisation.
- Uncertainty around availability of egg and sperm donors and surrogates.
- Delays in medical diagnosis and consequent treatment and associated impact on individual fertility.
- Legal parentage, parental and financial responsibility for children born through assisted conception.
- Care and upbringing of children following a dispute with an ex-partner, parent, donor or surrogate.
The value of an experienced and specialist fertility and family lawyer also 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.
Need an expert fertility lawyer or family lawyer? If you would like to discuss your situation or you require specialist fertility and family law advice and assistance please contact Louisa Ghevaert by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone +44 (0)20 7965 8399.