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Love and Legislation Makes a Family: The Child Parent Act 1 Year In

SKU: FAM5800
Total Credits
1.5 - 2
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Despite its reputation for legislative progressiveness, prior to the passage of the Child Parent Security Act (CPSA), which went into effect in February of 2021, New York had one of the nation’s most antiquated surrogacy laws featuring a ban on enforceable compensated surrogacy arrangements. That ban, which imposed harsh penalties on those participating in compensated surrogacy arrangements, resulted from the infamous 1988 Baby M case which involved a contest between the surrogate (who had supplied the egg used in conception) and the child’s intended parents. The CPSA which recently gained passage does not apply to situations where the surrogate supplies the egg.

The CPSA is a comprehensive parentage law which addresses the parentage of all children born through third-party reproduction (egg, sperm, embryo donation and gestational surrogacy) and establishes clear rules for determining when someone is a parent and how they can prove it. The CPSA acknowledges the massive advancements in reproductive medicine and brings New York into alignment with the rest of the nation. The CPSA not only harmonizes New York with other states, the statutory protections afforded the participants in these arrangements have become a model across the country.

This presentation, by two attorneys who were among the primary drafters of the legislation, will do more than simply survey the law. The attorneys will discuss their decade-long journey from the courtroom to the legislature, moving New York into the 21st Century, moving away from parentage by biology (giving birth) to parentage determined by the intentions of the parties at the time of conception. The presenters will alert you to key CPSA statutory requirements to help avoid pitfalls. They will also discuss the related issue of court requirements for New York State parentage proceedings. Finally, the presenters will describe the rapidly changing surrogacy landscape in New York to arm you with the real-world picture that New Yorkers relying on Third Party Reproduction to form their families will want to know.

Lecturer Bios

Denise E. Seidelman, Esq.

Denise E. Seidelman, Esq. is a Partner in the firm of Rumbold & Seidelman, LLP and has been practicing exclusively in the areas of adoption and reproductive law since 1996. She is on the Board of the New York Attorneys for Adoption and Assisted Family Formation (NYAAFF) and on the Emeritus Board of Family Equality.

She was also on the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) from 2016-2020. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Washington College of Law. She is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey and also admitted to practice before the Federal District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Denise lectures frequently in the area of adoption and reproductive law and has presented on these topics for Lawline, the ABA Family Law Section, the Practicing Law Institute, the New York Judicial Institute, Men Having Babies, and the New York City Bar Center for Continuing Legal Education. In 2011 Denise, with a few of her NYAAFF colleagues, wrote the first draft of the bill that would become the Child Parent Security Act (CPSA).

Denise was also the primary liaison between the legislative bill sponsors, the Governor’s office and the Protecting Modern Families Coalition which formed to gain passage of the bill. After over ten years of hard work the CPSA finally went into effect on February 15.

Finally, Denise has written articles explaining the Child Parent Security Act both for the New York Law Journal and as a guest author for the Legally Speaking Column for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Rebecca L. Mendel, Esq

Rebecca L. Mendel, Esq. is a partner in the New York City firm, Rosin Steinhagen Mendel, PLLC. She has been with the firm since 1998, and became a partner of the firm in 2004. Rebecca Mendel graduated from Emory University in 1993, with a B.A. in political science. In 1998, Rebecca received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

At Rosin Steinhagen Mendel, PLLC, Rebecca=s focus is on is adoption law and family formation law. She handles domestic independent/private adoptions, step-parent adoptions, second-parent adoptions, birth parent representation, re-adoptions, registration of foreign adoption decrees, private agency adoption, adult adoptions, and foster care adoption matters. Rebecca also represents people participating in assisted reproductive technology matters, such as compensated or compassionate surrogacy matters, egg donation agreements, sperm donation agreements and embryo donation and disposition agreements.

For over ten years, Rebecca was actively involved in the drafting the Child Parent Security Act in New York and was so pleased when it was finally signed into law in April 2020. Rebecca has also represented numerous foster care agencies in termination of parental rights proceedings and other aspects of foster care litigation in pursuit of permanency for children in foster care.

Rebecca has lectured about adoption at numerous organizations and as part of the training for the New York City Family Court Judges.

Rebecca is a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. Rebecca served on the Executive Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 2016-2020. Rebecca is a past Chair of the Family Court & Family Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and she currently is a member of the Council on Children Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, Committee on Adoption. Rebecca is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association. Rebecca is also a founding member of the New York Attorneys for Adoption and Family Formation, and serves as its Vice President.

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