Susan Ridgeway moderated a national panel on assisted reproductive technology law at the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section Fall CLE Conference in Portland, Oregon in October of 2015. The panel, entitled “ARTful Approaches to Parental Establishment,” compared the process of parental establishment in surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) arrangements in a handful of states. The panel members, consisting of attorneys and judges from different states, described parentage laws, the court process, and obtaining birth certificates in their respective jurisdictions. They also commented upon particular legal, ethical, and practical issues encountered in their work and answered numerous questions from the audience.
Susan also utilized her expertise and contacts to organize the Montana State Bar’s Advanced Family Law CLE on October 23, 2015 in Missoula, which focused primarily on Assisted Reproductive Technology Law. Susan brought attorney Richard Vaughn of International Fertility Law Group, Inc., Los Angeles, California, to Montana to discuss competency and ethical considerations in a multi-jurisdictional practice, establishing parentage of intended parents in egg donation and surrogacy agreements, and essential terms in surrogacy and egg donation agreements. Working together with other attorneys, she also arranged presentations on full faith and credit, ethics, particular issues in the law of marriage, and case law and legislative updates. Susan presented “The Art of Practicing ART Law in Montana” to highlight issues unique to Montana. She also presented “Obergefell v. Hodges: Resolved and Unresolved Issues,” where she discussed how this landmark United States Supreme Court opinion impacts legal issues for individuals in same-sex family relationships.