Israel High Court: Lesbian partners can both register as ‘mother’
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
3M ago
Both women in lesbian couples can now be named as the mothers on their children’s birth certificates, Israel’s High Court of Justice has ordered. The decision, which is the result of many years of litigation, is being praised by the LGBTQ community as a historic victory. People dance underneath a giant rainbow banner during the 21st annual Jerusalem Pride Parade in Jerusalem on June 1, 2023 In his decision, Justice Uzi Vogelman ruled that the state could not give preference to biological parentage over legal parentage. Therefore women who have established their legal status as parents through ..read more
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Canadian Federal Government Provides Tax Relief to Support Surrogacy and Ova/Embryo Donation
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
The 2022 Federal Budget, which was released April 7, 2022, proposes  to provide a broader definition of “patient” in cases where a person relies on a surrogate or a donor to become a parent. “Patient” would be defined in these circumstances as: the taxpayer; the taxpayer’s spouse or common-law partner; a surrogate mother; or a donor of sperm, ova, or embryos. This broader definition will allow an individual or their spouse to claim the medical expense credit in respect of a surrogate or donor. Specifically, the budget proposes to allow “medical expenses related to a surrogate mother or ..read more
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Should sex selection be allowed for “family balancing”?
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
Should sex selection be allowed for “family balancing”? I am thrilled to announce that my debate against sex selection has been included in Cambridge University Press: 50 Big Debates in Reproductive Medicine (Cambridge University Press), released just this spring. This debate stems from the ethical dilemma that governments face regarding whether to allow a selection of gender as part of a person’s family building journey.  With about 1 in 6 Canadians experiencing infertility issues, many people ultimately create embryos to be implanted either into the female partner, or a surrogate. The ..read more
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American Couple Escapes Ukraine With Baby Born Days Before Via Surrogacy
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
What would have been a purely happy occasion turned dark and dangerous when an American couple traveled to Kyiv last month for the birth of their daughter through a Ukrainian surrogate, only to awaken two days after the birth to the sound of exploding artillery shells as Russia’s invasion began. A recent CNN news story describes the ordeal of California couple Jessie and Jacob Boeckmann, who tried to escape the shelling by driving to the western city of Lviv to reach a temporary US Embassy there. A massive traffic jam turned what is usually a six-hour drive into a 27-hour nightmare, and befor ..read more
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Tick Tock, the Male Clock
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
It turns out males have biological clocks too. Sure, silver-haired gentlemen can still impregnate people – the actor Tony Randall did it when he was 75. But science is now learning that the quality of sperm can deteriorate as a man gets older, so an increasing number of men are freezing their sperm for future use. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, there are now several companies providing sperm-freezing service, which they hope will become a routine procedure. For example, a company called Legacy allows men to start the process from home: providing a sample and then le ..read more
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To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate: Pregnant Women Getting COVID
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
Officials in Los Angeles are warning about increasing numbers of pregnant women becoming infected with the coronavirus and being hospitalized. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, there has been a sharp rise in COVID cases among pregnant women, some of whom have gone into intensive care. Dr. Marlon Mills, the director of maternal fetal medicine at the Hoag Health Network in Orange County, says pregnant women are at increased risk of having respiratory illness so severe they need to be sedated and require the insertion of a breathing tube into the mouth and into their windpi ..read more
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New Divorce Act: Have kids? Here are some changes
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
Thanks to the new Divorce Act, the following cross-examination will never again take place in a Canadian courtroom:   LAWYER If the judge decides you can’t take the children with you, will you still move away?   PARENT I guess so. It’s a great new job opportunity overseas.   LAWYER Aha! So your kids don’t really mean that much to you?   PARENT Well, now that you put it that way… maybe I wouldn’t go.   LAWYER I see. So you’re telling me this job opportunity isn’t so great after all!     This no-win line of questioning is known as the classic “double-bind,” be ..read more
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Shared Parenting in the Coronavirus Pandemic
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
“Right now, families need more cooperation and less litigation.” So said Justice Alex Pazaratz of the Ontario Superior Court in his recent ruling Ribeiro v Wright, where he refused to hear a mother’s urgent motion to suspend a nine-year-old’s access with the father on the basis that, given the coronavirus crisis, “she doesn’t want her son leaving the home for any reason – including seeing the father.” While her concerns about the virus were “well-founded,” said the judge, “I am not satisfied that she has established a failure, inability, or refusal by the father to adhere to appropriate COVID ..read more
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Mental Health in the Coronavirus Pandemic
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of stress and anxiety, but luckily there are coping strategies that have been proven to work. Many organizations offer online resources, such as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), which starts off by reminding us that anxiety and fear are normal in a situation like this, and these feelings can actually help to motivate us to take constructive action. Indeed, it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed right now. An antidote t ..read more
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How NOT to Parent After Divorce
Shirley Eve Levitan Family and Fertility Law Blog
by Shirley Levitan
1y ago
Badmouthing your ex is a bad strategy for all kinds of reasons: very stressful on your children, hurts your chances of settling out of court, and frankly, it hurts with the judges if you end up in court. An extreme, spectacular illustration of this principle may be found in the Alberta parental alienation case B(RM) v. B(DT), where two children (a daughter, 13, and a son, 10) were ordered taken from the father and given to the mother after he turned them against her. The judge admonished the father for teaching the children “not just to reject their mother, but to defy all authority — even the ..read more
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