Governor Scott Signs Bill to Improve Florida’s Child Welfare Program

On June 23, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill from the state legislature that would dramatically change Florida’s child welfare system.

The bill, which was unanimously approved by the legislature in May 2014, as discussed in a previous post, contains significant changes for nearly every portion of the state’s child welfare system.

Improve Florida’s Child Welfare ProgramThe new law is designed to replace a policy created a decade ago that was designed to reunite or keep families together.

While a laudable goal on its face, it had the very negative effect of reuniting children with troubled parents who in some cases were not fit to raise them. read more

Does A Sperm Donor Equal a Dad?

Does-A-Sperm-Donor-Equal-a-DadAn emerging issue in reproductive law in Florida and throughout the United States is managing the parental rights of sperm donors.

Many sperm donors are no longer anonymous and this triggers the potential for parental rights if the sperm donor, or the mother, wants such rights to exist.

There are approximately 30,000 births every year from donated sperm. The vast majority of sperm donors remain anonymous, but there is a small number of donors who are not anonymous.

And the number of prospective parents are choosing a non-anonymous path. This could partly be due to changing social perceptions about sperm donation and concerns about the health of unknown and anonymous sperm donors. read more

What Has Fueled the Huge Growth in Surrogacy In the Past Decade?

The number of babies that have been born from surrogacy has grown dramatically over the past decade. The number of gestational surrogacies has grown from about 700 in 2004 to over 1,400 in 2010. Notably, Florida, due to its relatively welcoming stance on surrogacy, has seen a particularly large increase in surrogacies.

Fueled by the Internet

Surrogacy Laws in FloridaThe popularity and accessibility of surrogacy has been partially fueled by the internet. Hundreds of surrogacy agency websites, blogs, and chat rooms have provided prospective parents (often called intended parents) a huge amount of information about surrogacy. read more