Wald & Thorndal offers a broad range of services to parents and those seeking to become parents. With over a decade providing legal services to those using assisted reproduction — including egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy - Wald & Thorndal is one of the most experienced family formation law offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm gladly offers consultations to individuals and couples looking for ways to bring children into their lives and to provide the best and strongest legal protections for themselves, their children and their families. The firm also provides consultations to attorneys and service providers handling these types of cases. Deborah H. Wald’s active membership in both the Academy of California Family Formation Lawyers and the American Association of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys allows her to remain current on this rapidly advancing area of law and gives her access to experts around the state and the country, to the benefit of the firm’s clients.
Wald & Thorndal creates agreements for women using known sperm donors to achieve pregnancy and for men providing sperm donations to assist friends or loved ones in achieving pregnancy. Each agreement drafted by Wald & Thorndal is unique, specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individuals involved and to make sure that the agreement genuinely reflects their vision for the family they are trying to create. The firm strives to help our clients identify the critical issues to include in their agreements, and assure that the agreements are legally accurate and protect all parties to the full extent possible under the law.
We also consult with fertility clinics and sperm banks to assure that agency contracts and agreements are up-to-date and legally accurate.
For more information see the latest Donor Insemination FAQ
Wald & Thorndal drafts egg donor agreements on behalf of singles and couples using donated eggs to achieve pregnancy — either themselves, or with the assistance of a gestational carrier — and also reviews these same agreements on behalf of egg donors. The firm has experience working with many different kinds of people using donated eggs, from gay male couples starting the journey to parenthood to heterosexual couples struggling with infertility to single men looking to become single fathers. In each case, we conduct an in-depth assessment of our individual clients' needs and concerns, and tailor the donor agreement to specifically address those concerns. We also make certain that the agreement is legally sound and covers all relevant issues.
Wald & Thorndal works with surrogacy clients to assure that they are legally protected as parents as fully and as quickly as possible. Our firm does not find surrogates for clients. However, once intended parents have matched with a surrogate, we focus on providing the best long term legal protection to the intended parents, the surrogate, and the child, regardless of the state in which the baby is born. Our services include drafting and reviewing surrogacy contracts on behalf of either the intended parents or the surrogate; and handling the legal proceedings necessary to assure that the intended parents end up with full parental rights and that the surrogate is relieved of her parental responsibilities. We are particularly attuned to the legal needs of single people and gay couples becoming parents through surrogacy.
For for more information see the latest Surrogacy Law FAQ
Wald & Thorndal provides agreements for lesbian clients engaged in “co-maternity” (also referred to as “egg sharing”) — i.e. using the eggs of one partner, fertilized with donor sperm, to produce embryos which are implanted in the womb of the other partner — in order to provide them with the best and strongest legal protections possible. Wald & Thorndal advocates for these clients with doctors and the courts, making sure that both mothers' legal/parental rights are protected. Ms. Wald was a pioneer in defining the legal parameters for lesbian couples engaging in co-maternity and, in 1999 she was named a "Lawyer of the Year" by California Lawyer for her groundbreaking work in this area.
Estimates are the there are over half a million frozen embryos current in storage around the United States. Wald & Thorndal advises clients and drafts contracts to assist in the transfer of these embryos from one set of prospective parents to another. With very little law on the use or donation of frozen embryos, this is an area where even the best and most experienced attorneys are forced to take well-educated guesses. Ms. Wald’s membership in statewide and national assisted reproduction organizations allows her constant access to the most advanced thinking in this rapidly-evolving field.
People using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to conceive children can find themselves in uncharted legal terrain. Wald & Thorndal has a longstanding commitment to the representation of contemporary and non-traditional families, and broad experience handling cutting-edge cases at both the Trial and Appellate court levels. In addition we are available to assist clients should litigation be needed. Mr. Thorndal's appellate case, Alexandria S. v. Pacific Fertility Medical Center (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 110, is one of the few published cases in California addressing the liability of fertility clinics for negligence and breach of contract in the area of assisted reproduction. If you feel that you have not received appropriate services from your ART agency or provider, or if you are encountering difficulties with the other parties to your donor or surrogacy agreement, we would be glad to arrange a legal consultation to determine how best to assist you in resolving — or, if necessary, litigating - your conflict.
NOTE: Pacific Fertility Medical Center is not affiliated with Pacific Fertility Center (PFC) in San Francisco.