Question to Ask an Attorney
Questions to ask your AAARTA attorney before retaining
Qualifications and prior experience in reproductive law?
Because reproductive law is still a relatively new and nuanced aspect of the law, not many attorneys may have widespread experience in this area. In order to receive the best possible representation throughout your assisted reproductive journey, you will want to make sure your attorney has the expertise, knowledge and qualifications needed. Reproductive law is constantly evolving, which means the best attorney to guide you through this process is someone who specializes in this area and keeps current with all developments in legislation and case law.
In addition to substantial experience in this area, prospective parents should also look for an attorney they can relate to. Many personal issues, some being very difficult and emotional, will be discussed with your attorney along the way. The best attorney for you is one that you feel extremely comfortable with so that you can securely receive candid advice. Finding an attorney that fits with you on both a professional and personal level will provide you with confidence that your interests will be protected.
Where are you licensed to practice?
Prospective parents may find that the parties involved in their gestational carrier arrangement are located in different states around the country. Because attorneys must be licensed in each state to practice law there, it is advantageous to have an attorney who is licensed in each of the states where each of the parties resides. In addition, prospective parents may want to have an attorney who is also licensed in the state in which any medical procedures are being performed. Laws vary from state to state and ensuring that your lawyer has the requisite knowledge and experience to advise you, either through licensure in each of the states or by working with a qualified lawyer in the other sate(s) will provide for a smoother process and legally sound result.
There are many different ways that attorneys and their firms charge clients for services. Because of the possibility of unforeseeable expenses it would be very beneficial for you to know up front what your legal fees will be and what to expect. See information on Retainer Agreements here.
Do you offer other services besides legal services?
The assisted reproductive process can be extremely complicated and prospective parents will likely have many questions and a very long checklist of things to do. Prospective parents may have to worry about insurance coverage or finding a gestational carrier and/or egg or sperm donor. Some attorneys can provide these and many other services in addition to the legal services needed. Obtaining an attorney who offers a “one-stop shop” approach is one option while having an attorney who is representing you in contract negotiations to be different than the attorney who is recruiting and screening a Gestational Carrier for you is another viable option. Often attorneys who work in the ART field work with a network of providers and can assist you by referring you to ethical matching programs while advocating for your throughout the process.