Announcing New Unified Name

The American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (“AAAA”), and its subsidiary academy The American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (“AAARTA”), are now unified under one Academy name: The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. The organization will retain the well-known acronym “AAAA” and looks forward to a new, fresh unified logo and website. You may continue to find us at our current websites, and

“The Academy is pleased to now have one unified name that reflects our international reach as well as our credentialed presence in the law of family formation – whether that formation be via adoption, ART, or both. AAAA was formed in 1990. The subsidiary AAARTA was formed in 2009. The new unified name represents a blend of a well-established method of family building and securing parentage for children through adoption with the newer technologies of building and securing families through assisted reproductive technologies.”
- AAAA President Debra Guston

Dedicated to Ethical Family Formation

The American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) is a credentialed, professional organization dedicated to the advancement of best legal practices in the area of assisted reproduction and to the protection of the interests of all parties, including the children, involved in assisted reproductive technology matters.

Securing Legal Ties for All Family Types

There are few things more important than securing the legal relationship between a parent and a child. AAARTA attorneys are up-to-date on the advances in medical science that allow for a wide variety of options for parents to build families through egg donation, sperm donation, embryo donation, and/or gestational surrogacy.

Members with Experience

AAARTA members must have completed at least fifty (50) diverse ARTs matters prior to being invited to join AAARTA. The matters must include such legal services such as obtaining parentage or birth orders, drafting and negotiating surrogacy, egg donor and sperm donor contracts and drafting or reviewing embryo donation contracts.

Find an Attorney

An expert in assisted reproductive technology law will help ensure that your family building matter proceeds smoothly. Our Online Adoption and ART Academy Member Directory lists the current fellows of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys in each State.

Considering Adoption?

If you are interested in learning about building your family through adoption, please visit us at the Aaa Alogo Only clicking here gets you to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys Website.

Interested in Joining AAARTA?

Click here for our application to AAARTA. We look forward to seeing you join AAARTA. Review the Ethics Code before joining. 

Who's Who In AAARTA

Director, Margaret Swain

Deputy Director, Nidhi Desai

Legislative Committee Chair, Kurt Hughes

Executive Administrator, Jennie Sullivan


Recent ART related cases:

Missouri: McQueen v. Gadbury (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, No. ED103138, 11/15/2016). This is a case of disputed dispositional authority over cryopreserved embryos in a divorce, and an attempt by the wife to classify the embryos as persons. The mid-level appeals court affirmed the trial court’s judgment that frozen pre-embryos are marital property of a ‘special character’ and that the parties jointly hold rights to them and that they may not be used or released without the consent of both parties. The argument that the pre-embryos are children was found to have no merit and the trial court did not err in failing to classify the frozen pre-embryos as children under Missouri law.

Kansas: State of Kansas et al v. W.M. and A.B., 11/22/2016 (District Court of Shawnee County, Case No. 2012DM2686)
A man replied to an ad for a sperm donor on Craigslist. He provided his sperm to an unmarried lesbian couple who, without medical intervention, inseminated one of the partners. After the child was born, the partners separated and the custodial mother applied for state benefits. The state sued for paternity determination and reimbursement of child support from the donor. Kansas law requires medical involvement for a provider of sperm to be considered a donor. The court considered the best interests of the child and who, as between the donor and the non-custodial parent, had the “weightier” parental rights and responsibilities. The court held that the donor was not a parent and therefore, had no duty to repay the state.

Texas: In the Interest of P.S., a Child, 2016, Tex.App. LEXUS 11657 (2nd District Court of Appeals of TX, 10/27/2016). A man provided his sperm to a female friend by delivering the specimen in a cup directly to the woman. He had agreed that it would be used for insemination, which was done without any medical oversight or intervention. A child was conceived in this way, and the man was involved with the child for a period of time until the mother refused him access to the child. She rescinded the acknowledgement of paternity and asked him to relinquish his rights. He sought to be declared the father of the child. Texas law required that if a man is to be considered a donor with no rights or responsibilities to the child, then his sperm must be provided to a licensed physician for use in ‘assisted reproduction’. Here, the court held that the man was a parent, not a donor.

Maryland: The Court of Appeals, MD's highest appeals court, issued its opinion: "De facto parents have standing to contest custody or visitation and need not show parental unfitness or exceptional circumstances before a trial court can apply a best interests of the child analysis. The Court’s previous decision in Janice M. v. Margaret K., 404 Md. 661 (2008), is overruled."  Conover v. Conover

Director's Report

AAARTA Director, Margaret Swain reports on the Academy's recent activities involving ART.

ART Legislative Updates

AAARTA's legislative committee analyzes and responds to bills as they are introduced in the various state legislatures.  This section provides periodic updates. 

Federal Bill "Providing Certainty for Progenitors Act of 2016":
AAARTA Director's Comment

Academy supports improved fertility and adoption benefits for America's veterans.  Press Release - VA bill

Events in 2017-2018

March Webinar

The Academy’s next webinar is scheduled for March 13, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The 1.5 hour webinar, “Fundamental Legal Issues in 3rd Party Reproduction” is being presented by Academy Fellows Melissa Brisman and Tim Schlesinger. 

Who are the parties? What court has jurisdiction? Do any statutes apply? This program will take you through some of the critical legal issues that arise in surrogacy agreements and in the court actions that may be necessary to obtain legal status for the intended parents after a surrogacy. In addition, this program will explore basic legal issues that arise in the context of egg donation, embryo donation, and sperm donation agreements. 

The registration fee for the 90 minute webinar is $149 for Non-Academy participants and $125 for Academy Fellows. Participants may attend the webinar live or receive a recording following the webinar. The webinar is open to anyone who is interested in learning more on the topic. Please feel free to share this information with friends and co-workers.

Click on the link below to register. 

Fundamental Legal Issues in 3rd Party Reproduction

Webinars for Purchase

The Academy provides its webinars on Adoption and ART law for purchase.  To learn about our upcoming webinar and to register, click here. To see a list of all available webinars click: Webinars on ART and Adoption.

Academy 2018 Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri

Pioneering on the Plains:
Forging New Directions in Family Formation

The Academy’s 2018 Annual Conference is being held in Kansas City, Missouri, April 29 - May 2, 2018.

Please visit the Annual Conference webpage for more information on attending, being a Sponsor or Exhibitor and to register.

Questions about AAARTA or the Conference? Contact Executive Administrator Jennie Sullivan at (317) 407-8422 or

Educational Opportunities

ABA Family Law Section 2017 Fall CLE ConferenceOctober 4-7, 2017
Beaver Creek Mountain, CO

ASRM Annual Scientific Congress and Expo
October 17 - November 21, 2017
San Antonio, Texas

ABA Family Law 2018 Spring CLE Conference
May 9-12, 2018
Nashville, TN

For further information concerning ABA events, please contact: Cynthia (“Cindy”) G. Swan, Director – Section of Family Law, American Bar Association | 321 North Clark Street | Chicago, IL 60654, Office Direct: 312.988.5619 | Cell: 773.490.9320, |