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Quinn Law Centers Articles

The New World of Family Formation Options: Adoption versus Gestational Surrogacy

Newborn adoptive placements in the United States today have declined, assisted reproductive technologies have advanced, and the number and acceptance of gestational carriers has increased. This means that individuals and families seeking to have children now often look to assisted reproductive technologies (commonly referred to as “ART” – and not the kind you hang on the wall or put into a display case) instead of adoption. In this new world, how Read More

Quinn Teams Up With Surrogates to Help Area Couples Expand Their Families

Having children naturally is not an option for everyone. Today, surrogacy is becoming an increasingly popular option for those who need help extending their family. The scenario in this video, with Brooke Collawn (surrogate) and Tara Morris (mother-to-be) working together to make parenthood possible, is becoming much more common in the local area. With the increase in surrogate assistance, it's important for families to consult with doctors and attorneys to ensure the process is smooth and Read More

Quinn helps lesbian couple win right to have their names on their children’s birth certificates

From a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch piece on couple Maria and Joanni Hayman's successful fight to have their names on children's birth certificates:

fter an 18-month game of wait-and-see as the issue of gay marriage was being settled in Virginia, Richmond Judge Designate T.J. Markow last month ordered the Office of Vital Records in the Virginia Department of Health to amend the birth certificates to show Maria

Read More

Quinn on Frozen Embryo Donation

In "What Parents Should Know About Frozen Embryo Donation," a recent 8News Investigates piece, Colleen Quinn commented on this relatively new infertility solution.

"The embryo field still generally refers to the combination of two gametes that is the egg and sperm. Most of our state laws consider gametes to be property and property gets donated. It doesn't get adopted."

Quinn urges couples considering embryo donation to make sure

Read More

New Quinn Presentation Available: “Assisted Reproductive Technology Contracts: Drafting Fundamentals”

From the course description: "Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) contracts include extremely complex and sensitive issues that prompt a number of drafting concerns for attorneys. In her third installment on ART, Colleen Quinn returns to guide attorneys through the important considerations surrounding ART contract drafting.  Ms. Quinn will provide an extensive road map that incorporates specific structural techniques that will help demystify the ART contract.  In addition, she will provide practical examples Read More

Quinn Helps Craft Bill to Make Adoption Easier for Same-sex Couples in Virginia

Two bills hoping to make second parent adoption easier for couples in Virginia, including same-sex couples, are headed to the 2014 General Assembly. ... The language of the bill has been a large part of Equality Virginia’s legislative schedule for this session. While EV is holding comments on the bill till next week, one of the legal experts that helped draft the bill, Richmond lawyer and adoption expert Colleen Queen, responded to Read More

“Adopting Through an Adoption Lawyer”: Radio Show Featuring Quinn

Hear Colleen Quinn and other leading adoption attorneys interviewed concerning: What is the adoption process in the US when adopting a baby through an adoption attorney? How do you find an adoption attorney? Who finds the prospective birth mothers? What questions should you ask before hiring? And much more Listen now »

GayRVA.com: “Two-Mom Births Give Hope in New York, But Virginia Still Behind”

Though fertility treatments across the country have started to practice a “two-mom” approach which would allow female same-sex couples to share a role in the biological process, laws around same-sex marriage and parenting are making it difficult for states like Virginia to recognize both women as the parents. ... “In New York they have same-sex marriage and they have same-sex adoption, we don’t have any of that here,” said Colleen Quinn, director Read More

The New York Times: “Alimony for Your Eggs”

THE end of a marriage is always sad, but divorce can be particularly devastating for a woman who still wants children but whose fertility is on the decline. Her ex may have many years left to start a new family of his own, but by the time she meets a new partner, it may be too late. Read more »

GayRVA.com: “Adoption, Parenting Not an Easy Step for Virginia’s Same-sex Couples”

Raising a child is a major step in a relationship that couples have taken for thousands of years. For some families, adoption is the best opportunity to take part in this aspect of life due to physical or biological restraints. Many same-sex couples wishing to start a family have turned to adoption, but laws restricting adoption to heterosexual couples continually make it harder for children to go to loving same-sex homes. Currently, Read More

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The New World of Family Formation Options: Adoption versus Gestational Surrogacy


Newborn adoptive placements in the United States today have declined, assisted reproductive technologies have advanced, and the number and acceptance of gestational carriers has increased.

This means that individuals and families seeking to have children now often look to assisted reproductive technologies (commonly referred to as “ART” – and not the kind you hang on the wall or put into a display case) instead of adoption. In this new world, how does utilizing a gestational carrier generally compare to adoption as a means of family building?

  • Cost: While ART costs continue to become more affordable, using a gestational carrier typically is still more expensive than adoption. This is due to the higher medical and legal costs as well as greater living assistance given to the carrier. The exception is for a compassionate surrogacy (family member or best friend gestates the child) where typically minimal reimbursements are made to the carrier.
  • Availability: While the gestational carrier process may cost more, carriers are becoming more widely available while adoptive placements of newborns have declined.
  • Risk: A gestational carrier becomes pregnant with the intent to gestate and place the child with the intended parents. An expectant woman with an adoption plan typically did not plan to become pregnant and, only after learning of the pregnancy, begins to consider making an adoptive placement. Thus the main risk in a gestational carrier arrangement is whether the carrier will in fact become pregnant. Alternatively, the main risk in an adoption is whether the expectant mother (and father) will stay committed to her (their) adoption plan.
  • Control Over Genetics: Unless the situation involves a true surrogate (who uses her own egg), in a gestational carrier arrangement, the carrier will not be a genetic parent to the child. Instead, the carrier typically will carry the genetic parts of the intended parents or the genetic part of one intended parent combined with either donor egg or sperm. In an adoption, the placing parents are the genetic parents.

There are many more comparisons and considerations to make in the new world of family formation. This article provides general information only. For more details please be sure to contact an attorney. Article provided by Colleen M. Quinn, Esq. For more about Ms. Quinn, please visit http://www.quinnlawcenters.com and her Google+ page or call (804) 285-6253.

Quinn Teams Up With Surrogates to Help Area Couples Expand Their Families


Having children naturally is not an option for everyone. Today, surrogacy is becoming an increasingly popular option for those who need help extending their family. The scenario in this video, with Brooke Collawn (surrogate) and Tara Morris (mother-to-be) working together to make parenthood possible, is becoming much more common in the local area.

With the increase in surrogate assistance, it’s important for families to consult with doctors and attorneys to ensure the process is smooth and agreements are secure. Richmond surrogacy attorney, Colleen Quinn, has helped thousands of families over the past decade and she continues to see a rise in surrogacy cases.

Quinn notes that the process can involve many steps, typically including:

  • A background check
  • OB/GYN clearance
  • Psychological screenings
  • and more

There are occasionally issues that come up during the process, such as surrogates getting attached to the child while carrying. But, with the right measures being taken in the beginning stages of the process, the chances of running into problems like that are significantly lowered. Everything about the surrogacy process should be discussed during this time, from whether or not drinking wine occasionally is acceptable to issues such as pro-life versus pro-choice.

To find out more about the surrogacy process, contact Quinn Law Centers today at 804-285-6253.

Quinn helps lesbian couple win right to have their names on their children’s birth certificates


From a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch piece on couple Maria and Joanni Hayman’s successful fight to have their names on children’s birth certificates:

[A]fter an 18-month game of wait-and-see as the issue of gay marriage was being settled in Virginia, Richmond Judge Designate T.J. Markow last month ordered the Office of Vital Records in the Virginia Department of Health to amend the birth certificates to show Maria and Joani as the “only parents of the children.”

The Haymans initially contemplated pursuing a custody order, or what their attorney, Colleen Quinn, says was called “LGBT two-parent protocol” in Virginia by lawyers familiar with same-sex couple cases.

Because of the unique nature of the twins’ birth, Quinn saw an opportunity to make a legal case for Joani’s inclusion on the birth certificates and offered to take on their case pro bono.

“I couldn’t bill them for something I wasn’t sure would be successful or not,” said Quinn, who has advocated for “family security and preservation” for same-sex couples.

Read the full piece here »

Quinn on Frozen Embryo Donation


In "What Parents Should Know About Frozen Embryo Donation," a recent 8News Investigates piece, Colleen Quinn commented on this relatively new infertility solution.

"The embryo field still generally refers to the combination of two gametes that is the egg and sperm. Most of our state laws consider gametes to be property and property gets donated. It doesn’t get adopted."

Quinn urges couples considering embryo donation to make sure there’s a legal contract.

"The parties need to have a very clear cut release on any parental rights,” states Quinn.

Watch or read the full piece at WRIC.com »

New Quinn Presentation Available: “Assisted Reproductive Technology Contracts: Drafting Fundamentals”


From the course description: “Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) contracts include extremely complex and sensitive issues that prompt a number of drafting concerns for attorneys. In her third installment on ART, Colleen Quinn returns to guide attorneys through the important considerations surrounding ART contract drafting.  Ms. Quinn will provide an extensive road map that incorporates specific structural techniques that will help demystify the ART contract.  In addition, she will provide practical examples and sample contract provisions to assist practitioners in drafting provisions covering everything from pre-screening representations, physical exams & psychological evaluations to labor notification, breaches and remedies.  Do not miss this thorough examination of ART contract drafting that both new and seasoned practitioners in the field will appreciate.”

Quinn Helps Craft Bill to Make Adoption Easier for Same-sex Couples in Virginia


Two bills hoping to make second parent adoption easier for couples in Virginia, including same-sex couples, are headed to the 2014 General Assembly.

The language of the bill has been a large part of Equality Virginia’s legislative schedule for this session. While EV is holding comments on the bill till next week, one of the legal experts that helped draft the bill, Richmond lawyer and adoption expert Colleen Queen, responded to questions about the bill via email.

“Given the recent US Supreme Court decisions, the incoming Democratic Virginia governance, the polls that show a shift in people’s opinions and the recent changes in other states,” said Quinn. “I think the timing is good to get this started even if it does not pass this year – it gets the attempt rolling.”

Read more »

“Adopting Through an Adoption Lawyer”: Radio Show Featuring Quinn


Hear Colleen Quinn and other leading adoption attorneys interviewed concerning:

  • What is the adoption process in the US when adopting a baby through an adoption attorney?
  • How do you find an adoption attorney?
  • Who finds the prospective birth mothers?
  • What questions should you ask before hiring?
  • And much more

Listen now »

GayRVA.com: “Two-Mom Births Give Hope in New York, But Virginia Still Behind”


Though fertility treatments across the country have started to practice a “two-mom” approach which would allow female same-sex couples to share a role in the biological process, laws around same-sex marriage and parenting are making it difficult for states like Virginia to recognize both women as the parents.

“In New York they have same-sex marriage and they have same-sex adoption, we don’t have any of that here,” said Colleen Quinn, director and equity owner in the law firm of Locke & Quinn in Richmond. “We have to settle for second best.”

“Basically in Virginia, right now, we cannot get both genetic mom and gestational mom on the birth certificate,” Quinn said. “Genetic mom is the one that contributes her egg, she does not donate, she contributes to the gestational mom. The gestational mom carries the egg with donor sperm, known or unknown.”

Read more »

The New York Times: “Alimony for Your Eggs”


THE end of a marriage is always sad, but divorce can be particularly devastating for a woman who still wants children but whose fertility is on the decline. Her ex may have many years left to start a new family of his own, but by the time she meets a new partner, it may be too late.

Read more »

GayRVA.com: “Adoption, Parenting Not an Easy Step for Virginia’s Same-sex Couples”


Raising a child is a major step in a relationship that couples have taken for thousands of years. For some families, adoption is the best opportunity to take part in this aspect of life due to physical or biological restraints.

Many same-sex couples wishing to start a family have turned to adoption, but laws restricting adoption to heterosexual couples continually make it harder for children to go to loving same-sex homes.

Currently, marriage in Virginia is defined by a man and a woman. As explained by adoption attorney Colleen Marea Quinn, Esq., “adoption in Virginia by statute must be by a married couple…or by a single person.”

Read more »

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