The College of Law’s Schiller DuCanto & Fleck Family Law Center hosted its first Lunch & Learn event of the year on Thursday, September 24. The Center was pleased to host Dean Rosato Perea as the speaker for the inaugural Lunch & Learn, which focused on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Law. The dean started out by giving a quick primer on ART, including statistics on the number and success rate of ART cycles per year. She then explained how family law, which was developed to address traditional heterosexual couples, has evolved over time in response to collaborative reproduction. This area of law is fascinating because it involves an intersection of constitutional law, contract law, and tort law. Unfortunately, the law has not kept pace with the rapid changes in collaborative reproduction.
The dean focused on three seminal ART cases to illustrate this point. The cases included In re Marriage of Buzzanca, In re Baby M, and Johnson v. Calvert. In all three of these cases, the courts faced an issue of first impression as to who was the lawful parent of a child carried by a traditional or gestational surrogate. In all three cases, the courts looked to the parties’ intent in making this determination. In addition to these three cases, the dean discussed Illinois’s surrogacy statute and explained that California is the least regulated state when it comes to ART.
The dean’s presentation was both interesting and engaging and provided the students with an excellent introduction to this dynamic and complex area of law. The Family Law Center looks forward to hosting additional Lunch & Learn events throughout the year. Its next event is a Family Law Practice Panel on Thursday, October 29 where students can speak directly with family law alumni in both the private and public sector.