What Is Assisted Reproductive Technology?

If you have considered fertility treatment, you should consult an assisted reproductive technology attorney. Many people use assisted reproductive technology (ART) to conceive and give birth to a child. However, ART has many legal challenges that should be considered. Call Law Offices of Rick D. Banks at (559) 222-4891.


What Is Assisted Reproductive Technology?


ART is defined by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as fertility treatments that involve handling of both sperm and eggs. This includes an array of methods that may help a person have a child, including:


  • Surrogacy – A gestational carrier may be used to carry the embryo of a couple
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection – This involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg. The resulting embryos may be implanted into a uterus or cryogenically frozen.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF) – This involves the collection of both eggs and sperm, which are then introduced into a culture dish in a laboratory. If fertilization occurs, then the resulting embryos may be implanted in a uterus or preserved for later use.


Other ART methods may include intrauterine insemination (IUI), freezing sperm and eggs, and the use of donor eggs, sperm, or embryos.


Common Legal Issues Involving ART


Because ART can involve more than one couple wanting to conceive, there are many legal issues that can arise. Common challenges include:


  • Disputes over who owns the unused eggs, sperm, or embryos
  • Parental and custody rights for same sex or unmarried partners
  • Child custody issues with a surrogate or donor
  • Contract disputes
  • Negligence claims against fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies


Many states do not have laws specifically addressing ART. Thus, the court must interpret often archaic laws surrounding new age technology. Federal laws do not address family law issues, so only states laws are used to address ART and related disputes.


Get an Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorney to Protect Your Rights


When dealing with ART-related issues, you should speak with an attorney who can guide you through the complex laws. A skilled lawyer can help you:


  • Draft comprehensive surrogacy agreements
  • File a petition for a birth order determining legal parentage
  • Create prenuptial and other contracts regarding sperm, eggs, and embryos
  • Keep you updated on ART laws
  • Provide legal advice regarding ART and your rights


Fertility clinics and agencies will force you to sign contracts, often relieving them of any fault if something goes wrong. You should consult with an attorney before you engage in ART so that you know your rights and understand the process going forward if there is a dispute.


Call an Attorney Today


The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can help you with assisted reproductive technology and related issues. We have handled ART issues for our clients since the science formed. If you have questions about your rights and what you should do in your specific situation, call us today at (559) 222-4891.


How to Establish Paternity in California

How to Establish Paternity in California Fresno Paternity LawyerPaternity must be legally established in order to determine who should be providing financial child support or who should have child custody and visitation rights. Read below to find out more about how to establish paternity in California.

Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?

Advantages to establishing paternity include:

  • Identification of both parents through legal documentation
  • Putting the name of both parents on the birth certificate
  • Providing access to family medical records and history
  • Health and life insurance coverage from both parents
  • Inheritance rights from either parent
  • Rights to social security or veteran’s benefits
  • Ability of the father to sign releases and permission forms for the child

When a Couple Is Married

The court will assume that the husband of the mother is the father of a child unless parentage is contested within the first two years of a child’s life. If another man impregnates a married woman, he has rights to establish paternity within those first two years. In some cases, a court may favor a stable marriage over a father’s biological ties to the child. A man who has a child with a married woman risks not being part of the child’s life. The husband of a woman who has given birth can also ask for a paternity test regardless of the child’s age.

When a Couple Is Not Married

If a man has been living with a child in a family-like situation, and has shown commitment to that child, he may be assumed to be the father. If there is no family-type relationship established, a paternity test is necessary for the court to issue child support, custody, and visitation orders.

When the Man and Woman Agree on Parentage

If both parties agree on parentage, they can establish paternity by signing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP) form. To be valid, it must be signed by both parents. It may be signed at the hospital or at a later date. If a birth certificate has already been issued, a new one may be created with the father’s name on it. Once the VDP is signed, a father has visitation, legal and physical custody rights, and financial responsibilities.

Establishing Paternity Through the Court

Parentage may be established through the court at the request of either parent. However, this process can be more complex and time-consuming than a voluntary acceptance of paternity. In California, the following people have legal standing to obtain a paternity order:

  • Child’s mother (or the mother of an unborn child)
  • Man who believes he is the father
  • Adoption agency
  • Child support agency
  • Child who is 12 or older

If a man refuses to cooperate with a paternity process, the court may assume his non-cooperation is evidence of paternity.

The court process will involve the submission of a petition, which legally establishes the facts for the paternity action. A pre-trial hearing will evaluate the situation and determine if a trial is necessary. Genetic testing may be done in order to determine if the man is biologically linked to the child. In the end, a trial may be held so that both sides can present whether or not they feel a man should be considered the father of a child. A court will issue an order regarding paternity as well as the rights and obligations of the father.

Contact a Fresno Paternity Lawyer Today

If you have questions about how to establish paternity in California, contact the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks.

A Paternity Lawyer Can Help You Establish Parentage of Your Child

paternity lawyerAsserting your parental rights may seem daunting – especially without the help of a knowledgeable paternity lawyer. Whether your ties to your child are biological or not, you have parental rights. However, you must first establish your paternity legally.

What Is Paternity?

California interchangeably uses “parentage” and “paternity” in referring to a child’s legal parents. In a paternity case, the court makes an order that establishes who the legal parents are. Once the court establishes you as a legal parent, you are then subject to the rights, obligations and responsibilities for the child.

Establishing Paternity

Establishing paternity means either the government or parents determined the identity of the child’s legal parents. When a couple is married and a child is born into that marriage (or, after January 1, 2005, when a child is born into a same-sex couple who are registered as domestic partners), the law assumes that the married persons or domestic partners are the child’s legal parents. This automatically establishes paternity. However, unmarried persons may need to legally establish a child’s parentage before the biological parent has any legal rights or responsibilities towards that child.

Reasons to Establish Paternity

The biggest reason to establish paternity is for the sake of the child. Not only will the child benefit emotionally from having both parents, but he or she will also have the rights and privileges of those children whose parents are married. These include:

  • Both parents’ financial support
  • Legal documentation identifying parents
  • Access to family medical records and history
  • Covered health and life insurance
  • Right to inherit from either parents
  • Right to receive veterans or social security benefits, if available

Establishing paternity also gives you all the rights and responsibilities of a parent, such as parenting time and financial support for your child.

Once paternity is established, the court can then make orders for health insurance, child support, child custody and/or visitation, name change, reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses, and reunification services (services to help you get your child back into your care). An experienced paternity lawyer review your case and guide you through the paternity process.

There have been instances in California where the court recognizes that a child has more than two parents, usually when the child would be hurt if additional parents were not legally recognized. A paternity lawyer can help you navigate complicated parentage laws to help you understand the details of your circumstances.

How to Establish Paternity

There are two ways to establish paternity:

  1. Signing a Declaration of Paternity – both parents must voluntarily sign this governmental form, establishing them as the legal parents of the child.
  2. Obtaining a court order establishing paternity.

If a biological father denies paternity, the court may order genetic testing of the mother, child and alleged father. Unmarried or unregistered same-sex couples could also establish paternity by proving that they intended to be the child’s parents and they behaved like the child’s parents.

Speak to a Paternity Lawyer

A seasoned paternity lawyer with the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can review your situation and help you throughout the paternity process. Call (559) 222-4891 today.

The Path to Establishing Paternity in California

Establishing Paternity in CaliforniaIn the state of California, when a married couple has a baby, the father is automatically assumed to be the legal guardian. This is also true for domestic partner parents: the law automatically considers the father in the relationship the biological father. However, what happens when the relationship is not so clear-cut? What happens when a father is not present at the birth, the couple is married but the child is not biologically related to the father, or the couple is simply not married at the time of the birth? What options do mothers and couples have to ensure their child will receive the support s/he needs in the coming years?

Fortunately there are a number of options to firmly establishing paternity in California of a child. Depending on the circumstances, you may need legal assistance to accomplish your goals. But rest assured, help is available no matter what.

First, if a couple is unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, California state law requires both individuals to voluntarily sign a Declaration of Paternity at the hospital, a local child support agency (LCSA), or a birth registrar. This effectively establishes the father as a biological relation to the child and finalizes the birth certificate. Continue reading