A gestational carrier (GC) is a woman who volunteers to carry a pregnancy for someone who cannot otherwise carry a pregnancy for herself (someone who has had her uterus removed due to health problems, or someone who has a non functional uterus).
A gestational carrier (GC) is not a traditional “surrogate”, as a surrogate is someone who donates her egg and then subsequently carries the child. In the case of a gestational carrier, the woman carrying the pregnancy is in no way biologically or genetically related to the child she is carrying- she is merely providing a nurturing environment in the form of a uterus for the child to grow for the gestational period of 40 weeks. The eggs and sperm are derived from the “intended parents” (or egg donor, or sperm donor), through the process of In Vitro Fertilization, fertilized in the lab, and then the embryo (or embryos) are placed into the uterus of the gestational carrier.
Using a gestational carrier is a much more involved process than even egg or sperm donation. In addition to the medical process each woman must adhere to a proper surrogacy arrangement. It is a complex legal contract involving responsibilities, and expenses. This should be handled by a lawyer who specializes in third-party reproductive law. Many times, undocumented surrogacy “favors” are carried out by friends or family members to great satisfaction and success. But more often now, they are handled by agencies which specialize in surrogate arrangements. An agency will also provide proper psychological and medical screening that is critical to a successful surrogacy.
Melissa Brisman, JD – REPRODUCTIVE POSSIBILITIES, LLC
Melissa B. Brisman graduated Valedictorian from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. She is an attorney admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and is a licensed certified public accountant.
Melissa first started helping couples become parents in 1996. Actually, she was her own first client, guiding and directing the process in which she and her husband, Dan, became parents of twin boys carried by a gestational carrier. A few years later, they had a daughter carried by another gestational carrier. Life experience has made her uniquely qualified; as a mother she understands the emotions and concerns involved in creating a family and, as a lawyer, she fights for the rights of intended parents. She has successfully won many landmark cases in this field.
Melissa Brisman owns Reproductive Possibilities (“RP”) (www.reproductivepossibilities.com) a company dedicated to matching intended parents with gestational carriers. RP offers a personal touch that can only come from their 20 years of experience and the support of an excellent team. This knowledge and dedication have allowed RP to help with the birth of almost two hundred babies each year and over 2,000 babies in total. Melissa regularly appears on news programs and is interviewed for articles, radio and television programs worldwide. Visit RP’s YouTube channel to see some of Ms. Brisman’s appearances; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS8F-y3H2OLyxo6OvJCpdig
Melissa is considered a true pioneer who advocates for changes in the law and lectures to physicians, potential parents, universities, and lawyers around the world. In 2010 Melissa was invited to Taiwan to assist the government in drafting surrogacy legislation.
Since 2012, Melissa joined government officials and other attorneys in lobbying for legislation in New Jersey to promote and regulate compensated surrogacy. In May 2018 these efforts were realized when NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Act.
Melissa is a professional member of Resolve, Path2Parenthood, the American Bar Association-Family Law Section-Reproductive and Genetic Technology Committee (ABA), the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAARTA).
Melissa was the recipient of the 2017 Path2Parenthood Advocacy Award, the 2015 Infertility Hero Award and the 2004 Star of Resolve Award. She is a chapter author of Reproductive Medicine Secrets by Zev Rosenwaks, Fertility Preservation in Male Cancer Patients by John P. Mulhall, and Principles of Oocyte and Embryo Donation by Mark V. Sauer.
Please contact RP for more information:
Reproductive Possibilities, LLC and Surrogate Fund Management, LLC
One Paragon Drive, Suite 160
Montvale, NJ 07645
Yifat Shaltiel, Esq.
Yifat is owner of Surrogate Steps (www.surrogatesteps.com), a Surrogate Mother Program, and the founding attorney of Shaltiel Law Group. Yifat has been an attorney for over ten years and specializes in reproductive law, adoption law, and estate law. In addition to coordinating the surrogacy process and working closely with gestational surrogates and intended parents, Yifat drafts and negotiates reproductive law contracts including surrogacy and gestational carrier agreements, co-parenting agreements, and egg donor, sperm donor, and embryo donor contracts. Yifat also analyzes health insurance plans in surrogacy arrangements, obtains birth orders, amends birth certificates, and finalizes adoptions.
In addition to publishing numerous articles on reproductive law, Yifat has been featured as a reproductive law expert at various venues, including media news outlets such as MSNBC and Fox News. Yifat has also given lectures on reproductive law including at Cornell University and the Women’s Bar Association (FLWBA).
Yifat is admitted to practice law in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and is affiliated with the following organizations:
- American Bar Association-Family Law Section (ABA)
- Assisted Reproductive & Genetic Technology Committee (ABA)
- Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)
- Reproductive Health Law Committee (WBASNY)
- Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association (FLWBA)
- New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
- Tompkins County Bar Association (TCBA)
- Estate Planning Council of Tompkins County
Yifat received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota where she was awarded a scholarship and a J.D. from New York Law School where she received high honors for her legal writing skills and legal publication.