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Speakers

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio (the Netherlands), a lawyer by education, was appointed as UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in May 2014.  She is also President of the European Federation for Missing and Exploited Children (“Missing Children Europe”). Throughout her professional career, Maud has focussed on children’s human rights. In 1969, she joined the Council of Europe where she worked in different capacities in the human rights protection mechanism set up under the European Convention on Human Rights. In 1998, she was elected Deputy Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights. Between 2002 and 2012, she served as Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the first woman elected to this post.  In that capacity she spearheaded three Council of Europe key Conventions, namely, the Convention on action against trafficking in human beings, the Convention on the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. 

In her capacity as UN Special Rapporteur she dedicated  thematic reports to, inter alia, vulnerabilities of children to sale, trafficking and other forms of exploitation in situations of conflict and humanitarian crises;  sexual exploitation of children and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); illegal adoptions, and commercial surrogacy and the sale of children. She intends to present her 2019 thematic report to the UN General Assembly on "Safeguards for the Protection of the Rights of the Child in the Context of Surrogacy Arrangements”.

Anatol Dutta

DuttaAnatol Dutta is Professor in private law, private international law and comparative law at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. Previously, he was Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law in Hamburg (2003–2014) and Professor at the University of Regensburg (2014–2017).

In 2009, he was a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge. He regularly teaches as a guest lecturer at foreign universities, for example at the Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań in Poland (since 2005), at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria (2007), at Kyushu University Fukuoka in Japan (2012), at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (EUCN Visiting Fellow 2013) and at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (2015). Anatol is a member of the editorial board of the Zeitschrift für das gesamte Familienrecht (FamRZ), the leading family law journal for practitioners and academics in Germany. He has a special interest in family and succession law, from a private international law as well as a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.

Wilma Eusman

Wilma EusmanWilma Eusman studied at the Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and graduated in Civil Law and in International Law in 1980. She became a Clerk at the District Court of Amsterdam in the Family Division and in the Division of the Court’s President. She was sworn in as a lawyer in 1987 and has been a partner at Advocatenkantoor De Binnenstad in Amsterdam since then. Her areas of expertise were immigration and asylum law as well as family law.

In the last two decades Wilma became specialized in legal aspects concerning children born in non-traditional families, ie children of lesbian and gay couples and children born via ART. She also speaks at conferences and meetings regarding this topic, in The Netherlands as well as abroad. She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law, Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee, and a member of the Euro LTBG Family Law Institute. From 2014 to 2016 she was a member of the Government Committee on the Reassessment of Parenthood. This Commission advised the Dutch Government on new regulations regarding multiple parenthood, custody and surrogacy.

Claire Fenton-Glynn

Fenton-GlynnClaire is a University Lecturer and Fellow in Law at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. She specialises in human rights and the protection of children, in particular focusing on issues such as intercountry adoption, international surrogacy, and cross-border child protection, as well as children's rights under the European Court of Human Rights. At the core of this research is the interaction between international and regional human rights instruments and domestic law, and the way in which these frameworks can be used to implement children's rights. Her first book, "Children's Rights in Intercountry Adoption" was awarded the Inner Temple Book Prize for New Authors, as well as the Faculty of Law's Yorke Prize.

Claire has worked as a consultant on issues concerning child protection, human rights, and rule of law with organisations such as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union, Save the Children and Avocats sans Frontières. She is the co-editor of ‘Eastern and Western Perspectives on Surrogacy’ which will be published in 2019.’

Robynne Friedman

Robynne FriedmanRobynne Friedman is a surrogacy law specialist practitioner in the Republic of South Africa, practising for her own account. Robynne has assisted in excess of four hundred parents with the legal and procedural aspects of surrogacy in the RSA. She has been involved in leading surrogacy cases that have culminated in legal precedents in RSA. Robynne is a mother through surrogacy and through her personal experience has been able to assist her clients on a highly personal level. Robynne has founded a Non- Profit Organisation which offers support and advice to infertile persons and surrogate mothers on all aspects of surrogacy.

Robynne has been involved in the first constitutional court case involving surrogacy in the RSA in an attempt to broaden the interpretation of the genetic link requirement of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Robynne has presented papers on the working practical aspects of surrogacy at local and international family law conferences. Robynne has spoken at Reproductive medicine conferences and embryologist meetings locally. Robynne has spoken extensively to the media on the subject of surrogacy in attempt to educate the population on surrogacy in an endeavour to remove cultural taboos surrounding the practice of surrogacy in the RSA.

Robynne offers support and guidance to the Reproductive Medicine Clinics in RSA on the legalities of surrogacy and gamete donation.

Erika Fuchs

Erika FuchsErika Fuchs, PhD, MPH, is a former gestational carrier who delivered twins in the US in 2006. Professionally, she is an assistant professor in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch. As a social and behavioral epidemiologist and expert in women's and children's health, she studies associations between maternal behaviors and perinatal and pediatric health outcomes. Erika led a study of gestational carriers to examine clinical and psychological screening experiences and pregnancy outcomes.

Susan Golombok

Susan GolombokSusan Golombok is Professor of Family Research and Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge. She has pioneered research on lesbian mother families, gay father families, single mothers by choice and families created by assisted reproductive technologies including in vitro fertilisation (IVF), donor insemination, egg donation and surrogacy. This research has contributed to ethical debate on new family forms and has influenced policy and legislation in the UK and internationally. Her prize-winning book Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms was published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press.

Lopamudra Goswami

Lopamudra GoswamiLopamudra Goswami is an Indian research scholar currently pursuing her doctoral studies at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Australia. Her research area over the last 4 years has been with Indian surrogate mothers in Gujarat. Her doctoral work is also an extension of the same and she is now working at building a community based mental health model for the surrogate mothers.

Lopamudra has had extensive teaching experience at several masters programs in Bangalore, India prior to moving to Australia. She has field experience of being with the mothers, interacting with them and knowing them beyond the realms of being surrogates.

Alexandra Harland

Alexandra HarlandAlexandra Harland is a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, sitting in the family law jurisdiction. She has a keen interest in legal education. In 2008 she was a part-time taught lecturer, teaching undergraduate family law at the University of Sydney. From 2008 to 2012 she was a part-time lecturer teaching family law for the Diploma in Law awarded by the Legal Profession Admission Board. She has also written and presented family law papers on a variety of topics. She is on the editorial board of the Family Law Review Journal. She was the editor of the international family law section of the Family Law Review Journal from 2010 until 2015.

Since her appointment to Court in 2013 she has continued to give regular presentations to the legal profession and others working in the family law system, including organising legal education sessions at the Darwin and Melbourne registries of the Court. She has been on the Federal Circuit Court’s judicial education committee since 2014, and the chair of that committee since 2017.

Judge Harland is a member of various professional organisations. She is the president elect of the Australian Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and a member of international committee of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is a member of the International Committee of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (United States of America). She is also a committee member of the Australian Women Judges Association.

Belinda van Heerden

Belinda van HeerdenBelinda van Heerden served as a Judge of the Cape High Court from 2000 to 2004. She was thereafter appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa where she served until her retirement in 2013. She also served as an acting Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 2006. During her 14 years on the Bench, she heard and decided many and varied family and child law cases, including international matters and forum disputes. She also represented South Africa on the International Hague Network of Judges from 2008 to 2014.

Prior to her appointment to the Bench, she graduated from Oxford University in 1984 and became a leading academic at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town, specialising in family law and child law. She has authored several books on child and family law and has published numerous articles in these areas. From 1997 to 1999 she led the South African Law Reform Commission team that researched and drafted a new and revolutionary Children’s Act for South Africa. She also practised as a director of a law firm for four years.

Since her retirement, Belinda van Heerden lectures regularly in advanced family law. She is an Honorary Professor of several South African universities and an Honorary Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford University. She still publishes regularly in the field of international family law. She is a member of the International Society of Family Law and the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates.

Nick Hopkins

HopkinsProfessor Nick Hopkins is Law Commissioner for Property, Family and Trust Law at the Law Commission of England and Wales. He is the Commission’s lead for the review of surrogacy law. His other family law projects have included the Enforcement of Family Financial Orders.

Prior to taking up appointment at the Commission in 2015 Nick had a career as an academic for over twenty years, holding appointments at the universities of Durham, Southampton and Reading. He retains a Chair in Law at Reading University.

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, QC (Hon)

HutchinsonAnne-Marie was admitted in 1985 and in 1998 joined Dawson Cornwell, one of the UK’s leading family law firms, as Head of the Children Department. She is consistently named as one of the leading family lawyers in London in both Chambers and The Legal 500 and is singled out as a “star individual” in Chambers for cross-border disputes.

Anne-Marie is a Partner at Dawson Cornwell. She specialises in all aspects of domestic and international family law, the international movement of children, forced marriage, international adoption and surrogacy.

UNICEF Child Rights Lawyer award 1999. An OBE for services to international child abduction and adoption, 2002 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. 2004 selected as Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year. 2010 IBA Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award. 2011 IKWRO True Honour Award. 2012 an “Albert” by the Albert Kennedy Trust. Jordans International Family Lawyer of the Year 2012. IAFL President’s Medal, 2014. Appointed Queens Counsel honoris causa, 2016. An honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Leeds, 2016.

Immediate past Parliamentarian of IAFL, chair of the Board of Trustees of Reunite: International Child Abduction Centre. Past chair of IBA Women’s Lawyers’ Interest Group. A Founding Fellow of the International Surrogacy Forum. Founding Member of the UK LGBT Family Law Institute. Fellow of American Academy of Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys. Co-chair IAFL Surrogacy and ARTS Committee. Member of the National Commission on Forced Marriage (House of Lords). Panel member of the Government Review of Sharia Law in England and Wales.

Courtney Joslin

Courtney JoslinCourtney Joslin is a Professor of Law and Martin Luther King Jr. Research Scholar at UC Davis School of Law. Professor Joslin is a leading expert in the areas of family and relationship recognition, with a particular focus is on same-sex and unmarried couples. Professor Joslin served as the Reporter for the Uniform Parentage Act (2017). A product of the U.S. Uniform Law Commission, the UPA (2017) addresses the parentage of children born through surrogacy arrangements as well as the ability of children conceived through assisted reproduction to access information about their gamete providers.

Professor Joslin's publications have appeared in the Boston University Law Review, the Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Indiana Law Journal, the Iowa Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal Forum, among other sources. She is a co-author (with William N. Eskridge Jr. & Nan D. Hunter) of the textbook--Sexuality, Gender, and the Law. She is also co-author (with Shannon P. Minter & Catherine Sakimura) of a leading treatise--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Family Law.

Sital Kalantry

Sital KalantrySital Kalantry is a Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the International Human Rights Policy Advocacy Clinic, and Co-Director of the Migration and Human Rights Program at Cornell Law School. She is an expert in international human rights and her scholarship focuses on gender and education rights, particularly within the context of India and the United States. In her book, Women’s Human Rights and Migration, she uses empirical, comparative, and critical race studies approaches to critique the legislative process and mainstream discourse regarding sex-selective abortion bans in the United States.

Her writings have been published in top peer-reviewed and American and international journals, including the Human Rights Quarterly, the National Law Journal, and the Stanford Journal of International Law, and the Nordic Journal of Human Rights.

Kalantry has been invited to deliver numerous talks and presentations around the world. She has received many awards and grants for her work, including a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholar grant to conduct research in India on the Indian Supreme Court and helping to secure a $1.5 million dollar grant to establish a center focused on women and justice.

She serves as a peer-reviewer for several human rights journals and is on the editorial board of the Jindal Global Law Review and the Maharashtra National University Law Review. Kalantry is a member of the lawyers advisory committee of Peace Brigades International and served on the International Human Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She is fluent in Hindi and conversant in Spanish.

Rachel Kapila

KapilaRachel is a mother of twins who were born through host surrogacy. She is a member of Surrogacy UK. She is also a practising criminal barrister.

 

 

 

The Mennesson family

The Mennesson family, whose surrogacy journey in the USA has resulted in a 19-year battle to secure the recognition of their family in France. In 2006, they created Association Clara, which now has over 2000 members. This association defends all children born through surrogacy and promotes legalization of Surrogacy in France.

Caroline Mecary

Caroline Mecary Caroline Mecary is an attorney, member of the Bar of Paris since 1991. In 1993, she established her own law firm devoted to all sorts of families’ rights.

She was the first French attorney to defend homoparental families. In this field, she obtained some great success before both national and international courts such as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Hence, she allowed a lesbian to have the right to adopt (ECHR, 22 January 2008, E.B c/ France). She enabled children resulting for a surrogacy to have their birth certificate transcribed by the French registry office (ECHR, 21 July 2016, Foulon & Bouvet c/ France; ECHR, 19 July 2017, Laborie c/ France). She also obtained the right for a same-sex couple to enter in a civil partnership (ECHR, 7 November 2013, Vallianatos c/ Greece).

Amy M. Pellman

PellmanAmy M. Pellman, is a Superior Court Judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court and is assigned to preside over family cases and is the only judge in Los Angeles who presides over surrogacy cases. She has handled surrogacy cases since 2014, and has been instrumental in passing local laws to streamline court process. Judge Pellman’s affirmed decision in CM.v. M.C. 7 Cal.App.5th 1188 (2017) is one of few published decisions on surrogacy law in California.

Judge Pellman is a featured speaker at numerous conferences and law schools. She regularly teaches at local law schools and has numerous publications on issues related to children and poverty. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Pellman dedicated her career to working on behalf of children living poverty. She was recently honored by the American Academy of Matrimonial lawyers for Southern California as the “Distinguished Judicial Officer of the Year.” Judge Pellman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Mount Holyoke College and a Juris Doctorate from City University of New York Law School. She was admitted to both the California and New York Bars before being appointed to the bench.

Colin Rogerson

RogersonColin Rogerson is a Solicitor Advocate and Senior Associate at Dawson Cornwell. He has a background in children law but much of his practice is focussed on the law relating to surrogacy and parentage following assisted reproduction. His work in this specialist field has been recognised by both the Chambers UK Guide and the Legal 500, where he is described as "an unsung hero both domestically and internationally particularly in the area of surrogacy, parentage and assisted reproduction." He has represented intended parents, surrogates, and surrogate-born children in parental order proceedings before the Family Courts in England & Wales and has appeared in a number of reported decisions in this field. Colin is an active international member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law, Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee and is the only lawyer from Europe on the ART Executive Council. He is also an ART Fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys and a member of the UK’s LGBT Family Law Institute.

Jens Scherpe

ScherpeDr Jens M. Scherpe is Reader in Comparative Law at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong and Honorary Professor at the University of Aalborg. He also is an Honorary Fellow of St. John's College/Hong Kong and an Academic Door Tenant at Queen Elizabeth Building, London. Before coming to Cambridge, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg/Germany. He specialises in comparative law and particularly comparative family law. Jens has held visiting positions in many institutions, including the University of Sydney, the University of Auckland, Queen Mary University of London, the University of Vienna and the Catholic University of Leuven.

Jens' publications include major comparative studies on cohabitants, same-sex relationships, the legal status of transgender and transsexual persons, the legal status of intersex persons, the future of registered partnerships and marital agreements. In 2016 he edited a four volume book set on European Family Law, including a monograph on ‘The Present and Future of European Family Law'. He is the co-editor of ‘Eastern and Western Perspectives on Surrogacy’ which will be published in 2019.

Julia Sloth-Nielsen

SlothProfessor Julia Sloth-Nielsen holds a chair at the Faculty of Law, University of the Western cape, and a chair in children's rights in the developing world a the University of Leiden. She has published widely on various aspects of children's rights and family law, and contributed to law reform in many southern and eastern African countries.

In South Africa, she was a member of the project committee of the South Africa Law Reform Commission that prepared the Children's Act 38 of 2005 and the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. She has recently published on aspects of surrogacy in South Africa.

Steven H. Snyder

SnyderSteven H. Snyder, Esq. is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, LLC, in Maple Grove, Minnesota. He is also the Director of the International Assisted Reproduction Center, LLC, a U.S. surrogacy and egg donation agency.

Mr Snyder is a member of the American Bar Association and previous Chair of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee of the Family Law Section. Mr. Snyder is a frequent national and international speaker on assisted reproductive technology topics.

Mrs Justice Lucy Theis DBE

Mrs Justice Lucy Theis DBEThe former chair of the Family Law Bar Association, Mrs Justice Lucy Theis, was appointed to be a High Court Judge in 2010.

Mrs Justice Theis DBE, was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1982 and took Silk in 2003. She was appointed a Recorder in 2000 and was approved to sit as a deputy High Court Judge. She was head of Field Court Chambers until 2010.

She was appointed a Family Division Liaison Judge on the South Eastern Circuit in 2011 with responsibility for Kent, Surrey and Sussex and in 2017 for London and Thames Valley. In 2018 she was appointed Senior Family Liaison Judge. She sits on the Family Procedure Rules Committee and the Family Justice Council and is the lead judge in relation to applications under the HFEA 2008.

Richard Vaughn

VaughnRichard Vaughn is a parent via surrogacy and egg donation and is the founding principal of International Fertility Law Group, a law practice focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technologies (ART). He also Chaired the American Bar Association ART Committee from 2013-2018, developing education for ART attorneys, model legislation for governance of U.S. ART providers, and guidelines for international surrogacy, parentage and citizenship rights. He contributes his time, expertise and leadership abilities in supporting ART advocacy organizations, including ASRM, and the Family Equality Council. He has presented at numerous legal and family-building conferences around the world, on television and radio shows, and in addition to a published book on developing an ART law practice, he has been published in numerous professional journals.

Michael Wells-Greco

Michael Wells-GrecoDr Michael Wells-Greco LLM, TEP, Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys (Geneva and London) and Assistant Professor, Maastricht University

Michael is a civil and common law trained and practising lawyer. He specialises in all aspects of family law and the international movement of children, including child protection, adoption, fertility law and co-parenting agreements. In addition to his practice, Michael is an Assistant Professor at Maastricht University and is a consultant lawyer to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and to International Social Services. In 2018, Michael was shortlisted for International Family Lawyer of the Year (Jordans, UK).

Debra Wilson

Debra WilsonDebra Wilson is an Associate Professor in Law at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. She specialises in medical law, with a particular focus on issues of regulation where there is an overlap with commercial or contract law.

Debra has been a Erskine Visiting Fellow at Oxford University (2012), a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University (2014), a Visiting Researcher at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva (2014), and an Erskine Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge (2016). She is currently the Principal Investigator of a project entitled 'Rethinking Surrogacy Laws', funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation.