Assistant Stephanie Kippen and attorney Greg Masler attended the spring SEEDS conference held at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, California. With record attendance, this conference saw attendees representing all areas of the world of assisted reproduction, from law firms, to agencies, to IVF clinics. Although we enjoy all of the third party reproductive conferences out there, we really like this once since it is typically very local to us, and it’s still convenient for our colleagues coming from the Los Angeles and San Diego areas.
While the agenda had many interesting topics, we especially enjoyed some of the cutting-edge discussions regarding consumer genetic testing (such as 23 & me and Ancestry.com), newborn health insurance, and the ethics of egg banking. We heard from attorneys, doctors, psychological professionals, insurance specialists, and agency representatives. Each speaker did a great job sharing their knowledge on the various topics, and we came away from the conference with a little more knowledge than we did before.
But we didn’t just absorb information, we also helped educate the crowd by speaking on the panel called “Escrow Is Your Friend: Best Practices for Escrow Companies.” As Stephanie developed our firm’s policies and procedures regarding all escrow accounts for donor matches, she was chosen to join Adam Winder from SeedTrust Escrow and Rita Lister from Allison McCloskey, each representing a reputable bonded escrow company. The panel’s goal was to provide guidance to agencies when selecting an escrow company or law firm to be escrow holder for their Intended Parents. The panel covered disbursement of payments, forming collaborative relationships between the escrow holder and agency, security of accounts, and the importance of maintaining escrow accounts with a third party, which gives surrogates greater security that they will be paid (and it’s the law in California). The panel elicited many questions from the attendees, and provided further food for thought as everyone in the third party reproductive world navigates through egg donor and surrogacy arrangements all over the country.
Overall, the SEEDS conference is worth attending for anyone who operates in the third party reproductive world, as it provides a great atmosphere to re-connect with current colleagues and to meet new ones. At lunch, roundtable discussions allow everyone to express thoughts and ask questions in a small group setting to initiate conversations between one another. Usually the food isn’t too bad either! Stephanie met with numerous case managers, attorneys and paralegals, such as Jennifer White from Colorado Surrogacy and Anna Lee Hicks from Alternative Conceptions Today, LLC.