Growing SEEDS


By Thomas H. Yau

As the SEEDS Conference wrapped up on April 2, 2022, at the Avenue of the Arts in Costa Mesa, I permitted myself for brief indulgence into reflecting my time as an attorney. I have been working in the Assisted Reproductive Technology industry for over four years since starting as an assistant, what have I not seen? The truth is, a lot has yet to be seen and learnt.

Industry professionals consisting of Professors, Agency Coordinators, Attorneys, and Physicians attended this long-awaited event. The first presentation by Professor Susan Golombok at the University of Cambridge on the topic of ART and its impact on familial relationships absolutely opened my mind and broadened my perspectives. Are children conceived and born through ART any different than those born in traditional families? Professor Golombok’s studies and research spanning over a decade provided me with fascinating insights into the post-birth world of ART.

Shortly following Professor Golombok’s presentation of her studies, the next panel consisted of speaker who was conceived through egg donation. His personal opinions about how egg donation has shaped his life added colors to Professor Golombok’s studies. Having the opportunity to hear from an actual donor conceived could not have been more authentic.

As the conference progressed, I constantly thought, I did not think of that, oh that was a good point. As an attorney, I may have thought I know most there are relevant to ART, but that was naïve of me. The ART field is like a horde of buffalos running towards a destination in unison, but the few stray ones that go off course may breach this uniformity. Perhaps, it is never about the uniformity that we strive for. It is simply impossible to ensure industry practices will be uniform, but we can work together towards the same goal, the same destination. I believe this is what makes SEEDS a valuable collaborative effort in setting the right industry standards.

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