Now loading.
Please wait.

menu

Cleveland: 216-696-4441

Columbus: 614-224-4411

Z&R Press

News / PublicationsPressCleveland Jewish News, Nov 21, 2017
News / PublicationsPressCleveland Jewish News, Nov 21, 2017

Press and Media

Cleveland Jewish News
International residence case moves to US Supreme Court
June 21, 2019

Hollywood Life
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson’s Custody Case Could Get ‘Very Messy’: Lawyer Explains
February 27, 2019

2018 Ohio Super Lawyers
Cleveland family law attorney Andrew Zashin gets a 6th Circuit ruling that brings consistency to cases involving vulnerable children
November 8, 2018

Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Adjunct Professors Zashin, Keating and Reynolds take on path-breaking Hague Convention Case
June 21, 2018

2018 Ohio Super Lawyers
Family law attorney Andrew Zashin asks the 6th Circuit to bring consistency to cases involving vulnerable children
June 19, 2018

Cleveland Jewish News
Landmark international residence case could impact those making aliyah
June 14, 2018

WJR Detroit – Audio Interview
Attorney Andrew Zashin chats with Guy Gordon to discuss the new Illinois law for dogs when parents are getting a divorce.
January 2, 2018

Cleveland Jewish News
Surrogacy, child custody laws develop as cases arise
November 21, 2017

Smart Business Cleveland
2017 Smart Business Family Business Achievement Awards
September 2017

Crain's Cleveland Business
Ohio Employers Confront Marijuana Use
July 22, 2017

Lake View Cemetery Heritage ReView
Trustee Spotlight: Andrew Zashin
Spring 2017

Sports Illustrated
Lane Johnson's Bold Move To Sue His Own Union Is Rare, But Not Unprecedented
January 11, 2017

Law360
Packers Player Drops NFL Drug Suspension Dispute
December 19, 2016

Sports Business Daily
NFL, NFLPA Appoint Das As Third Arbitrator In Michael Pennel Lawsuit
December 5, 2016

Sports Business Journal
Eagles Lineman Challenges NFL and NFLPA in NLRB Filings
December 5, 2016

Law360
Eagles Lineman Says Suspension Violates Federal Labor Law
November 29, 2016

The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt
RTAB #30: Lane Johnson's Legal Team (Audio Interview)
November 29, 2016

Cleveland Jewish News
Ohio Woman Receives Orthodox Divorce Decree
January 14, 2016

BNA's Health Law Reporter
Surprise! The NLRB Says You Just Might Be a 'Joint Employer'
September 24, 2015

BNA's Health Law Reporter
NLRB Adopts New Joint Employer Standard; Ruling Could Affect Health-Care Industry
September 3, 2015

BNA's Health Law Reporter
Challenge to NLRB Election Rule Fails; Employers Urged to Prepare New Game Plan
June 11, 2015

American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law
Member Spotlight: George S. Crisci
April 13, 2015

The Plain Dealer
Attorney Goes To Bat for Northeast Ohio
January 18, 2015

Cleveland Jewish News
Profile on Andrew Zashin
January 15, 2015

"Here and Now" National NPR Show - Audio Interview
In A Divorce, Who Gets To Keep The Dog?
December 4, 2014

Crain's - Article and Video
Zashin & Rich embraces Cleveland roots and rock 'n' roll heritage
November 16, 2014

BNA's Health Law Reporter
Justices Reject NLRB Recess Appointments; Significant Health Care Decisions in Limbo
July 10, 2014

BNA's Health Law Reporter
The EEOC and FTC Turn Up the Heat on Employer Background Checks
April 2014

Crain’s
Zashin & Rich move marks big milestone
for E&Y Tower
November 2013

Cleveland.com
Zashin & Rich law firm leases last full floor of Ernst & Young Tower at Flats East Bank project
November 2013

Associated Press
US Claims Father Illegally Moved Kids to Gaza
May 2012

2012 Ohio Super Lawyers
Mentors | Andrew Zashin: Reminiscing About Robert Zashin
January 2012

CCH Employment Law Daily
NLRB NEWS - Controversy Erupts Over NLRB Recess Appointments
January 2012

Huff Post
Divorce's Impact On Small Businesses Can Be 'Immense'
October 2011

The Today Show - Video
Accused Facebook bigamist heads to court
September 2010

MSNBC
Facebook Busts Accused Bigamist - Woman Finds Her Prince Charming Has Married Another
July 2010

WKYC - Article and Video
Cleveland woman discovers husband's 'other' wife via Facebook
July 2010

Cleveland Jewish News
New custody center in Israel is Zashin’s passion
January 1, 2010

Worth Magazine
Top 100 Attorneys 2007
Andrew Zashin

Inside Business Magazine
Connecting Through Separation
Profile on Andrew Zashin
December 2007

Cleveland Jewish News
Valuing and dividing assets at the time of divorce
By Andrew Zashin, Esq.
February 2007

Case School of Law: In Brief
Plugged into Family, the Law, and Cleveland
Alumni Spotlight on Andrew Zashin
Spring 2005

Cleveland Magazine
The Divorcing Woman’s Best Friend
Feature Article Profiling Andrew Zashin
November 2004

Crain’s
Companies should consider coverage against employee-related claims
By Stephen Zashin | July 2004

Crain’s
ADR programs can save dollars and time
By Stephen Zashin | November 2003

COSE Update: Legal Ease
One Size Does Not Fit All
(Employment Practices Liability Insurance)
By Stephen Zashin

COSE Update: Legal Ease
Noncompete Agreements
By Michele Jakubs

COSE Update: Legal Ease
Ohio's 'Baby COBRA' Law
By Helena Oroz

Cleveland Jewish News

Surrogacy, child custody laws develop as cases arise

Nov 21, 2017 | By Becky Raspe

Child custody and parentage laws are complex in their own right, let alone the complications that arise when a couple brings a surrogate into the situation. The definition of who is a parent can become even fuzzier.

According to Andrew Zashin, co-managing partner at Zashin & Rich in Cleveland and adjunct law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and Jim Lane, partner at Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz LLP in Cleveland, laws pertaining to surrogacy, child custody and parentage develop and become clearer as more cases arise and statutes are written to address complex and novel issues by the state legislature.

“The way the law is, there is not any statutory law, somewhat surprisingly, that directly applies to surrogacy agreements in Ohio,” Lane said.

Zashin, who writes a monthly business column for the Cleveland Jewish News, said, “Life moves faster than the speed of law. Surrogacy, in vitro fertilization and adoption are not new technologies or situations so the law is clearer in relation to them. But complex new technologies are straining our legal system which naturally looks backwards for guidance and is not well equipped to predict the future. For example, who are the “legal” biological parents if an egg and sperm are donated? In such a case, four potential “parents” are involved, especially if the mother who carried the fertilized egg to term has no actual biological connection to the child. And to that point, the law is not always clear. The law evolves depending on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.”

Both Lane and Zashin referred to the Supreme Court of Ohio case of J.F. v. D.B. (2007), in which a gestational surrogate mother tried to obtain custody of a child she carried to term but had no genetic relationship. The court noted that if it had been a traditional surrogate, whose own egg was involved, the outcome would’ve been different.

Lane said that is where the laws get complex – especially with the legal differences of a gestational or a traditional surrogacy.

“In that case, J.F. v. D.B., it says there are two types of surrogacy situations – a traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate is the biological parent of the child but agrees to contractually give up the child to the new parents, or a gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child and they just carry the child,” he said. “That’s probably the more common way it’s done. (The case) says the bottom line, these types of contracts are not against public policy, which means if neither party has a biological connection to this child, that leaves open a huge question.

“Because these parties, all of them entered into this acknowledgment, including the surrogate, that document overrides the presumption of maternity that is created by giving birth. The lines get real fuzzy if you create a surrogacy in which the surrogate mother has a biological connection to the child. There is a real question under Ohio law if the contract falls through about who is the actual parent of the child.”

Zashin said, “I think the law is blurry. Legal issues will become clearer as more cases get resolved. Moreover, a resolution might well depend on how masterfully a contract is written between the participating parents and donors. If anyone were to tell you with hard and fast certainty what would happen in a given situation, they are kidding. These issues are very complicated and up in the air, and if you want certainty – adopt. There is a real practical question here – especially if you’re carrying a child that has no scientific biological connection to you.”

According to an article in The Jerusalem Post, “Will Israeli technology render sperm obsolete?” by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Israeli hospital and research facility Rambam Medical Center is testing technology to create artificial sperm, where a single woman could fertilize her own eggs.

“Science is not near the point of cloning humans,” Zashin said. “But artificial reproductive technology is advancing incredibly fast and science is getting to the point where we can create a fertilized egg for two women. This sounds like science fiction, but it is not. I think cases are going to be litigated and contracts challenged and law will be made.

“Law will struggle to keep up with the speed of life. But it will. There are questions about children being biologically engineered, and we are in our own infancy of understanding these issues and the laws are, excuse the pun, embryonic. There will always be a new case that tests our assumptions.”