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News Posted on December 15, 2017

Professor Ikemoto Quoted in Canadian Broadcasting Company Documentary on Surrogacy Case

Professor Lisa Ikemoto is quoted in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio documentary on the unusual case of California surrogate mother Jessica Allen, who gave birth to babies initially believed to be identical twins. Later, it was discovered that one of the infants was the genetic child of Allen and her husband, who then sought legal custody. The documentary explores a range of issues, including the thorny legal problems Allen has faced.

In the documentary, Professor Ikemoto talks about the California law that authorized surrogacy and empowered courts to issue pre-birth orders establishing parenthood. The law does not accommodate challenges when complications arise. As a result, the couple from China who hired Allen as a surrogate are the parents of her genetic child.

“You might be able to challenge it, but there’s no clear path to doing that,” said Ikemoto. “And I think that’s why when this couple tried to find a lawyer, the lawyers all said, ‘we don’t know what to do.’”

Lisa Ikemoto, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, has written extensively on genetic and reproductive technology, the regulation of fertility and pregnancy, and race and gender disparities in health care. Her current work examines emerging issues in regenerative medicine, including stem cell research, and the human tissues market.