On June 28, 2013 at the Florida Bar Annual Convention, attorney Karen Persis was sworn in to the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division as a Governor for the Ninth Circuit. The Young Lawyers Division of The Florida Bar has over 21,000 members. All lawyers under age 36 and new Florida Bar members for the first 5 years in good standing are automatically members. The purpose of the Florida Bar YLD is to get its members involved in the Florida Bar, to provide a full and complete program of activities and projects designed to be of interest and assistance to YLD members, and to engage in such activities as shall tend to further the best interests of the legal profession. Karen was elected to a two-year term.
On June 21, 2013, Karen Persis became certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Family Mediator. Mediation can be an effective tool to resolve disputes in family law matters. It generally saves time and money in the long run, and it can also dissipate the stress involved in family law disputes. It can be a great alternative to mediation. Karen Persis is now accepting mediation cases in Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Osceola, Brevard and Lake counties. Though she is located in Orlando, she will drive to your location. Her mediation rates are on a sliding scale, based on the income of the parties.
A recent CNNMoney article discusses the trend of couple using the popular trend of crowdfunding in order to grow their families through adoption and fertility treatments. You can read the entire article here. Fertility treatments and adoption, whether domestic or international, can be rather expensive. When Jessica and Sean Haley of Melbourne, Florida, realized the need for fertility treatments to expand their family, they took to the website, Indiegogo, to help them out. The couple raised more than $8,000 on the site, with donations from more than 130 people. Their son is considered the first “crowdfunded baby!”
A recent Washington Post Op-Ed from Kathleen Parker, published May 24, alleges that surrogacy exploits women and commodifies them as “ovens.” She also alleges that half the surrogates in the United States are military wives, and that certain populations are “targeted” by surrogacy brokers. You can read the whole article here. You can also read the response, written by the Director of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, here.
While Ms. Parker is certainly entitled to her opinion, it is my opinion that she is misinformed. Surrogates freely choose to help families, and they are not being exploited. Her depiction of surrogates as military wives or other targeted populations is simply untrue. Many surrogates are proud of their ability to help these families. And, they are rightfully and justly compensated for doing the same. They make the decision to become surrogates without being oppressed, despite Ms. Parker’s claims. If anything, her opinion sounds rather condescending, as she makes her case for women being unable to make a decision to serve as a surrogate independently. It’s odd for Ms. Parker, a feminist, to essentially make an argument allegedly for an entire group of women, as if these women cannot make their own decisions and speak for themselves. Sounds rather patronizing to me.