Navigating the Legal Maze of IVF and Assisted Reproduction

Fertility law has become increasingly important for individuals and couples who want to start or expand their families through assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is a complex field of law that requires specialized knowledge and experience.

At the heart of ART is a series of transactions. Whether it’s the purchase of sperm or eggs, the use of a surrogate, or even the mere act of storing embryos for future use, each step comes with its legal stipulations. If not adequately understood or addressed:

  • You could face unexpected financial obligations, especially if, for example, a surrogate’s medical bills aren’t clearly delineated in a contract.
  • In the worst-case scenario, you could end up in a legal battle over the custody of your child, especially if parental rights aren’t firmly established from the onset.

Meet Ashley Pittman J.D. LL.M Fertility Law Specialist

Ashley has combined her knowledge of estate planning, asset protection, and fertility law in her practice with the law firm of Ashley W. Pittman, LLC. She also serves as Of Counsel attorney with the Reproductive Law Center, Inc. and the International Fertility Law Group, Inc.,

  • Founder of The Fertility Preservation Trust · a special legal trust which is tailored to address the unique disposition wishes of clients with cryopreserved genetic material. The Fertility Preservation Trust has partnered with ReproTech cryobank to assist clients in navigating the future of their cryopreserved genetic material.
  • Managing Partner of Ashley W. Pittman, PLLC, which is the premier law firm in Mississippi which is dedicated solely to the practice of assisted reproduction technology (ART) law.

Mississippi’s Leading Fertility Law Specialist

Ashley W. Pittman Education

  • The University of Alabama School of Law, L.LM, Taxation
  • University of Mississippi School of Law J.D., Law
  • University of Mississippi, B.A. Political Science/English


  • Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAARTA)
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) (Member, legal professionals’ group)
  • Society For Ethics In Egg Donation And Surrogacy (SEEDS)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Family Law, Assisted Reproductive Technology sections)
  • Resolve, the National Infertility Association (professional Member)
  • Mississippi State Bar (Member, Taxation and Probate sections)


  • Assisted Reproduction Law and the Status of the Embryo, Mississippi Law Journal, 81 Miss. L.J. Supra 99, November 2, 2011.
  • Bell on Mississippi Family Law (2d. Ed. 2011), Author, Assisted Reproduction Law, Chapter 15.
  • Bell on Mississippi Family Law (3d. Ed. 2020), Author, Assisted Reproduction Law, Chapter 15.
  • Navigating the Diverse and Evolving Law of Gestational Surrogacy, Mississippi Law Journal, 80 Miss L.J. Supra 157, September 12, 2011.
  • Mississippi Personhood and Initiative 26 Symposium: A collection of essays addressing various aspects of Initiative 26 (Personhood Initiative) and possible effects of passage in Mississippi.
  • Fertility law has become increasingly important for individuals and couples who want to start or expand their families through assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is a complex field of law that requires specialized knowledge and experience.

Fertility Law Areas of Expertise

    1. Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) Law

    • If you’re exploring fertility treatments like IVF or considering surrogacy, I’m here to guide you. I specialize in the laws surrounding these processes, ensuring you’re well-informed every step of the way.

    2. Surrogacy and Collaborative Reproduction

    • Surrogacy involves a woman (gestational carrier) agreeing to carry and give birth to a child for someone else. Before this process begins, there’s a need for clear agreements. I help both the future parents and the gestational carrier create and finalize these agreements, ensuring clarity and peace of mind.

    3. Establishing Legal Parentage Before Birth

    • For many, it’s essential that the law recognizes them as the child’s parent(s) even before the baby is born. I represent clients in court, ensuring that they are legally recognized as parents early in the pregnancy. This is particularly crucial for those going through surrogacy.

    4. Crafting Gestational Carrier Agreements

    • Before a gestational carrier receives an embryo, all parties involved need a clear and comprehensive agreement. I assist in drafting this vital document, setting clear expectations and responsibilities for everyone.

    5. Transferring Ownership with Embryo Donor Agreements

    • If you’re considering receiving or donating embryos, the legal side can be complex. I help in drafting agreements that outline the terms, ensuring the transfer of ownership is clear and legally sound.

    6. Gamete (Egg and Sperm) Donation Agreements

    • Similar to embryo donation, if you’re considering donating or receiving eggs or sperm, I’ll guide you through the legalities, ensuring clear ownership rights.

    7. Securing Birth Documents for Newborns

    • After a child’s birth through surrogacy, there are vital legal steps to take. I assist in obtaining the child’s birth certificate and, for international clients, help ensure the child gets a passport, making the journey home smoother.

    8. Protecting Your Genetic Material with Fertility Preservation Trusts

    • For those storing embryos, eggs, or sperm for future use, I can craft specialized legal trusts. These trusts detail your wishes for your stored genetic material, safeguarding them for the present and the future.

Do You Have Fertility Legal Questions? Get Answers.

Fertility law is our primary practice focus. We provide legal assistance to clients undergoing fertility treatments, including IVF. ART law encompasses a wide range of legal challenges, from the rights and responsibilities of intended parents to those of surrogates and donors. We offer the legal advice you need and guide you through the legal implications of fertility treatments.

Why Wait? Get the answers you need.

Dr. Moss. Urologist and Male-Factor Fertility Specialist

Ochsner LSU Health – Regional Urology
255 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop
Shreveport, Louisiana 71106