History of SPA:
In 1979, Richard M. Levin, M.D., was approached by a couple with long standing infertility. The three previous fertility doctors she had seen all agreed that her reproductive problems were unresolvable and that she would never have a child. After long discussions about her few options, it became apparent that this woman simply wanted to have her husband's child, whether or not, she herself could conceive or carry the child.
At that point Dr. Levin suggested the concept of a ‘donor’ woman or as we call her a ‘Surrogate Mother’. Dr. Levin, along with a group of attorneys spent the next nine months researching various aspects of state and federal law to better understand the legal ramifications of a surrogacy relationship. Ethical aspects of a surrogacy relationship were reviewed with a variety of local clergymen and ethicists in order to put together an arrangement which would not be offensive to the moral values of the local community. Finally a ‘contractual agreement’ or ‘memorandum of understanding’ was very thoughtfully crafted, taking care to attend to the needs of the infertile couple, the surrogate mother and the child.
After nine months of painstaking development, our first surrogate mother candidate was thoroughly evaluated by a team of health care and legal professionals. A mutually acceptable agreement was reached between the surrogate and the couple allowing for the artificial insemination to take place in early 1980. With amazing good luck she conceived the first month. Nine months later, she flew back to Louisville, where her labor was induced and within hours she delivered a healthy baby boy into the hands of the expectant couple. Five days later, the Surrogate appeared in Circuit Court and terminated her rights in favor of the biologic father. The father and his wife, after formalizing their legal relationship with this child have cherished and raised their son ever since. This is the short version of what became the World's first case of legal, planned, surrogate parenting.
Following the success of this case, Dr. Levin was widely featured in the world media, with appearances on the Phil Donahue Show, Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, People Magazine and scores of other such events both within the USA and Europe. He was asked to testify before a committee of the United States Senate in Washington, DC. as well as several state legislative bodies. Through his efforts, the concept of surrogate parenting began to slowly grow in acceptance around the world. The surrogate program model developed by Dr. Levin has now been widely copied by most of those currently offering surrogacy services throughout the country. Thanks to his efforts, infertile couples now have yet another option to help build the families they so strongly desire.
In 1981, the Attorney General of the State of Kentucky challenged the legality of Surrogate Parenting Associates, Inc. in a Declaratory Judgement action. This challenge, which ultimately went through the Circuit Court, Appellate Court and finally the Kentucky Supreme Court, found in favor of Surrogate Parenting Associates, Inc. and essentially demonstrated that SPA was operating in a completely forthright and legal fashion within Kentucky Jurisdiction. Surrogate Parenting Associates, Inc. continues to follow the laws within Kentucky so the organization will remain above reproach. Surrogate Parenting Associates, Inc. has been in continuous operation since 1979 when this first case was performed. To this point in time, we have been involved in hundreds of cases, all ending successfully. That's right, 100% of our cases have been completed. Not one of these couples has experienced any legal difficulties with their surrogate mother, either during or after the case was completed. From our original case in 1979, we have been involved with over 2000 individual couples, all without legal complications.