Susan L. Crockin, JD: Since 1988, Susan has continuously represented individual and institutional clients involved in the legal, policy and ethical dimensions of ART and adoption. Susan established the Crockin Law & Policy Group, PLLC, in Washington, DC in 2012, following her move from Boston, where she had established the Crockin Law & Policy Group, LLC, one of the country’s first law firms devoted exclusively to the legal issues surrounding the assisted reproductive technologies and adoption. She has been instrumental in much of the developing ART law and policy in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Infertility Mandate. While in Boston, the Firm, represented numerous institutional ART clients, over a thousand intended parents, donors and gestational carriers, as well as three of the largest adoption agencies in that state.
Susan has published extensively in the field, and taught at law school and undergraduate levels in the space surrounding the legal and ethical dimensions of ART and adoption. Susan is a member of the MA and DC Bar Associations, the MA and DC Women’s Bar Associations, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA), the American Academy of ART Attorneys (AAARTA) (and former chair of its Ethics committee), ASRM and SART (and member of the SART model consent committee). She is a founding member and past president of the Legal Professional Group of ASRM; past president of the MA RESOLVE chapter, past chair of national RESOLVE’s advocacy committee, and a past board member of the MA Women’s Bar Association.
Susan graduated from Tufts University, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and from Northeastern University School of Law (ungraded school). Before starting her own firm, she clerked for the justices of the MA Superior Court, and worked as an associate in a large Boston law firm, and as an assistant federal public defender at the Boston Federal Defender’s Office. In addition to her private ART law practice, she currently teaches ART Law and Comparative and International ART Law at Georgetown University Law Center as a Scholar at their O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and adjunct faculty, and is an affiliate faculty in residence at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics.
- First MA pre-birth order for Intended Parents in a gestational surrogacy arrangement
- First MA pre-birth order for Intended Parents using both donor egg and a gestational surrogate
- First same-sex female co-parent adoption in Massachusetts (unreported)
- First same-sex male co-parent adoption in Massachusetts (unreported)
MA Infertility Mandate (passed 1988):
- Member of initial core grassroots effort, joined by MA Resolve chapter, that together successfully drafted and lobbied for MA’s comprehensive infertility mandate (1987-1988)
Amicus” (“Friend of Court”) briefs:
- Authored, co-authored, and edited multiple amicus briefs on behalf of ASRM, SART, RESOLVE, GLAD and others, to provide medical and legal support to the MA Supreme Judicial Court in ground-breaking ART cases, including: RR v. MH; Culliton v. BIDMC; Adoption of a Minor; and Partanen v. Gallagher (all MA Supreme Judicial Court cases).
Selected Recent Presentations
- 3rd Annual Jefferson Hospital’s “When It Takes More than 2 To Make a Baby,” Course co-chair, legal presenter (3 day national continuing education course designed for ART mental health professionals), Philadelphia, PA, 2016.
- “Making 21st Century Families: The Vital Intercourse between ART Law and Medicine,” Plenary address, ASRM national meeting, Baltimore, MD, 2015.
- “Collaborative Reproduction: Legal and Ethical Challenges,” special issues presenter at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics annual Intensive Bioethics Course (IBC), Washington, DC, June, 2015.
- “Conversations in Bioethics: Making Families,” Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethic’s annual bioethics program, presenter, Washington, DC 2015.
- “Babies and Borders: Legal Issues in Cross-Border Reproductive ‘Tourism’,” Tourism and International Development Colloquium, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 2015.
- “Egg Donation: Where to From Here?” American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Attorneys Annual mid-year meeting, with Andrea Braverman, Ph.D, Chicago, IL, 2015.
- “Out of the Freezer and Into the Fire: A Legal Update on Embryo Dispositions,” Annual Donor Oocyte Conference, presenter, Charleston, SC, 2015.
- Embryo Law Update, The Jones Institute Master Embryology Course, Norfolk, VA (annual faculty presentation), 2004-present.
Books and National Column
- Legal Conceptions: The Evolving Law and Policy of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, co-authored with the late Howard W. Jones, Jr. MD, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
- “Legally Speaking”®, ASRM News, creator and author of this regularly featured national legal column for ASRM reviewing recent court decisions and legal developments involving the assisted reproductive technologies and genetics and the families they create. 1991- present.
- Adoption and Reproductive Technology Law in Massachusetts, editor and contributing author of this legal text published by the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE), 2000.
- Family Building through Egg and Sperm Donation: Medical, Legal and Ethical Issues, co-editor with Machelle Seibel, MD, Jones & Bartlett, Inc., 1996.
Selected Peer Reviewed Articles, Chapters, and Editorial/Opinion Pieces
- Gracia, C.R. and Crockin, S.L., Editorial: “Legal Battles over Embryos after In Vitro Fertilization: Is there a Way to Avoid Them?” JAMA Oncology, E1-3, January 28, 2016.
- Crockin, S.L. and Debele, Gary A., “Ethical Issues in Assisted Reproduction: A Primer for Family Law Attorneys,” 27 Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 289, 2015.
- Crockin, S.L. and Nussbaum, L., Chapter 10: “Embryo Donation: Legal Aspects,” Third-Party Reproduction: a Comprehensive Guide,”, ed. Goldfarb, J., (Springer), 2014.
- Crockin, S.L. and Altman, A., Chapter 26: “Statutory and Case Law Governing the Practice of Third-Party Reproduction”, Principles of Oocyte and Embryo Donation, 2nd edition, ed. Sauer, M., Springer-Verlag 2013.
- Crockin, S.L., Ribas, D., Escalante, G., Nussbaum, L., Jones, H., “Costa Rica’s absolute ban on in vitro fertilization deemed a human rights violation: implications for U.S. assisted reproductive technology policy and “personhood” initiatives,” Fert. & Stert, Vol. 100, Issue 2, pp. 330-333, 2013.
- Crockin, S.L “The Development of ART Law in Massachusetts”, in Massachusetts Women and the Law, eds. Honorable M. Botsford, Honorable P. Saris, (MCLE, 2011.
- Crockin, S.L “A Legal Defense for Compensating Research Egg Donors”, Forum, Cell Stem Cell, Vol.6, Issue 2, pp. 99-102, 2010.
In addition to serving ART clients nationally, Susan teaches upper and graduate level law seminars, including: “The Law of Assisted Reproductive Technologies” and “The Law of Comparative Assisted Reproductive Technologies,” at Georgetown University Law Center as an adjunct professor and a Scholar at its O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. She is also an Affiliate Faculty in Residence at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, where she is developing an inter-disciplinary curriculum addressing bioethics, law and policy of the ARTs, and has an adjunct appointment at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where she lectures annually in the Howard and Georgeanna Jones Institute’s Masters Embryology Course. Before moving from Boston, Susan taught ART law and bioethics related courses at Tufts University and Northeastern University School of Law.
Amy Altman, JD is of counsel to the Crockin Law & Policy Group, PLLC. A graduate of Boston University Law School and Tufts University, she has practiced ART and adoption law since 1991. She has represented hundreds of individual ART participants involved in 3rd party family building, including drafting agreements on behalf of intended parents, donors and gestational carriers and securing legal parentage orders, as well as represented a myriad of professional entities involved in the delivery of ART services. Amy frequently represents clients involved in highly complex and confidential collaborative arrangements.
Amy is a principal in the Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Cook, LLC and a former associate of the former Massachusetts Crockin Law & Policy Group, LLC. She has worked with Susan for over twenty-five years. Amy is licensed in both MA and NY.