Poway based attorney Theresa Erickson, a nationally recognized surrogacy attorney (in part from her east coast based public relations firm), was just snared in a black market baby selling practice. Babies born overseas fetched up to $100,000.00 per child.
Parents had no idea the infants were purchased.
In anticipation, Erickson pulled down her website which also featured law in areas including,
- Surrogacy Law
- Egg Donation Law
- Fund Management
- Parental Judgments
- International Clients
- Surrogacy Blogs
- Articles / Media
- Our Firm
"Fund Management" is perhaps what first caught the eye of authorities on the case.
Erickson admitted to falsifying court documents in which San Diego Court judges were told the unborn children were the products of legitimate surrogacy arrangements. After the documents were court-approved, Erickson simply added the names of the parents who had been duped into a purchase.
Authorities also said Erickson submitted claims to the State of California's Access for Infants and Mothers program to pay for the children's delivery.
Erickson admitted guilt and was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Her sentencing date is October 28,2011, where she faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to five years in prison.
Erickson did not act alone. Carla Chambers and Maryland attorney Hilary Neiman, were co-conspirators and plead guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges earlier. Neiman's website states:
"Hilary devotes her practice exclusively to family formation through adoption and assisted reproductive technology, including all legal aspects of surrogacy, sperm donation, and egg donation.
Hilary brings a unique perspective to family creation combining a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area with her warmth, caring, and understanding of the issues involved in surrogacy and adoption. She is able to listen to your needs and works with you in a holistic manner.
Hilary holds a Masters Degree of Science in Child Development, Juris Doctorate, and is currently a candidate for an LLM in International Law. She is a member of The American Bar Association’s section on Family Law and its Committee on Assisted Reproduction and Genetics Law, Adoption, and Alternative Families, InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Resolve, Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy (OPTS), Egg Donation and Surrogacy Professional Association, and a founding member of The American College of Assisted Reproduction and Adoption Lawyers"
We originally didn't see this as being related to Family Court where we frequently report problems. Then we noticed the ABA reference.