Building Families Through Surrogacy Since 1993
Helping clients in Ohio and Illinois, throughout the U.S. and around the world.
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Ellen Essig



Cincinnati, Ohio





With over 30 years of experience, Ellen has developed a niche practice in collaborative reproduction and fertility law. She represents clients worldwide with their surrogacy and other family-building needs, including those relying on egg, sperm in embryo donation to achieve their goals. Ellen represents hopeful parents including singles, couples and LGBTQ+ clients. Ellen was proud to serve as co-counsel in the marriage equality case of Obergefell v. Hodges which was successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2015. Over the years, Ellen has helped thousands of hopeful parents bring a child into their home, Ellen also provides legal advice to medical clinics involved in third-party reproduction. In addition, she provides legal advice to matching programs which help hopeful parents in their journey towards parenthood.

Ellen's practice began as an adoption practice at a time when IVF was still in its infancy. In 1993, Ellen became a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. As IVF and other third-party reproduction technologies advanced, the landscape changed. Parents now had additional options. In 2009, Ellen was a founding member of the newly established American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. In 2016, these two Academies combined and are now known as the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAAA). As a Fellow of this Academy, Ellen works with other experienced attorneys across the country and around the world.

Because of her experience and reputation, Ellen is frequently called upon to lecture to hospital personnel and physician groups about this emerging area of the law. Her assistance is often requested in developing office practices. Ellen has been called upon as a witness in cases concerning third-party reproduction and has been interviewed by various news sources when issues about surrogacy or third-party reproduction.

Since 2001, Ellen has been designated as AV rated by Martindale Hubbell which recognizes the highest ethical standards and legal ability within the legal community. Ellen is proud of this accomplishment and does all that  she can to maintain that reputation including returning phone calls promptly, completing projects on time and continuing her education is this developing area of law. Ellen is thoughtful about the interests of all parties involved in this process and always mindful of her clients' goals.

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Family Relations Law Specialist, Ohio State Bar Association, 2000

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1986
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio


  • Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1986
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
    • B.S. - 1972