Charlotte H. Danciu, P.A. Attorney at Law.

It’s not any more difficult for a single woman to use the surrogacy process in Florida than it is for a married couple or a single man. Unlike adoption, where a birth mother is giving up her child and might not choose a single parent, surrogate mothers are people who are level-headed, who realize the uncertainties of life (you could be married today and divorced tomorrow). Their concern is that the child will be provided for. They are not here to judge. I’ve never had any trouble with single women doing surrogacy.

Are Anonymous Sperm And Egg Donations Actually Anonymous In Surrogacy Agreements?

If it says they are anonymous, then they are anonymous in the agreements. Now, with the advent of 23andMe and the different DNA testing operations out there, people are finding out who their donors were, which isn’t always a good thing. Many donors are young college students who are looking at the process clinically, as if they were donating a kidney. A young woman might view donating her eggs as no different than passing an egg during her monthly period. They are not looking at it like they are giving up a child for adoption, nor do they want to look at it that way. So when a child comes knocking at their door because they found them through 23andMe and says, “Hey, you are my mother,” that’s not really a good thing. It undermines the anonymity that most donors prefer or intended to have when they first made their donation.

My contract would clearly specify that it is an anonymous donation and that if somehow the identity is discovered, the information would not be shared with the child without the permission of the parents. We also don’t want an egg donor to find the child that she contributed the eggs for and come knocking at the door, saying, “Oh, that’s my child!” Same for a surrogate with the child that she gave birth to. Maybe the donor needs a kidney now and wants the child from her eggs to donate their organ. That’s just one example—the sky is the limit in terms of what can emerge from this situation.

Things don’t always turn out the way you planned either. We’ve recently discovered that some of these sperm donors who are now being identified donated sperm hundreds of times and have like 100 kids. For that reason, the contract and the way your case is handled is very important, especially for privacy. As I tell people, all of the celebrities who are having kids in their 40s are not using their own eggs; they are all using donors, but it’s nobody’s business if they are using a donor. I remind all of my clients that they don’t have to tell anybody that it’s not their egg that was used. The only reason the child might need to know is for medical information. Just like with adoption, if you raise the child like it’s not a big deal where their biological material came from, it won’t be a big deal for them.

Do I Need To Have A Will In Place If I Have A Gestational Carrier Carrying Our Child?

We do recommend you have a will in place, but we also build provisions with regard to both the surrogate and the couple into my contracts. What if both parties of the couple passed away before the baby was born? The surrogate is not going to keep the baby, so the intended parents need to designate who gets the baby and who continues to pay the surrogate’s expenses. We put into our agreements a provisional designation of guardianship so that they can designate those very important things.

By the same token, we also provide in our agreements that the surrogate designate her husband or her significant other to maintain her on life support should something unthinkable happen. Say, for example, she is in a terrible car accident when she is 26 weeks pregnant. The difference between 26 weeks and 28 weeks for a fetus could be life and death. That’s why we have her sign a healthcare surrogate document that says that her husband or partner or designated person will maintain her on life support if medically possible to bring the fetus to viability.

Those are some of the tough questions that I feel are so important to be addressed in the contract, and that’s why my contracts are so good. I’ve been doing this since 1993, and I’ve seen many different situations, fortunately most of them not horrible ones. Plus, I do a lot of reading and research. That’s why we try to address any possibility and how they will be handled upfront in the contract.

What Happens To The Custody Of The Child If The Intended Parents Divorce After The Gestational Carrier Becomes Pregnant?

Even if the intended parents divorce while the surrogate is pregnant, they are still bound by contract. In fact, there was a case in another state where the parents divorced and the father tried to get out of the surrogacy contract to avoid paying child support. When he entered into that contract to create this child, it was his intention and his obligation to take care of and be responsible for the child. That’s one of the reasons why I also have due diligence done on the parents-to-be.

If one of the intended parents passes away, then we have provisions in my contract that start with the surviving parent or designate someone to raise the child. Let’s say there is a horrible car accident that leads to a wrongful death action; in that case, we have to have established the legal child yet to be born or who is born after to the deceased parents. It’s really important that you have this provision in the contract. There was even one case in another state where the doctor put the wrong embryo into the surrogate.

For more information on Surrogacy Process for Single Women in Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (561) 330-6700 today.

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