What Is The Legal Process Associated With Surrogacy?
Thanks to modern science, couples have an opportunity to become parents through a variety of different methods, including surrogacy. With traditional surrogacy, the egg donor is also the person who carries the child to term. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries genetic material (sperm and egg) from the commissioning couple. Before getting too involved in medical procedures, couples considering surrogacy should review some very important legal factors.
The laws regarding surrogacy vary state by state. That’s one reason it’s critical to have a reproductive law attorney to guide you and safeguard your rights if you’re considering contracting a surrogate. It can take between two to eight weeks to match with a surrogate, though that time will vary based on your requirements.
What Is A Surrogacy Contract?
Once you have found a surrogate candidate but prior to the embryo transfer, you and the surrogate need to work with your own attorneys to draft a surrogacy contract that outlines two major legal issues. The first is the financial arrangement: Will the surrogate receive a base compensation? Will the surrogate receive additional payments for maternity items? Will the surrogate receive lost wages or an allowance should they have to go on bed rest? The second issue is the social aspect: What are the surrogate’s basic responsibilities during the pregnancy? Must they abstain from tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs? Will the intended parents be present at prenatal appointments and the birth? Working with experienced surrogacy law attorneys will ensure that any variables that could impact the pregnancy or arrangement are covered in this comprehensive contract.
What Is A Pre-Birth Order?
In surrogacy-friendly states, the commissioning parents can work with their surrogacy lawyer to file a pre-birth order, which will expedite the post-birth legal process and allow the baby to be discharged from the hospital to the intended parents. This order usually includes paperwork signed by the surrogate to relinquish their legal rights to the child once they’re born.
Once the child is born, the commissioning couple must file a petition with the court to request affirmation of parental status. The court will review the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement and enter an order requiring that a new birth certificate be issued for the child to name the appropriate parents.
What Is The Post-Birth Legal Process?
Some states may require additional legal steps after the baby is born, especially when one or both of the intended parents is not genetically related to the baby. If one parent’s genetic material was combined with a donor’s, then the other parent would need to complete a stepparent adoption. If neither of the parents is biologically related to the child, a full adoption might be required by both parties. It’s critical to hire a knowledgeable attorney to ensure you’re complying with your state’s adoption laws.
To legally protect yourself during the surrogacy process, we recommend working closely with an experienced traditional surrogacy attorney.
Is A Surrogacy Contract Valid In The U.S. Or Abroad?
Various countries around the world do not permit surrogacy, though some commissioning parents work to move the birth mother to the United States to have the baby safely. Complicating factors include where the mother is from and the circumstances of her travel here. Due to the complications of international surrogacy, it’s best to explore surrogate solutions with a qualified attorney who understands surrogacy laws around the world.
What Makes Your Law Firm Uniquely Suited To Guide Couples Through Surrogacy?
The Law Office of Charlotte H. Danciu, Esq., is dedicated to assisting families grow and flourish. In fact, we’re one of only a handful of firms devoted to the practice of surrogacy. I’ve been practicing law since 1980, and I’ve specialized in the fields of surrogacy; egg, sperm, and embryo donation; and all types of adoptions. I think what sets us apart most is our first-hand experience. I’m an adoptive and biological mother myself, so I know the intense emotions involved in this process. I work hard to gain my client’s trust as they’re working through these emotionally taxing situations and building their families. We are here to support people who want to become parents during a pivotal moment in their lives and to assist them through the legal process.
If you’re interested in contracting a surrogate in Delray Beach, Florida, we pledge to give you the very best representation to the highest professional standards, as you certainly deserve, in these very important matters.
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