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

You have two options for surrogacy in Florida, both of which are permissible and legal and have been on the books in Florida since 1992. The first option, which we don’t do very often, is traditional surrogacy, which involves using the eggs of the surrogate and artificially inseminating the surrogate with the sperm of the father. The big difference between that and gestational surrogacy is that the surrogate is just the incubator in gestational surrogacy. In other words, you’re renting the womb.

From a legal standpoint, the really big difference is that the surrogate can keep the child when it’s born in a traditional surrogacy. That’s why most of the cases we do are gestational; people feel more comfortable knowing that they are going to have their child at the end of the process. Another reason that gestational surrogacy is more popular is due to the difficulty of finding women who are willing (for money) to volunteer basically to have their eggs used for traditional surrogacy. When their own eggs are used, it’s genetically their child.

Does The Method Of Surrogacy We Use Change The Language Of The Contract That Needs To Be Drafted?

There are two different methods of surrogacy, one being traditional and the other being gestational. Then, there’s also surrogacy for a single person. The language used in the contract is different primarily in terms of the legal proceeding that takes place because different methods of surrogacy involve different statutes in the law. So, yes, the contract is different, but the substance of it is the same, the substance being that a woman is volunteering to have a child to help the family become parents.

What Are The Costs Associated With Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is an expensive process. A traditional surrogacy is less expensive because you are doing artificial insemination as opposed to invitro fertilization, which is quite expensive (as much as $30,000 or $40,000 with medication, etc.). From a medical standpoint, there’s a big difference between artificial insemination and invitro fertilization, but from a legal standpoint, there’s not that much difference as far as legal fees, expenses, and costs.

The range of surrogate expenses are the same whether it’s traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. The surrogate typically receives around $30,000 to as much as $60,000 for her living expenses and for the inconvenience and the process of carrying the child.

When people ask me about the costs, I always remind them that there could be variables. For example, if the surrogate were to become pregnant with twins, she might be on bedrest, she might need lost wages, and she might even need a housekeeper because she can’t get out of bed. Many different variables can come into play, meaning it could become a $100,000 project or more. Don’t think of that, though, as gambling $100,000. If you pay that amount, you know you have at least one, if not two, children on the way. You could also impact the cost by having a family member carry the baby. Maybe a friend or a cousin donates the eggs so that you don’t have to purchase the eggs. Or maybe you adopt an embryo instead of making a new embryo. There are ways that you can lessen the cost, but it’s still going to be expensive.

Do We As Parents Have A Say In Which Doctors The Surrogate Uses?

The parents absolutely have a say. The parents and the surrogate work together in terms of choosing doctors and hospitals. From a practical standpoint, the surrogate needs to visit an obstetrician that is close to her home, not only because it is more convenient, but because you want her to feel more comfortable. She shouldn’t have to feel expected to travel 100 miles while she’s in labor to meet some other doctor.

The contracts I create for my clients are very comprehensive (at least 75 pages long). I always say they are like a masterpiece in progress because there are always new things being put into them. The doctors and hospitals go into the contract. In the beginning, it is common for the surrogate to go to the clinic where the individual or couple (they’re called the commissioning parents in Florida) has already established a relationship with the doctor. Perhaps they’ve even made embryos with that clinic. The surrogate might be traveling from Tallahassee to Miami to get pregnant, which might mean a couple of trips, in order to go to the fertility clinic where the embryos are made or are going to be made. I’ve even heard of surrogates traveling as far as New York or Las Vegas or Los Angeles. Then, once they are established pregnant with a heartbeat, which is usually around four weeks after transfer, they’ll go to an OBGYN close by their home.

For more information on Different Options for Surrogacy 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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