Each surrogacy journey is unique and everyone should have the opportunity to become a Parent!
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy allows couples and individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ages and sexual orientations to build their families and create memories together. Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproduction where Intended Parents work with a gestational surrogate who will carry their baby until birth. Intended Parents use surrogacy to start or grow their families when they are unable to do so on their own.
Two types of Surrogacy:
Gestational Surrogacy: This is the most common form of surrogacy. Intended Parents undergo In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and provide either their own egg/sperm, or use an egg/sperm donor, to create an embryo. The embryo is then transferred to the surrogate. In this case, the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the child she delivers.
Traditional Surrogacy: This is rarely used today and is not usually recommended. A traditional surrogate becomes pregnant through artificial insemination by using the sperm of the Intended Father or a sperm donor and her own eggs. As the surrogate is using her own eggs, she has a genetic connection to the child. This can create emotional complications, which is why this type of surrogacy is usually not recommended.
Legal Issues with Surrogacy
Surrogacy is a relatively new area of law and the laws are still evolving reproductive technology changes. There is no federal law on surrogacy, so each state’s laws on surrogacy differ. This is why it is vital to hire a reproductive lawyer who can guide you through this complicated process and make sure you get parental rights to the child!
HOW CAN I HELP?
I know this process is stressful already, so my goal is to simplify this process for you as much as possible. I will be there to guide you through every step of the journey by helping you:
Communicate with the agency and the surrogate’s attorney
Draft and negotiate surrogacy agreements so unforeseen risks and liabilities can be properly addressed
Review insurance policies to see if the surrogate is covered by insurance
Provide legal clearance to your agency so the embryo transfer can be scheduled
Establish Parental Rights with the court to make you the child’s legal parents
Escrow services to intended parents to ensure accurate and timely payment
Can the surrogate ever establish parental rights over the child?
NO! That is why it is so important to have a legal agreement between the Intended Parents and the surrogate before the embryo transfer is done. The surrogacy agreement allows the parents and the surrogate to state individual intentions and to clearly state that the surrogate DOES NOT intend to have any parental, legal or financial rights to the child and DOES NOT wish to have physical or legal custody of the child. Once the surrogacy agreement is completed and the surrogate is pregnant, there is a second step which requires a parental order submitted through the court, which terminates any and all rights of the surrogate (and her husband, if she is married) and establishes the intended parents’ as the only parents of the child.