An excellent surrogacy agency will do the heavy lifting of-
coordinating medical screenings
setting up an attorney-client trust account with the intended parent or parent's surrogacy lawyer.
navigating the legal process,
analyzing insurance coverage.
All so that both parties can focus on their number one goal of bringing a baby into the world. It's important that gestational carriers and intended parents are represented by experienced surrogacy lawyers. Reproductive science is evolving faster than the law can keep up with. In California, we pride ourselves on being in a fit condition to keep up with the rapidly growing world of Assisted Reproductive Technology.
The purpose of this article is to take the complicated legal jargon and form it into something digestible to the normal human brain. If you are reading this you've researched your self to this very moment. So, I am sure you know that the legal process involved in surrogacy can be complicated, to say the least.
I have learned that individual experience can determine how the process is shaped. I am going to breakdown the contracts, pre-birth orders, post-birth orders, adoption (if applicable) and everything in between. Patriot Conceptions is with you every step of the way. We want you to have the resources to know what lies ahead. We want to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities involved in surrogacy.
A contract in terms of surrogacy is a legally binding document between the gestational carrier and the intended parent or parents.
What is involved in a surrogacy agreement?
There are a lot of variables that go into a contract. The agreement lays out the legal rights and obligations for both parties. The contract also stipulates the financial aspects of the surrogacy agreement regarding compensation, expenses, benefits, and miscellaneous incidentals.
Another important variable of the surrogacy agreement is the social requirements expected from the surrogate provided by the intended parent or parents. Essentially, the surrogate is to be a responsible pregnant woman, attend all required medical appointments, must take her IVF medications on time as scheduled, and is not to smoke, do drugs, or anything else that may harm the baby. Social requirements for the surrogate can be more in-depth depending on the preferences of the intended parents. These requirements are generally discussed during the matching phase. Generally, both parties already know what is to be expected of them when the contract is laid out on the table.
The intended parent or parent's responsibilities will also be mapped out in the contract. This section will cover everything from being present during appointments and delivery to important medical decisions agreed upon between all parties. The surrogacy agreement will also ensure that the intended parent or parents will receive custody after the birth of the child.
The intended parent or parents may stipulate in the contract that they do not wish to have contact with the surrogate after the delivery. They may also request that the surrogate keeps the journey private and that she does not post any photos of the child on the internet. These stipulations are definitely things to discuss during the matching phase. Surrogates may wish to share their journey with their family in friends. Surrogates may also want to have a strong bond with the intended family, so the relationship can continue after the journey.
If your fertility clinic does not require a surrogacy agreement it is strongly suggested that all parties have a written agreement and legal counsel anyway. At Patriot Conceptions, a legal surrogacy agreement will always be prepared and we will make sure each person understands and feels comfortable with the contract. It is our absolute duty to ensure all parties understand their legal rights and contractual obligations.
Pre and Post Birth Orders
Pre and Post both orders are essential legal documents that grant parental rights to the intended parent or parents. Pre and post-birth orders vary state to state and are dependent upon individual circumstances. The order can change depending on if you are a single parent, a married same-sex couple, or an unmarried same-sex couple. The legalities of LGBT+ surrogacy is content for a whole other article. The stipulations of the pre and post-birth order depend on if the state is surrogacy friendly or not.
Simply, it all comes down to:
What state the contract was signed
Which state the delivery takes place
For example, California is the most friendly and inclusive when it comes to surrogacy. In California, both parents can be declared parental rights as long as one parent is genetically related to the child. If you are a member of the LGBT+ community that is huge. In some states, the adoption of the child is added into the process if one does not have a genetic link to the child. If required, the type of adoption that will take place varies state by state. Studying the laws in your state is a vital part of the researching process.
Where you are located in the United States and having experienced legal representation is key during the legal process. Your agency is there to do the heavy lifting to ensure all parties can focus on their dream. At Patriot Conceptions, we work with experienced legal counsel and are jammed packed with experienced staff to help you along the way.
We work hard to help make the dream work.
If you have any further questions or concerns you can contact us any time, day or night.