SURROGACY AND A.R.T.:
There are many pathways to becoming a parent. For some, surrogacy is an option to consider. In a surrogacy arrangement, a person or couple makes an agreement with a woman to become pregnant and carry a baby to term for the purpose of creating a family for that person or couple. The woman who carries the pregnancy is called the Surrogate. The person who makes the agreement with the Surrogate is called the Intended Parent, or, if a couple, the Intended Parents.
Types of Surrogacy
There are two types of surrogacy - traditional surrogacy in which the woman who agrees to be a surrogate is inseminated with sperm from an intended male parent or a sperm donor (the IUI procedure), and thus, any child who is conceived is genetically related to the surrogate. This method is generally not recommended as it can lead to disputes regarding parentage and a child could end up being raised by the intended parents and the surrogate.
The other type of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy in which a woman agrees to be a surrogate via an IVF procedure with embryo created with another woman’s eggs. Therefore, the surrogate is not genetically related to any child she might carry.
There are usually two legal steps in the surrogacy process. First, an agreement between all parties must be carefully drafted. This agreement will include the Surrogate, her spouse if married, the Intended Parents, and possibly others, if there are additional known genetic donors. Secondly, prior to birth, a court order can be obtained declaring that the Intended Parents are the genetic, and therefore, legal parents of the child to be born, and their names should be on the birth certificate. This is called a “pre-birth order”.
With so many options in the area of assisted reproduction, it is essential that all parties be represented by an attorney with the requisite knowledge and experience. Our firm works with both Surrogates and Intended Parents to review and guide them through the complexities of this process. We also represent Intended Parents in any necessary court proceedings and coordinate with hospitals to ensure that all goes well during delivery and that the Intended Parents are able to take their baby from the hospital.
For more information on surrogacy, or any other assisted reproduction issues, call NicholsonPham and schedule a consultation.