Attorneys for Surrogacy Are A Must Have
Anyone who is in need of a reproductive endocrinologist knows why this doctor is needed. But, why would one need an Surrogacy attorney for the most intimate issue of one’s life? The answer comes when third party assistance is needed.
Rights And Obligations For Surrogacy
If someone is using a donated gamete (egg donor, sperm donor or embryo donor), it is necessary that a detailed contract be in place. The essence of such a contract is to relinquish and surrender the rights and obligations of the donor and place all rights and obligations in the recipient(s).
It is necessary that all elements of the transaction be documented in a contract. The medical provider will not need to see the contract, but will need a legal clearance letter from a reproductive law specialist.
Legal Contracts For Surrogate Recipients
An unmarried couple desirous of conceiving a child using the eggs and/or sperm from their partner will need a legal contract.
In such instance, it is the intention of the parties to retain all rights and obligations to the egg or sperm and thus “co-parent” the resulting child with the recipient partner as agreed upon in the contract. The resolution of the legal issues will allow the medical providers to proceed with the assisted reproductive methods.
This contract will set forth all of the rights and obligations of all of the parties and cover such topics as insurance, compensation, restricted and required activities, and many other subjects which must be considered and agreed upon. It is very comprehensive and should be prepared by an attorney who has specialized in reproductive law and who has experienced the different complexities that can occur in a surrogacy arrangement.
The second phase comes around the sixth month of pregnancy. It is not necessary to occur prior to this time, but should not occur later.
I intentionally wait until this time to financially protect the parent(s) from financial risk of the associated legal fees in the event of an unfortunate miscarriage. It is appropriate to petition the court for a Pre-Birth Order, to establish your parental rights and rebut the legal presumption that your surrogate, by virtue of her being the birth mother, is the mother to the child.
This order will put all rights and obligations in you as the parent(s), direct the hospital as to medical decisions on behalf of the child and insurance coverage for medical billing purposes, and allow you, and only you to access to your child. It will also direct the State of Georgia to put you as the parent(s) on the birth certificate and the order and pleadings will remain sealed and completely confidential.
If I can be of any assistance to you, please be in touch with me. I am happy to help!
Sara is the founder of Tomorrow’s Parents International and Sara M. Clay, P.C. along with being an active member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the ABA Family Law Section, RESOLVE and ACARAL.
Sara Clay graduated from the University of Georgia Law School in 1990 and has focused her practice solely on reproductive law for the past 14 years.