Fertility technology has expanded rapidly in recent years, offering innovative ways for same-sex couples and those struggling with infertility to expand their families. If you’re considering this option for your family, explore different types of surrogacy and become familiar with Florida legislation regarding surrogacy.
Florida Surrogacy Law
While many states have limited or unclear surrogacy legislation, Florida has clear laws that protect the rights of both the surrogate and the prospective parents. Statute 63.212 covers traditional surrogacy. This law requires the surrogate to sign an agreement that the intended parents will have custody of the child after his or her birth. This law also prevents compensation for surrogacy to protect women from exploitation.
Florida Statute 742.15 outlines the requirements for gestational surrogacy. Again, the surrogate must agree to surrender the child to the parents after birth. For this law to be enforced, the prospective parents must be over 18 and married to each other. Again, the surrogate cannot receive compensation.
In both types of surrogacy, the parents pay the surrogate’s medical expenses and reasonable living costs.
Florida takes extra steps to protect the rights of parents. When a child is born from gestational surrogacy, the intended parents are listed on the birth certificate. This means that they do not have to go through the adoption or paternity process.
Under Florida law, traditional surrogacy is referred to as a “Pre-Planned Adoption Agreement.” In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is impregnated with the intended father’s sperm. She carries the child and then signs the baby over to the intended parents. While the agreement is signed during pregnancy, it does not become final until seven days after the child’s birth.
Gestational surrogacy involves fertilizing an egg via IVF and then transferring the embryo or blastocyst to the surrogate, so the resulting child has no genetic link to the surrogate. Unlike traditional surrogacy, this option allows opposite-sex couples to have a child with their own sperm and egg.
Same-sex couples may use a sperm donor or egg donor while using one partner’s egg or sperm. If both parents’ DNA is used in a gestational surrogacy, they do not have to adopt the child. They do, however, need to go through an affirmation of parental rights proceeding.
Protecting Your Rights and Knowing Your Obligations
Whether you volunteer to serve as a surrogate mother or you hope to add to your family through surrogacy, careful planning is required. There are many legal issues surrounding surrogacy, and it’s important to work closely with an experienced reproductive law attorney who can advocate for your rights and ensure that everyone involved meets their obligations.
Surrogacy becomes even more complicated if you plan on using a donor sperm or donor egg. Your attorney can draw up the appropriate agreements, attend court hearings, and ensure that the necessary paperwork is filed.
Expand Your Family With the Help of Surrogacy
If surrogacy is the right choice for your family, we are here to help. Reach out to Carolan Family Law Firm, P.A. in Coral Gables to schedule a confidential consultation. You can reach us at (305) 358-2330.