Advances in science and technology have led to a growth of remarkable options for couples who wish to have children. Surrogacy has become a viable and increasingly popular option for couples to start and grow a family.
Finding the right candidate to carry a baby can be stressful and overwhelming. The legal aspect should not be.
Once a surrogate mother is identified, there will still be several decisions to be made pertaining to the term of the pregnancy and many related matters.
The reality is that most intended parents and their surrogate mother will form a relationship unlike any other. The parties involved will have to decide just how close they will allow themselves and their contemplated child(ren) to be post birth.
What should not be lost on anyone involved is that this is a business transaction. And though this fact should not diminish the beauty of the process and the excitement of working together to bring life into the world, those involved should not loose sight of their respective rights and responsibilities.
One way that all involved can coalesce in advance of the medical proceedings and protect themselves is the surrogacy contract. Such a legal venture involves matters including but not limited to artificial reproductive technologies law, family law, guardianship, parental rights and general contract law issues as well.
As you might imagine, it can all be very complicated. This is where a surrogacy lawyer comes into the picture.
Don’t Forget the Legal Details in Surrogacy
Surrogacy lawyers handle the matter of negotiating the necessary elements raised in the surrogacy relationship through to obtain the corrected birth certificate. Among the more obvious matters is the form of payment from the parents-to-be to the surrogate mother.
Florida law prohibits payments in the form of a salary; however, surrogates can be compensated for their reasonable living expenses, lost wages, extraordinary hardships and time spent at medical procedures. These are basic financial topics that are addressed in every surrogate contract and there are many more details to consider.
Everyone involved must be in agreement on an array of medical decisions such as the surrogate mother’s use of an amniocentesis, preferences regarding selective reduction and even more difficult decisions must be resolved.
The intended parents will also want to discuss when the surrogate mother will be celibate before and after a scheduled embryo transfer to ensure the carrying mother does not conceive a child of her own.
Most intended parents will have preferences regarding the surrogate’s diet and exercise regiment. Issues of privacy arise prompting the need to discuss what information may be disclosed publicly, as well as the application of HIPAA privacy rules to medical information that will undoubtedly be exchanged between the parties.
Along these privacy lines travels the discussion of the extent of the contact the surrogate may or may not have with the child. Discussions are had as to if, and if so, when the child(ren) will be notified of the existence of a surrogate mother and the details of his or her conception.
These are very personal matters that must be resolved at the onset, particularly when the surrogate is a family member or friend.
Moreover, compensation of the professionals involved, including attorneys, therapists, the IVF clinic, escrow agents, egg donor or sperm donors, etc. must be addressed after a surrogate is screened by the clinic but before commencing the medical procedures to initiate the pregnancy.
Furthermore, a determination as to whether psychological examinations and treatment are necessary and will be made available to the surrogate must be made.
Don’t Go It Alone
A surrogacy lawyer helps intended parents and the surrogate mother navigate the complicated web of laws and issues involved in a surrogate pregnancy. Many of these issues may undoubtedly be awkward or difficult to discuss.
While this entire process is as much an emotional journey as it is biological, it is also a transaction, the terms of which must be ironed out prior to finalizing the relationship.
It is also vital that parties verify whether a surrogacy contract is enforceable within the relevant state of where the carrying mother resides (typically), as state law governs such matters given implications of family law and contract law, which are themselves matters of state law.
Consulting a lawyer is essential in all of these matters. The laws in many states may not have evolved or developed significantly and while case precedent exists in adjudicating surrogacy-related disputes in some jurisdictions, it is still a relatively newer and changing field.
Florida surrogacy lawyers help negotiate these agreements, appear in Court to obtain the affirmation of parental rights order, assist with obtaining the correct birth certificates and available to litigate any matters that may come up in the course of the contract.
If you have question about the legal aspect of surrogacy or need a Florida surrogacy attorney please call the Law Office of Aliette H. Carolan, Esq. at 305-358-2330. We are happy to answer questions and happy you with the surrogacy process.