Surrogacy is an assisted reproductive technology that provides an option for individuals or couples who are unable to conceive or carry a child. Advances in reproductive methods including in vitro fertilization provide alternatives for the creation and implantation of an embryo for pregnancy. A surrogate agrees to become pregnant for the purpose of giving the child to another individual or couple.
Parties to a surrogate arrangement typically enter into a surrogacy contract/agreement which details the terms of the process, including costs. Once you make the decision to use sperm or egg donors or a surrogate to start your family, it can be an exciting time for everyone. However, fertility and surrogacy laws can be extremely complicated.
Why You Should Use a Surrogacy Attorney: 10 Reasons
Most attorneys advise against entering into a donation or surrogacy agreement without first consulting a lawyer. Here are 10 reasons to use a surrogacy lawyer before signing on the dotted line.
10. Experience With Surrogate Pregnancy
A lawyer experienced in working with prospective parents and surrogates can discuss with you, right at the outset, what you can expect in terms of timeline, costs, and issues that could arise, as well as answer any questions you may have before beginning the process.
9. Objectivity in Surrogacy
It's almost impossible to remain objective in selecting a surrogate mother on your own because the decision is so fraught with emotion.
8. Contacts and Networking
An attorney experienced in working with prospective parents and surrogates has established contacts and relationships that can expedite the process of locating potential candidates.
7. Surrogate Law Skills
A surrogacy law expert and his or her staff have experience with and the skills required to conduct appropriate reference and background checks on potential surrogates.
6. Screening for Candidates
Attorneys experienced in surrogacy law have also established professional contacts who can conduct the necessary medical and psychological screening of potential candidates.
5. Money Considerations
Once a candidate is located, your attorney is better able to address the sensitive subject of money with the surrogate. An experienced lawyer knows what charges are customary, and is much less likely than you to feel pressured to agree to inappropriate sums.
4. Relationship Management
Your attorney can help you set up the type of relationship involving the degree of contact and involvement during the pregnancy that best suits you and the surrogate.
3. Dispute Resolution
With an attorney, you have an intermediary to help resolve any disagreements that arise between you and the surrogate during the pregnancy.
2. Contract Drafting Strategies
An attorney can help draft an enforceable surrogacy contract that addresses the important issues and the contingencies that could arise before, during, and after the pregnancy and that meets all the requirements under the surrogacy laws in your state.
1. Your Child's Future
With an attorney on your side, you stand the best chance of achieving your objective — having a child.
Should You Use a Surrogacy Lawyer? Talk to One and Find Out
Surrogacy laws are constantly changing. A skilled legal professional can help draft an enforceable surrogacy contract that addresses the important issues and contingencies that could arise before, during, and after the pregnancy. Also, surrogacy and artificial insemination laws vary widely by state, and an experienced family law attorney can help explain your state's rules to you.