When one party of a California couple either chooses or is unable to have a biological child, they may find themselves despairing that they will be unable to create the family of which they always dreamed. Yet, there are other ways that an individual or couple can create and expand a family. Adoption, of course, is one of the most obvious routes, but surrogacy can also be a viable option for many Californians.
Surrogacy occurs when a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy with the agreement that the child when born, will become the legal child of another individual or couple. California has strict laws that apply to surrogacy agreements, so those who are interested in this option need to inform themselves as fully as possible.
California law spells out the terms that should be included in one of these agreements. For example, the agreement must specify how the future parents will cover the carrier's medical expenses. Special consideration must also be given to how certain medical liabilities will be covered. The agreement must also specify the parties involved so that there is no confusion as to who the child's legal parent/s will be.
Those who are to be the child's legal parents also need to take legal action to establish their parental rights. This must be done carefully and in accordance with the law. Failure to do so could result in an individual assuming that he or she is a child's legal parent when, in fact, those rights have never been instilled in him or her.
These are just a handful of legal issues that can arise when surrogacy is pursued. It can be a fascinating journey for all parties involved, but one that needs to be approached carefully. To ensure that one's legal rights are protected, those entering into a surrogacy agreement should consider consulting with a competent family law attorney.