With celebrity parents using surrogacy at an increasing frequency, the general public has become more familiar with the term than in the past. Surrogacy was stigmatized and misunderstood by so many people, and like time often does, opinions have changed. The frequency and number of children born via surrogacy have grown over the years.
The Importance Role an Attorney Serves During Your Surrogacy
In a recent story covered in the media, an altruistic gestational surrogate who carried a baby to term for an at-risk friend found out how important it is to have a surrogacy attorney protecting the interest and legal rights of the surrogate. After her at-risk friend's death from unrelated issues, the father of the child she carried to term demanded the surrogate assume the role of biological mother in the child’s life since the mother. He threatened to involve lawyers and the legal system to enforce her to parent a child not biologically related to her. As the number of surrogate pregnancies increases, complicated situations like this one will continue to occur, causing the legal status and laws associated with surrogacy to change and evolve as needed.
Types of Surrogacy
There are many types of surrogacy, and the laws surrounding each type can change depending on the circumstances. Surrogacy can take the form of gestational or traditional surrogacy, which is determined by the genetic relationship between the child and the surrogate. Surrogacy can also be defined by payments
- Gestational Surrogacy: The surrogate uses her uterus to carry an embryo to term. The surrogate does not share any of the child’s genetic material. The child does not belong to the surrogate in any way. So, once the child is born, the child is given to its parents.
- Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogate donates an egg that is used to create an embryo she carries to term. The surrogate is the biological mother of the baby and would need to surrender parental rights.
Depending on the reason for the surrogacy, your situation could dictate even further legal clarification.
- Altruistic Surrogacy: When most people thought of surrogacy in the past, they assumed it was altruistic surrogacy involving someone providing a kindness to a couple unable to have children without help. These surrogacy situations involve payment for medical bills and associated pregnancy costs, but they do not include compensation for the service of carrying a baby to term. Altruistic surrogacy is legal in most of the United States and most countries.
- Commercial Surrogacy: In our modern society, where we have become accustomed to celebrity surrogacy for payment, it’s no longer uncommon to see commercial surrogacy situations. Commercial surrogacy involves a woman being compensated for surrogacy beyond expenses incurred from medical treatments and associated bills. It’s important to note that commercial surrogacy does not enjoy the same legal status as altruistic surrogacy across the country.
Given the fluidity in legal between states and varying surrogacy types and situations, securing a surrogacy attorney to review any contracts or legal situation you have encountered can provide peace of mind and security for your financial situation.
3 Important Ways a Surrogacy Attorney Can Help in Your Situation
Surrogates, gestational, and intended parents all need to be protected in surrogacy situations. A surrogacy attorney can provide assistance and legal advice for many situations, like:
- Guidance and Advice Regarding Any Local and State Surrogacy Laws
- Provide Appropriate Paperwork to Legalize Your Surrogacy
- Establish Parental Rights for Intended Parents
As surrogacy laws continue to evolve to answer the questions we have yet to realize, an attorney will be an invaluable asset for both surrogates and parents.
The attorneys at Cecil Cianci Law, PC, can help you formulate a plan and file the appropriate for your surrogacy. Call us at (916) 675-3866 for more information on these and other surrogacy and reproductive technology situations.