Deciding to expand your family is an exciting time. Surrogate pregnancy provides family planning choices to couples who otherwise face limitations. While surrogacy has seemingly become commonplace, it is still a relatively new scientific marvel. The advancements of science often leave the legal system playing catch up. Many families, who are rightly focusing on the beauty of life being created, fail to consider the complicated legal issues that accompany surrogate pregnancy relationships. Parents and gestational surrogates need the clarity that can only come from legal guidelines drafted before beginning the process. These clarifications can ensure all parties feel represented and the process ends with a positive outcome. Additionally, each state has varying surrogacy laws, so it’s important to have a lawyer working on behalf of both parties to ensure proper legal reviews have been conducted. Your attorney should help you review and address these issues before moving forward in your surrogacy journey.
4 Things You Need to Know When Starting the Surrogacy Process
Language and Medical Definitions: Surrogacy is a medical process, and it’s important that every party in the process understands the terminology and what these terms mean. There are two types of surrogates, gestational and traditional. In traditional surrogacy, the eggs and womb belong to the surrogate, making the surrogate genetically related to the child being carried. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is providing gestational services, carrying the baby to term. Other terms include biological father, which is the man who provides the genetic material being used to impregnate the surrogate.
State Laws and Regulations: While California is known for its friendly laws regarding surrogacy procedures and relationships, that doesn’t mean these laws are transferable. All involved parties need to meet with an attorney to determine the laws in their state and if those will apply to out-of-state surrogate pregnancies. In California, the Uniform Parentage Act provides protections for intended parents, surrogates, and all involved parties.
Adoption and Parentage: Depending on your surrogate situation, you will need to clarify custody issues for your newborn as soon as possible according to state law. If your surrogate lives in California and your child will be born in the state, you may still be required by your home state to adopt your child depending on whether your surrogacy is traditional or gestational. If your surrogate is also the biological mother of the newborn, you will need to complete the proper legal steps to establish parentage.
Legal Guidelines and Contracts: The surrogate and the intended parents should both have legal counsel. Legal guidelines should be created to ensure all parties feel protected. An attorney will also ensure both parties understand their responsibilities to one another. Contracts ensure the surrogacy process is legally binding.
California Surrogacy Planning and Legal Assistance
Our attorneys have years of experience helping families create surrogacy plans and contracts at Creative Family Solutions. We understand the importance of surrogacy planning, contracts, and protections for all parties involved. We can help you with the surrogacy process from beginning to end. Contact our legal team at (916) 675-3866 to schedule a consultation with our surrogacy planning attorney.