THE SURROGACY PROCESS
There are two different types of surrogacy, traditional and gestational. Which kind of surrogacy you are entering into determines the legal process to request for a parentage order from the Court, depending on your jurisdiction.
A traditional surrogacy is one where the surrogate is the biological mother of the child. In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate uses her own egg, which is fertilized with sperm from either the Intended Father or donor, via intrauterine insemination. This type of surrogacy is fairly uncommon, as it carries additional legal risks than a gestational surrogacy.
A gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy. In contrast to a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child. In a gestational surrogacy, the sperm and egg from the Intended Parents, or donors, is used to create an embryo through in vitro fertilization. The resulting fresh or cryo preserved embryo is transferred to the surrogate. With the surrogate not being biologically related to the child, it is the preferred method, as it is more regulated in most states and a “safer” option to building or expanding a family.
Prior to any medical procedures beginning, you must have the requisite legal documents in order to proceed with your chosen Gestational Surrogate. A surrogacy attorney not only drafts the necessary legally binding agreement between Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates, but oversees the execution of the agreement, planning for risks, and, at times, ensuring the financial plan in place is adhered to.
When a woman is matched with and decides to carry a child for the Intended Parents, it’s a beautiful thing. Once the parties are matched, it is important that the Gestational Carrier Agreement reflects all of the details and expectations of both parties. When Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates are matched with an agency, the agency does not write the contract. The attorney for the Intended Parents usually writes the agreement. Depending on jurisdiction, the Gestational Carrier may or may not be permitted to waive independent legal counsel. The process of starting your family with a Gestational Carrier cannot begin until certain medical and legal requirements are made.
After the surrogate becomes pregnant, usually the attorney for the Intended Parents begin the process to obtain a legal order for parentage, which declares both the Intended Mother and the Intended Father as the legal parents. Often times, this process includes the information that the birth certificate will reflect, or be modified. Depending on the jurisdiction, this may be done before, or after the child is born. These are known as pre-birth or post-birth parentage orders.
Surrogacy can be a beautiful experience for not only the Intended Parents, but for the Gestational Carrier as well. Attorney Leah Kisner can make sure that you understand the process every step of the way, if you are an Intended Parent or a Gestational Carrier. Attorney Leah Kisner is dedicated to drafting a comprehensive surrogacy agreement in a timely manner as well as handling your parentage orders. Attorney Leah Kisner can represent you in reviewing your Gestational Carrier Agreement whether you are a first time surrogate or a proven surrogate.