Surrogacy is an assisted reproductive technology which 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 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.
FindLaw strongly encourages you to never enter into a donation or surrogacy agreement without first consulting a lawyer. Here are 10 reasons to use an attorney to help you with a surrogacy agreement.
|10||EXPERIENCE. 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. It is almost impossible to remain objective and rational in selecting a surrogate on your own, since that is a decision so fraught with emotion.|
|8||CONTACTS. 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||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. Attorneys experienced in surrogacy law have also established professional contacts who can conduct the necessary medical and psychological screening of potential candidates.|
|5||MONEY. 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. 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.|
|1||YOUR CHILD. With an attorney on your side, you stand the best chance of achieving your objective-having a child.|
Do I Need An Attorney?
The law surrounding assisted reproduction is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique.
Surrogacy laws are constantly changing. It is important to consider consulting a family law attorney for advice. A skilled family law 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. Also, surrogacy and artificial insemination laws vary widely by state, and your attorney can help explain your state's rules to you. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced family attorney.