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If
you’re thinking about contracting for a surrogate pregnancy to start your
family, you must engage a reproductive law attorney with specific surrogacy experience
to advise you throughout the process.
Surrogacy Law Differs Among States
Parents
who want to use a surrogate to bring a pregnancy to term will need a contract
that spells out their responsibilities and the surrogate’s.
This
can be very tricky, since states take different approaches toward surrogacy.
  • Some
    states prohibit surrogacy or do not recognize surrogacy contracts.
  • Other
    states do not allow a surrogate mother to be paid for their services or
    restrict payment.
  • States
    have different definitions for legal parenthood.

o  
Some
may insist a biological parent has primary rights, even when it’s been signed
over.
o  
Others
consider what’s best for the child.
The
first step may well be to find a state that is open to surrogacy and determine
how intended parents are treated in their residential state.
A
good surrogacy agency maintains ties with reproductive law attorneys who
specialize in fertility law in different states. You will need this person’s
guidance throughout the process to identify and answer medical, parental and
payment/reimbursement issues in surrogacy.
Medical Contractual Issues in Surrogacy
Here
are some medical issues a surrogacy contract will cover.
  • Health insurance. The surrogate should
    have health insurance. Review her insurance for its prenatal care benefits.

o  
Will
you pay or reimburse her premiums during the contract period to ensure benefits
aren’t cut off for nonpayment?
o  
If
the insurer goes out of business, is there another insurer in her region to pay
for continued care? Are you prepared to assume any uncovered costs?
o  
Decide
who will pay for items that are not 100% covered, including those for tests and
procedures to treat unanticipated complications.
o  
Make
sure there is agreement on prenatal tests you may want her to have, and that
all parties understand the miscarriage risks that come with some tests.
  •  Embryos. Agree on the number
    of embryos to implant; much of this is dependent on the surrogate’s physical
    capability to sustain a multiples pregnancy. Define how many attempts will be
    made to achieve a pregnancy, and whose eggs/sperm are used if the intended
    parents are a same-sex couple.
  • Fetus Viability and
    Life-Threatening Conditions
    . Surrogates and intended parents need to agree on
    specifics about when a pregnancy should be ended and understand state laws that
    restrict abortion.

Parental Contractual
Issues in Surrogacy
Think
about parental issues that arise during a surrogacy.
  •  Frozen embryos. What happens to
    frozen embryos left over after a successful pregnancy? If they are preserved
    for future children, what happens if there is a divorce or the couple otherwise
    split up?  Which parent will assume
    guardianship?
  • Pre-birth orders. Some states allow
    pre-birth orders to be issued at the 26th week of pregnancy that
    list the name(s) of the intended parent(s).
Do
you have questions about surrogacy laws and want to speak with a reproductive
law attorney? Contact Open Arms today at 941-741-4994 or fill out a short web
form
.
We’ll guide you down the right path.
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