Ins & Outs of Establishing Parentage For Intended Parents When Working with a Surrogate Mother During the Surrogacy Journey
Many couples that have suffered the frustrations of infertility have decided to become parents by the services of a surrogate mother.
Surrogacy in California has only become better and better as surrogacy laws in California are more established by surrogacy experience and other surrogate friendly states are following suit.
Many intended parents wonder about all of the complex ins and outs of establishing legal parentage when working with a surrogate mother in order to become parents.
Most experts on surrogate births recommend that the intended parents find a reputable surrogate agency in California or other surrogate friendly states, and intended parents have already found our surrogate agency to be a sensible solution for finally becoming parents.
Made In the USA Surrogacy is a California surrogate agency that offers surrogate services to assist potential surrogates and intended parents with each important step of the beautiful journey of surrogate-assisted parenthood.
Read on for exciting information regarding the legal process for surrogacy in California and elsewhere.
Understanding the Different Types of Surrogate Mothers
It is important for couples seeking a surrogate arrangement to understand the different types of surrogates. In the past, traditional surrogates were women who contributed their own egg that was fertilized by the intended father. This meant that the surrogate was genetically linked to the baby.
Alternately, the surrogate could become pregnant from a donor sperm which still leaves the surrogate genetically linked to the baby. Most surrogates use a fertility clinic to undergo IVF or in-vitro fertilization to conceive the baby.
To make it even more confusing, a surrogate could become pregnant from an embryo that was created from a donor egg and a donor sperm. This means that neither the surrogate or the intended parents share genetic DNA with the baby.
These types of surrogate arrangements were sometimes challenging in court if one of the parties changed their minds.
Today, almost all surrogate mothers are gestational surrogates. This is when a surrogate becomes pregnant with the intended parents’ embryo gained from IVF, known as in-vitro fertilization, making her unrelated genetically to the child. The intended parents in this instance are genetically linked to their baby or have used the services of an egg donor or sperm donor.
The use of a gestational surrogate presents less legal confusion regarding parental rights, as well as less of an emotional connection to the surrogate mother.
Recommended Way to Find a Surrogate
Due to the complex issues with regards to the legality of surrogate agreements and parental rights, experts strongly recommend that intended parents work with a reputable surrogate agency that offers surrogate services that will include referrals to reputable surrogacy lawyers. This is the best way to avoid the potential legal hassles and emotional issues that could become present before or after the birth.
Intended Parents Should Find a Surrogate Through Made in the USA Surrogacy
Look for a credible surrogate agency that has close ties with a fertility clinic that performs IVF, works with a reputable surrogacy attorney and helps intended parents find a surrogate ideal for their specific and unique situation.
Our California surrogate agency located in the Sacramento area that deals with surrogate processes will review your legal agreement drawn up by your surrogacy lawyer for each intended parent and their matched surrogate.
Our services make sure that all agreements that are agreed upon in the GSA or Surrogacy Agreement are coherent and detailed for both the surrogates and the intended parents. Having our expertise in reviewing your surrogacy agreement has helped many intended parents save money during the writing of this contract, as well as avoid conflict with your surrogate mother on the details of your agreement.
The Legal Process Between the Two Parties
After your surrogate mother has been completely screened and your surrogate is selected as a match, the legal process between the two parties will then begin.
When you hire a surrogate agency such as Made in the USA Surrogacy, you agree to use a pre-set and agreed upon surrogate compensation schedule, as well as surrogacy process.
Some of the details that we help set up with your surrogacy attorney will include:
- Compensation Details Established- such as surrogate compensation and surrogate compensation limits and details
- Timing of Payments
- Travel details for your surrogate mother
- Surrogate Medical insurance policy and policy review
- Many other details
Compensation details should be established and written into the legal agreements. Your surrogacy agency will typically act as the go-between, and they will keep track of important dates like compensation payments due to the surrogate and so forth. This makes the process a whole lot simpler for all involved.
The exact timing of payments are also included in the contracts, and specific criteria for what compensation is paid and all other details written into a legally binding contract between surrogates and the intended parents.
Each party has access to their own surrogacy attorney to avoid possible misunderstandings of any legally binding agreements.
Gestational Surrogate Agreement (GSA) Expectations Set Up by Agency
The agency will set up details agreed upon in the gestational surrogate agreement also known as the GSA. This should include a detailed explanation of the expectations set up by the parties and the agency. This can include everything from a list of surrogate promises like the avoidance of smoking and more.
Examples of surrogate expectations include:
- Avoidance of drugs or alcohol unless prescribed by the physician during pregnancy
- Adherence to all fertility doctor’s orders throughout the pregnancy and birth, as well as expectations of attending all doctors appointments
- Social limitations such as not being around domestic violence or other dangers to surrogate and baby situations
- Travel Restrictions set up to avoid Zika and other CDC related no-go areas for pregnant women
- Restraining from smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke during pregnancy
- Follow doctor advised sexual abstinence times & sexual partner screenings
- Expectations of how and when money is disbursed
The above are just guidelines, and each GSA will be different depending on the needs and expectations of each party involved. Also, these laws will differ if the birth occurs in another state with different surrogate birth laws.
Legal Parentage is Then Established Based On Birth State Laws
Following the surrogate pregnancy confirmation, legal parentage will then be established based on surrogate birth laws in the state where the baby is to be born. There are two ways to do this legally.
These methods are:
- Pre-birth order
- Adoption proceedings
Some surrogate friendly states allow the parties to obtain a Pre-Birth Order.
This is a legal document that will establish legal parentage prior to the baby’s birth. Most agencies will recommend that this is done about the 14th week of the pregnancy or earlier depending on state law and each circumstance. This agreement might also be a Post-Birth Order as well if the baby is born before the orders have been made.
In some cases, international couples looking for a surrogate will have to establish other parental rights according to their individual country and may have to visit their local embassy or in the case with Chinese parents, they will visit the Chinese consulate.
Adoption proceedings must ensue if the birth happened in a non-friendly surrogate birth state. The actual details differ per each unique case, as one intended parent might be genetically linked to the baby or both intended parents could be genetically linked to the baby as well. The law tends to favor those circumstances, but each state law is different currently.
Why a Surrogate in California Should Work with a Surrogate Agency
Intended parents who desire to find a surrogate in California, by and large, will be using a surrogate agency like Made in the USA Surrogacy in California. Many surrogates express relief in going with an agency because of all the benefits that a reliable agency can bring.
Dedicated agency representatives will ensure that both the intended parents looking to find a surrogate and the surrogate interested in helping an infertile couple will all be kept up to date on the status of the entire process.
These valuable services can help couples navigate IVF or in-vitro fertilization through a fertility clinic and assist them to find a surrogate able to make their dreams of becoming parents a reality.
The laws today in the United States are turning to favor intended parents who wish to find a surrogate to carry their baby for them due to the increasing popularity and experience being gained by the practice of surrogacy in general. Working with an honest surrogate agency that offers topnotch surrogate services can help prevent any heartaches in establishing legal parent status.
Having the specialized services of a surrogate knowledgeable attorney can be reassuring for couples that might have worries about actually being able to prove their legal parent status to the courts and Made in the USA Surrogacy will help you find a reliable surrogacy attorney who is well versed in all aspects of establishing parentage for your new baby.
If you are an intended parent who is looking for a surrogate in California, we encourage you to contact our agency today by filling out our form.
If you are a potential surrogate mother who is wanting to become a surrogate, we would like you to fill out this form here.