When you choose surrogacy, you can have the family you have been dreaming of, but the legal process of surrogacy varies from state to state, so it’s important to stay informed about your surrogacy parental rights.
You can get information for your surrogacy journey from a professional if you click here now.
Keep reading for more information about the various ways parents establish legal rights in surrogacy.
Who Has Parental Rights in Surrogacy?
In surrogacy, intended parent rights will vary depending on what state you are in, but some things are common among surrogacy journeys—parental rights are determined by state law, legal documentation and legal agreements that intended parents make with their surrogates.
Below you can see what determines parental rights and some of the legal documents that help people establish parental rights in surrogacy. You can also look at the basics of state surrogacy laws or click here to get information about surrogacy in your area.
1. State Surrogacy Laws
As we mentioned above, surrogacy laws vary quite a bit from state to state in the United States. State surrogacy laws are the biggest determining factor in establishing parental rights in surrogacy.
When it comes to surrogacy law, states fall into three categories:
States with Laws to Allow and Regulate Surrogacy
Some states have laws that protect intended parents and surrogates by expressly permitting surrogacy and establishing processes specifically for these situations. Following state laws in these states is necessary, and the process can be simpler than in other states.
States with No Laws on Surrogacy
Other states have not established laws about surrogacy, which means that lawyers must follow previous cases of surrogacy to determine how to establish surrogacy parental rights.
Some states with no laws on surrogacy have had many cases of surrogacy, and lawyers can reasonably predict the outcome when legal documents about parental rights are submitted to the courts. In other states, there have been very few previous cases of surrogacy, and ultimately it may be left up to individual courts or judges to determine the outcome when surrogates and parents attempt to establish parental rights in surrogacy.
States with Limits or Bans on Surrogacy
And some other states specifically ban some types of surrogacy or surrogacy agreements. In these states, even if parents make a contract with a surrogate or send in legal documentation, parental rights may not be able to be established for the intended parents.
In a few select states, those involved in an illegal surrogacy arrangement can face prison or fines.
2. Surrogacy Agreements
In states where surrogacy agreements are binding, laws and surrogacy agreements can establish the rights of intended parents in surrogacy as well as the rights of the surrogate. These agreements can help everyone understand expectations before surrogates begin the IVF process, and help both intended parents and surrogates meet each other’s expectations.
3. Pre-Birth Orders
In states where pre-birth orders are accepted, families can work with their lawyer to create this legal document and submit it during their surrogate’s pregnancy.
A pre-birth order can help intended parents establish their rights at birth so that they are able to take their child home and make decisions from the time they are born. This document also can allow intended parents to have their name on their child’s birth certificate.
4. Post-Birth Orders
Post-birth orders can establish the parenthood of intended parents in surrogacy once the child is born. This process varies from state to state. In some cases, signatures from the intended parents and the surrogate allow the finalization of parental rights in surrogacy.
In other cases, more paperwork or adoption proceedings may be required to legally establish the parenthood of the intended parents.
How to Protect Your Parental Rights through Surrogacy
The best way you can protect yourself and make sure that your parental rights are recognized in surrogacy is to get in contact with a surrogacy agency. A surrogacy professional can help you find a surrogate match and a surrogacy lawyer who will help you determine your best course of action in surrogacy.
You can get a free consultation with a surrogacy professional now if you click here.