No matter what kind of surrogacy journey you complete, you will need a surrogacy attorney to protect your interests and legal rights as a prospective surrogate.
Absolutely no modern surrogacy can be completed without the legal guidance of a surrogacy lawyer, for the protection of all parties involved.
But what is a surrogacy attorney? What do they do, and why are they necessary for the surrogacy process?
Keep reading this article to learn more about an attorney for surrogacy and how you can find the perfect one for you. You can also reach out to us online and speak with one of our surrogacy professionals who can get you more information on the importance of surrogate lawyers.
What is a Surrogacy Attorney?
A surrogacy attorney is one of the few necessary professionals required to complete a surrogacy.
Surrogate lawyers, or assisted reproductive technology (ART) attorneys, deal with the legalities of different kinds of assisted reproduction, including:
- Egg, sperm, and embryo donation
- Legal steps needed to terminate parental rights
- Create donor agreements with these processes
- And more
Surrogacy attorneys have to go through the same certification process as any other attorney, which means they often have years of experience before they even start practicing on their own.
In fact, there is even a national association that only the most qualified surrogate lawyers can be a part of, known as the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.
Why Do I Need a Surrogacy Attorney? [3 Reasons to Consider]
Surrogacy attorneys are more than just a suggestion for intended parents and surrogates going through this family-building process — they’re a requirement.
Working with an attorney for surrogacy, either as a surrogate or an intended parent, will help you get through every legal aspect of the process more smoothly. Consider these three reasons why a surrogate lawyer is essential:
Reason 1: They will help explain your local surrogacy regulations and laws
Currently, there are no federal surrogacy laws, which means each state has different legal processes and regulations to be followed by intended parents and surrogates in that state. More often than not, these laws can be confusing and complicated.
If an intended parent or surrogate doesn’t follow them exactly, there can be grave legal repercussions. This is a major reason why working with a surrogate attorney is so important and so necessary in any modern surrogacy process.
Reason 2: They will always work to protect your rights and interests as their client
It’s required that the surrogate and the intended parents are represented by separate surrogacy attorneys before they can move forward with the process.
Surrogacy attorneys are the best professionals to address all potential complications, as they can protect intended parents and surrogates in a way that other surrogacy professionals cannot. For those who are pursuing an independent surrogacy, working with a surrogate lawyer who can anticipate all of the risks and liabilities can have a significant impact on the outcome and proceedings.
Although the possibility that a complication in the surrogacy process will occur is fairly low, it’s still important to ensure that your rights and interests remain protected. A surrogate lawyer is the only person who can effectively outline and work through those risks.
Reason 3: They will help you complete and negotiate your surrogacy contract
Once each party has a surrogacy attorney, that legal professional will help with drafting and negotiating your surrogacy contract.
This important part of your surrogacy attorney’s services to you must be done before you can start the medical process of surrogacy. In fact, most fertility clinics will not allow the medical process to begin until a finalized surrogacy contract is presented.
A surrogacy contract can only be valid with the oversight of a surrogate lawyer, and covers all aspects of the surrogacy process, including:
- The surrogate’s compensation
- Expectations and responsibilities for surrogates and intended parents throughout the process
- Sensitive issues, such as termination and selective reduction
- And more
How Do I Find an Attorney for Surrogacy?
As surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technologies become more popular, the number of surrogate lawyers available throughout the U.S. will also continue to grow. However, with such a large availability of surrogacy attorneys, how do you find one that is right for you as a prospective surrogate?
Like choosing any surrogacy professional, finding an attorney for surrogacy will take some research and understanding of exactly what you desire in this kind of professional.
Fortunately, if you choose to work with a surrogacy agency, your specialist can provide you with a list of experienced surrogacy attorneys that their organization frequently works with and recommends. For many surrogates, this is a huge advantage to working with a surrogacy agency, as they do not have to search for an appropriate surrogate lawyer on their own.
However, if you do wish to select a surrogacy attorney yourself, it’s always a great idea to start with the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. This organization provides a list of experienced surrogate lawyers to select from, and can be a great resource for prospective surrogates to contact surrogacy attorneys directly.
To help determine if a surrogacy attorney is the right professional for you, here are some questions to ask:
- How many surrogates and intended parents do you typically work with at a time? Do you usually represent one party more than the other?
- How long have you been practicing law? How long have you been representing surrogacy clients?
- How will you help me identify and protect my surrogacy goals and preferences?
- What does your contract negotiation process look like?
- What kind of contact availability will you have, in case I have legal questions throughout the process?
Find the Right Surrogate Lawyer Today
Remember, it’s always important that you feel comfortable with your surrogate lawyer before you commit to working with them. Your intended parents will pay your legal fees, so all you need to focus on is finding the right surrogacy attorney for you.
To start your search of finding the best attorney for surrogacy for you, contact a surrogacy professional today. We are always ready to help!