If you are an Intended Parent, Gestational or Traditional Surrogate, or same sex couple wishing to have a child through surrogacy, I can provide you with experienced, timely, and personalized service. I have been helping people build families through surrogacy for over 18 years and offer my clients a vast breadth of experience. The California Supreme Court has recognized the rights of Intended Parents and California Courts regularly issue pre-birth orders declaring Intended Parents the legal parents of a child born through surrogacy and allow them to put their names directly on the birth certificate.
A Gestational Surrogacy is a surrogate arrangement in which Intended Parent(s) obtain the services of a woman (the gestational carrier) to carry and give birth to their child through an IVF transfer procedure. The embryo that is transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus is created from the sperm of the Intended Father (or a donor) and the ova of the Intended Mother (or a donor.)
It is important that surrogates and intended parents obtain the advice and guidance of an attorney experienced in surrogacy law. I currently practice almost exclusively in family formation law and have over 18 years of experience. I will personally and promptly handle your cases from start to finish. I will be available to consult with you and answer your questions regarding surrogacy and the law throughout the process. I will draft your contract (or review a contract provided by an agency); negotiate the changes with the other party’s attorney and revise the contract to reflect the final agreement of the parties; send a clearance letter to the fertility clinic so surrogate can begin her medications; and then draft and file the necessary documents to obtain a pre-birth order that states that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child and that the intended parents’ names will go directly on the birth certificate.
Intended Parents and surrogates should carefully choose each other to ensure that their basic values and expectations surrounding pregnancy and childbirth are compatible. I advise both my surrogate and intended parent clients to use an experienced agency to manage the surrogacy, however, many people, due to financial constraints or other reasons, choose to work together independently. I am happy to represent clients in both situations.
I always advise my clients that the Intended Parents and the Surrogate should be represented by separate legal counsel experienced in assisted reproduction law. This ensures that the surrogate and the parents are fully aware of their legal rights and responsibilities and protects Intended Parents in the future should the surrogate try to assert parental rights over the child(ren).
TIME LINE & STEPS TO SURROGACY
- Match with Surrogate either on own or through Surrogate Agency
- Review and negotiate Surrogate Agency agreement
- Medical and Psychological Screening of Surrogate
- Obtain Surrogate’s Insurance or review current insurance policy to determine if it covers surrogate births
- Draft Surrogate Agreement (or review and revise agreement provided by Surrogate Agency)
- Other party reviews Surrogate Agreement with separate attorney
- Negotiate Changes and make final revisions to Surrogate Agreement
- Execute Surrogate Agreement and provide copies to the parties
- Send legal clearance letter to Clinic
- Intended Parents set up and fund escrow account
- Surrogate starts injectible medications
- IVF Transfer (or Artificial Insemination)
- Blood Test and Ultra Sound to confirm pregnancy
- Draft Pleadings to obtain pre-birth order
- Obtain Judgment
- Send Judgment to Hospital
- Birth of child
- Obtain Birth Certificate(s)
SAME SEX COUPLES
If you are a same sex couple who desires to have a child through surrogacy, I will represent you and draft a co-parenting agreement that is tailored to your personal situation and protects the parenting rights of both parties. Ideally same sex couples should also be registered domestic partners in order to have the added protection this statute offers to insure their parental rights. In addition, I will draft the pleadings and file them with the court in order to obtain a pre-birth order that declares both parents the legal parents of the child(ren) and directs the hospital to have both parents’ names put on the child(ren)’s birth certificate(s). Same sex couples may also be advised to go through a step-parent adoption to further protect their rights as equal parents of the child.
If you are a single man or woman I will also represent you and draft an agreement tailored to your specific situation as well as draft and file pleadings to obtain a pre-birth order putting your name directly on the birth certificate as the parent of the child born through the surrogacy.
FERTILITY CLINICS AND PHYSICIANS, SURROGATE AGENCIES
I represent Fertility Clinics and Physicians as well as Surrogate Agencies who need legal advice. I will draft their Service Agreements with surrogates and review the Informed Consent documents for Fertility Clinics and Physicians.