The Law And Surrogacy

As technology evolves, so do the possibilities for people seeking to create a family. If you are considering surrogacy it is important to understand the difference between traditional versus gestational surrogacy and how they vary in view of the law. Although Indiana law provides that surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable, surrogacy occurs regularly in Indiana and we regularly draft surrogacy agreements and obtain parentage or prebirth orders for intended parents.

Traditional surrogacy involves a woman (surrogate) who provides her own ova or egg. This egg is then fertilized with the sperm of the intended father or by using a sperm donor. It is important that both parties agree to the relinquishing of rights of the surrogate and the rights of the intended parents. If the intended father uses his own sperm to fertilize the egg, then he is the birth father and he should be listed as such on the birth certificate.

Gestational surrogacy involves conceiving or carrying children to term outside of traditional methods. With gestational surrogacy, a woman (surrogate) does not use her own ova or egg but is implanted with a fertilized egg. This egg can be the intended mother's egg or a donor's egg and either the intended father's sperm or a donor's sperm. If the intended mother's egg is used with the intended father's sperm, then the intended parents should be listed on the birth certificate as the child's biological parents.

The Importance Of An Attorney In Surrogacy

Surrogates and intended parents should consult an attorney before any verbal or written agreements are made. This ensures that the wishes, expectations and responsibilities of both parties are clearly described, understood and agreed upon. Working with an attorney in Indiana from the onset of a surrogacy is the best way to ensure a smooth and unencumbered relationship. It is of course almost never too late to create an agreement.

Surrogacy agreements involve a myriad of items, including:

  • Confidentiality
  • Severability
  • Termination of surrogate's parental rights
  • Stipulations regarding the lifestyle and diet of the surrogate
  • Agreements regarding maintaining constant and effective health care for the surrogate
  • Agreements as to compensation if the pregnancy does not come to terms

These, as well as many other considerations and understandings are crucial to the surrogacy process and should only be handled by an experienced adoption and surrogacy lawyer in the state that the birth will take place.

Prebirth Orders And Surrogacy

By working with an attorney whose focus and experience are in adoption and surrogacy, an effective prebirth order or parentage order can be drafted. A prebirth order ensures that the intentions of all involved have been made clear and can ameliorate later disputes or misunderstandings.

It cannot be stressed enough the importance of working with an attorney who is not only skilled but experienced in surrogacy and assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

If you are a surrogate wishing to understand your role, rights and obligations, please call our office at 317-566-2174, or contact us online and we will promptly, usually within 24 hours, respond.

Likewise, if you are considering surrogacy as an option for building your family, our office can provide confidential, compassionate and effective advice and information. The best decisions are made when you are most informed. Call our Indianapolis office today to set up a time to meet and have all of your questions answered: 317-566-2174, or contact us online.