Qualities to Look For In A Surrogate
For gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples who otherwise cannot conceive, surrogacy provides a way to have a child of your own. As one of several paths to parenthood you may wish to consider, our surrogacy attorneys can help guide you through the process, ensuring the process is conducted in accordance with state laws. Once you are comfortable with your decision, the following outlines qualities you will want to consider in choosing the surrogate that is right for you.
Legal Requirements for Using A Surrogate
Section 742.15 of the Florida Domestic Relations Code outlines legal requirements, both for surrogates as well as the couples using their services:
- The couple must be legally married and residents of the state;
- The couple must be unable to conceive or to carry a child to term;
- The couple must agree that the surrogate has sole consent regarding medical interventions and management of the pregnancy;
- The couple must agree to accepting full custody of the child upon birth.
- The surrogate must agree to obtain reasonable medical treatment and to maintain their condition;
- The surrogate must agree to surrender all parental rights at the child’s birth;
- The surrogate must assume full parental obligation if it is determined that the child is not biologically related to either spouse;
- The surrogate must agree to only receive compensation for medical and related expenses.
Choosing A Surrogate
In addition to legal requirements to consider when choosing a surrogate, it is important to consider the qualities you would like the surrogate to have. SurrogateMothers.org recommends considering the following:
- The mother’s age: Ideally, a surrogate should be between 21 and 40 years old. Younger mothers may not be able to deal with the emotions involved, and children of older mothers face health risks.
- Previous children: Having been through pregnancy before will help her be better equipped for how to deal with it, and could alert doctors to any complications that could arise in later.
- Her physical health: Ideally, your surrogate will be at an ideal weight, a non-smoker, and with no pre-existing health issues;
- Her mental health: A psychological screening is in order to ensure she can deal with the mood fluctuations that are common in pregnancy, and the she has the emotional strength to handle surrendering the child.
- Her financial stability: Money should not be her motive for being a surrogate.
- Her emotional and physical support: Whether through an intimate partner or through family and friends, she should have people to stand beside her and encourage her through the pregnancy.
If the surrogate you choose is out of state, it is important to make sure that what she is doing is legally allowed in her state, as this could end up causing problems or complications further down the line.
Reach Out to Us for Assistance
If you are considering using a surrogate to have a child, contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. today. Our Florida family law attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience to guide you through the process, while acting as a strong legal advocate to ensure your rights are protected.