Third Party Reproduction: Choosing Between a Surrogate and Gestational Carrier
The birth of a child is one of the most joyful events in a parent’s life, but the path to parenthood is often full of both choices and challenges. Among the options available in Florida is using a surrogate, which involves using third parties to aid in insemination as well as in carrying the baby to term. Surrogacy is a complicated legal process that can be full of potential pitfalls if not handled properly. At the same time, it can also be an invaluable tool in allowing you to be not only a part of the birthing process, but part of conception as well.
Third Party Reproduction
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) states third party reproduction is the term used to describe reproductive procedures that use either the sperm, egg, or embryos of another in order to have a child. It includes two types of surrogacy:
- Traditional surrogacy, in which a woman is inseminated with sperm and then carries the child to term for a couple.
- Gestational surrogacy, in which an embryo is created by the prospective parents and implanted into the surrogate’s womb.
In traditional surrogacy, the woman carrying the fetus is genetically linked to the child, and is the child’s biological mother. With gestational surrogates, there is no such attachment. The embryo chosen to implant in a gestational carrier may contain either the sperm or egg of you or your partner, or it may be an embryo donated by another couple. The FDA closely regulates embryo donations, and just as with sperm or egg donations, all parties involved must be carefully screened and tested for blood type, RH factor, and genetic abnormalities, as well as for diseases such as syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV.
Florida Laws on Surrogacy
When it comes to third party reproduction, the ASRM advises there are plenty of legal technicalities that should be observed. As the commissioning parents, you, the sperm, egg, or embryo donors, and the surrogate should all have separate legal counsel. There should be a formal, written contract detailing your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of the donors and the surrogate. Payment of financial obligations need to be specified, as well as the surrogate’s obligation to maintain her own health and that of the developing fetus.
Under Chapter 742 of the Florida Statutes, within three days of the child’s birth, you may petition the court for an expedited affirmation of parental status. Once the petition is filed, a hearing is scheduled, sometime immediately. A judge will review the surrogate contract and, provided it conforms to state law, will name you and your partner as legal parents and guardians of the child.
Our Florida Surrogacy Attorneys Can Help You Today
If you are considering third party reproduction, contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. today. Our Florida attorney has the legal knowledge and experience you need to answer your questions and guide you through the process, while acting as a trusted advocate to help ensure your rights are protected. We have offices in Orlando and Tampa, and same day consultations are available.