From qualifications of to parental responsibility in surrogacy

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Child Custody on Sunday, October 5, 2014.

Last week, we covered how some Jewish women are having trouble dealing with gestational surrogacy issues. That post might have made some people wonder exactly what gestational surrogacy is and what Florida law says about it.

Gestational surrogacy occurs when a married couple suffering from infertility contacts an adult female who will carry a child for them. The married couple is the commissioning couple and the person who will carry and give birth to the baby is the surrogate.

In Florida, the commissioning couple must both be over 18 years old. The couple must be legally married. They must also have a medical reason that makes a surrogate necessary. These reasons include a risk to the health of the baby if the commissioning mother becomes pregnant, a risk to the health of the mother if she becomes pregnant or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

If the medical, marital and age requirements are met, the commissioning couple could then move forward with surrogacy. Once the couple finds a surrogate, they must all sign a contract. This includes protections for the commissioning couple, surrogate mother and baby.

Some of the points that have to be covered include the surrogate’s absolute right to consent to or deny medical treatments, the surrogate’s relinquishment of parental rights, the commissioning couple’s acceptance of parental responsibilities and assumption of parental responsibility by the surrogate if the child doesn’t genetically belong to at least one commissioning parent. The law in Florida also stipulates what can be paid to a surrogate, which includes some of the reasonable expenses incurred during the prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum periods.

Surrogacy is one way that some couples suffering from infertility can have children. Dealing with potential issues by covering the necessary bases in accordance with Florida law can help commissioning parents to ensure they have child custody once the baby is born. Because laws dealing with surrogacy can be complex, seeking assistance from someone familiar with surrogacy might help commissioning parents to ensure they are getting the proper contracts signed to keep them and their unborn baby protected.

Source: Florida Senate, “742.15 Gestational surrogacy contract..” Oct. 04, 2014