Surrogacy 101: Legal process- Validation, Court, or Post-Birth Legal
The legal process does not end with the finalization of the legal contract. The remainder of the process will differ the most, depending on weather the Intended Parents are a gay couple, a single parent, a married couple, an international couple, and it also varies depending on the state.
We will highlight some common legal processes here, depending on some frequent states for Surrogacy.
In Texas, if a Married couple decided to enter into a surrogacy, they are the most protected by the laws of the state. There is a clear legal process for a Married couple in Texas to use Surrogacy, and it is the easiest to accomplish. After completion of the contract, the Intended Parent’s attorney will file a petition to Validate with the court. The Court will validate the gestational agreement, and the Intended Parents or Agency will testify to the validity of the agreement in court. Once validated, the court will issue a pre-birth order, which will be given to the delivery hospital. The hospital will use the pre-birth order to put the Intended Parent’s names directly on the birth certificate.
This process is the same for validation weather the couple is International, or if they have used an egg or sperm donor, so long as they area legally married heterosexual couple.
In Texas, if you do not fall into the category of married hetero couple, you can still have an easy successful surrogacy in Texas. While your contract cannot be validated in the courts, the rights of the biological parent to the child are still well protected. The process would be a post-birth termination of the Gestational Surrogate’s assumed rights and there would be genetic testing done, if necessary to determine the biological father.
The Biological Father’s name would be put on the birth certificate, and the other Father, if any, would get rights later under various processes such as a joint conservatorship.
Arkansas is a great state for Single parents, as they enjoy the rights to the full protection of the laws there. They can be granted a pre-birth order, similar to Texas.
California, Florida, Chicago, Areas of Pennsylvania
The above are all great states for gay couples to pursue surrogacy in, as their names can be put directly on the birth certificate in most areas. While attorneys should be consulted to explain the rights in a case by case basis, these are usually very favorable states to gay couples. Of course, Married couples can use these states as well.
There are other states that are favorable to surrogacy, as well as many states where surrogacy is either illegal, or has major complications. If you are considering surrogacy, be sure to consult Simple Surrogacy or an attorney in your state who can help you determine the laws there before you consider surrogacy.