The basics of surrogacy -- a relatively new area of family law
Individuals and couples who are unable to have a baby in the traditional manner might turn to surrogacy as an option. This is a relatively new area of family law that has yet to be addressed by Pennsylvania lawmakers. Therefore, it is imperative that the parties involved enter into a written agreement that specifically outlines each party's rights and responsibilities before moving forward.
There are two primary types of surrogacy. The first is traditional surrogacy in which the egg and sperm of the intended biological parents are artificially inseminated. The second is gestational surrogacy in which a viable embryo is implanted into the surrogate's womb.
In either case, the surrogacy agreement needs to include certain provisions regarding who will be responsible for payment of the necessary procedures to begin the pregnancy such as in-vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. The medical needs and expenses of the surrogate and fetus during pregnancy will also need to be addressed, including health insurance. Since the surrogate might not become pregnant the first time, the parties will need to agree on a maximum number of tries. Custody of the child also needs to be made clear in the agreement.
Once the terms of the surrogacy agreement are negotiated, an attorney can petition the court for a pre-birth order. This order will ensure that the biological parents will be listed on the child's birth certificate. If one of the parents will not be donating biological material, he or she can petition to adopt the child. All of these legal issues need to be addressed prior to moving forward with any procedures in order to protect the potential parents and the surrogate. A Pennsylvania family law attorney could help ensure that this happens.