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What are some legal issues with surrogates?

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Parental rights aren't guaranteed after a surrogate pregnancy. The law continues to change as reproductive technology and the very definition of a "parent" changes.

There isn't a federal law on surrogacy and state laws vary. After a surrogate pregnancy in some states, you may still have to pass adoption proceedings to gain legal custody of the child. In other states, a "declaration of parentage" before birth lets you avoid having to "adopt" the baby.

To protect your rights as parents-to-be -- and the rights of the child you're hoping to have -- hire an attorney who specializes in reproductive law in your state. They can write a surrogacy contract that clearly spells out what everyone needs to do.

A contract like that may help if legal issues come up after birth. It can also outline agreements about a variety of possible scenarios with the pregnancy, such as what happens if there are twins or triplets.

SOURCES:

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Third Party Reproduction."

The Ethics Committee. Fertility and Sterility, November 2003.

The National Infertility Association: "Surrogacy," "Myths about Surrogates."

Sreenivas, K. and Campo-Engelstein, L. Cancer Treatment and Research, 2010.

Saul, S. The New York Times, Dec. 13, 2009.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "ACOG Committee Opinion, February 2008: 'Surrogate Motherhood.'"

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 06, 2019

SOURCES:

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Third Party Reproduction."

The Ethics Committee. Fertility and Sterility, November 2003.

The National Infertility Association: "Surrogacy," "Myths about Surrogates."

Sreenivas, K. and Campo-Engelstein, L. Cancer Treatment and Research, 2010.

Saul, S. The New York Times, Dec. 13, 2009.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "ACOG Committee Opinion, February 2008: 'Surrogate Motherhood.'"

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 06, 2019

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