Engaging A Surrogate (Representation Of Intended Parents)
If you are planning to use a surrogate to have a baby, there are many technical and practical considerations. There are of course many risks for the carrier, but also for you as the intended parents. You should not enter an agreement — formal or informal — without the advice of a qualified lawyer.
Brandon Family Law Center, LLC, represents intended parents in the Tampa Bay area in surrogacy agreements and related matters of surrogacy and reproductive law. We will help you locate a surrogate and work out the concrete terms of your arrangement to minimize conflicts or misunderstandings.
Arranging For A Gestational Surrogate
We only handle gestational carrier surrogacy agreements, i.e., cases in which the intended parents provide the egg and sperm, and the surrogate mother carries the implanted embryo to term. (We do not handle traditional surrogacy, i.e., when the carrier uses her own egg and is thus genetically related to the child.)
The first thing we do is educate prospective parents about their rights and responsibilities under Florida's surrogacy laws, and the substantial costs of engaging a surrogate. For starters, you must be a married couple and you must enter into a legally binding contract approved by a Florida family court. Then there are dozens of questions that must be addressed in the agreement such as:
- Do you have restrictions or preferences regarding race or ethnicity?
- Who chooses the prenatal doctors and the birthing hospital?
- What if more than one egg/embryo implants (i.e., twins or triplets)?
- Are you willing to take custody if the infant is born with health problems or a birth defect?
- Under what terms can the pregnancy be terminated?
- Under what terms can the surrogacy contract be terminated?
Per Florida law, intended parents cannot provide direct compensation to a surrogate. However, you are allowed and obligated to provide for her reasonable expenses and hardships. We help you anticipate and negotiate these terms, such as reimbursement for living expenses and uncovered medical expenses: day care, maternity wear, lost wages, meals, life insurance, and compensation for certain "above and beyond" developments such as mandated bed rest or C-section delivery.
Crossing The T's And Dotting The I's
A successful surrogacy will bring untold joy, but these arrangements are fraught with potential problems. Our proactive and thorough approach helps to avoid many problems and makes sure that everyone is on the same page. Attorney Mary L. Greenwood has facilitated dozens of surrogacy cases in her 25 years of family law practice.
If you need help finding a surrogate in Florida and working out the details, call Brandon Family Law Center at 813-438-7119, toll free 800-769-0129, or contact us online.