Once you make the decision to use sperm or egg donors or a surrogate to start your family, it can be an exciting time for everyone. However, fertility and surrogacy laws can be extremely complicated. Never enter into a donation or surrogacy agreement without first consulting a lawyer.
Surrogacy Agreements Should Be Written Contracts
Offering to carry someone's baby for nine months is quite a commitment. Before you make a final decision, you should fully understand your rights and have a written agreement in place. Hiring a lawyer with experience drafting surrogacy agreements is essential to ensure you get everything you deserve. In some cases, this includes payments from the natural parents to cover your expenses.
Sperm Donor Laws Vary by State
Whether sperm donors want to help a friend or family member have a baby - or just want to make some extra money - they should always consult with a lawyer before making donations. The laws of each state are different in regards to the rights and obligations of sperm donors. In some situations, a sperm donor can be treated as the legal parent of children born through artificial insemination. If this isn't a responsibility you want, the best way to avoid it is to speak with an attorney who is well-versed in the fertility laws of your state.
Parents Also Need Legal Safeguards
People who use egg or sperm donors or surrogate mothers to have a baby also need to have some legal safeguards in place to protect their rights before moving forward with the pregnancy. You should find a lawyer who will have your best interests in mind as you reach an agreement with egg donors, sperm donors, cryobanks (the facilities where frozen genetic material is stored), and surrogate mothers.
Some of the legal issues you need to sort out beforehand include the amount you'll pay to donors and surrogates and how to deal with the possibility of someone backing out of the agreement.
Finding a Fertility or Surrogacy Lawyer
Regardless of whether you're the hopeful parent, the person donating genetic material, or the person who will serve as the surrogate, you should locate and use an attorney who is licensed in your state and experienced in this area.
A Family Law Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding assisted reproduction is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a family lawyer.