Not all parents in New York can conceive and carry a child naturally. While many options for parenthood exist, one option some intended parents choose is to have a child through surrogacy.
Surrogacy can be a complex arrangement. To ensure that the intended parents’ rights and the surrogate’s rights are protected, New York requires the parties to enter into a surrogacy agreement before any medical surrogacy procedures can begin.
What are a surrogate’s rights?
Surrogates have numerous rights under New York law.
First, the intended parents must provide the surrogate with health insurance coverage, disability insurance and life insurance and they must pay the surrogate’s legal fees. The surrogate also has the right to compensation, which will be held in escrow.
The surrogate also has personal rights. They can see a physician of their choosing. They are free to make their own decisions about their pregnancy, including how many embryos to carry or even whether to terminate the pregnancy.
The surrogacy agreement
Surrogacy agreements are an essential component of any surrogacy arrangement in New York. A surrogacy agreement outlines both the intended parents’ rights and the surrogate’s rights in great detail.
First, it must state that the woman is permitted to be a surrogate under New York law. A surrogate must be age 21 or older, cannot be the child’s biological mother, must undergo a medical evaluation, must have her own attorney and must be covered by insurance provided by the intended parents.
Second, the intended parents must also have their own attorney. Both intended parents, if they are in a relationship together, must be included as parties to the surrogacy agreement.
Third, the surrogacy agreement must detail the rights and obligations of the surrogate and the intended parents. It must outline all risks and liabilities and how they will be handled. It must provide details on all financial arrangements related to the surrogacy.
Surrogacy can be a wonderful way to become a parent, but it is important that the intended parents’ parental rights are upheld while at the same time the surrogate’s rights are not infringed upon. It is a sensitive and complex area of law, but one that is important to understand if you are considering surrogacy in New York.