Attorneys Who Put Family First

Talmud Law The Law Offices of Rebecca J. Talmud

Intended parents and surrogates must follow surrogacy agreements

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Firm News

Gestational surrogacy is an alternative for New Yorkers who are trying to have a child but are unable to on their own. The process can be complicated, but beneficial to everyone involved. The prospective parents can have a child and the surrogate can benefit financially from the agreement while simultaneously providing invaluable assistance.

Since this can be a complex, emotionally taxing process, it is imperative that the parties are fully cognizant of the law regarding gestational surrogacy. A fundamental part of that is knowing the details of a surrogacy agreement and ensuring that it can stand up to legal scrutiny.

What must be in a surrogacy agreement?

Once the surrogacy agreement has been executed, a parentage petition to state who the parents are can be brought. The intended parents and the surrogate must show that a minimum of one person involved in the process has lived in New York for at least six months and are voluntarily consenting to the parentage judgment. Their legal representatives must verify that they have met the requirements for surrogacy.

A surrogate must meet specific criteria to carry the child. It is only for people who are at least 21; are citizens or permanent residents of the United States; have lived in New York for at least six months if one parent does not live in New York; has not provided the egg for the pregnancy; has been given a medical exam by a licensed health professional; gave informed consent that they know there are risks involved with being a surrogate; has all the necessary insurance; and meets the other criteria from the Commissioner of Health.

The intended parent needs to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and lived in New York for at least six months. It is important to remember that the parent can be a single person. If a couple intends on raising the child, they must either be married or in an intimate relationship. People in the LGBTQ+ community can be parents of a child born through surrogacy.

For separated couples, the intended parent can move forward with the agreement if they have lived apart for three years or are legally separated. When the surrogate is receiving financial compensation for carrying the child, the money will be placed in escrow. The medical expenses and how they will be paid for must be clear in the agreement.

The surrogate must receive a “Bill of Rights.” They will have the ability to make their own medical decisions with the pregnancy. The parents will assume custody of the child, provide support it and be responsible for the child’s care after birth.

Be prepared for the legal requirements of surrogacy

Once surrogacy was made legal in New York State, it opened a valuable avenue for people who wanted to be parents but were unable to do so on their own. Still, there have been complexities about the process in the past with people having changes of heart and wanting to have a relationship with the child they carried. Other obstacles can arise to make the process legally difficult and financially costly.

Knowing what must be in a gestational surrogacy contract is the first step toward reaching the desired outcome. This is true for the prospective parent or parents and the surrogate. With these cases, it is essential that everyone is protected. Knowing the guidelines, being financially compensated and being aware of the issues that can come up are all crucial parts of surrogacy.