ART (Artificial Reproductive Technology), Gestational Surrogacy, and Preplanned Adoption

In today’s world there are many different ways to become a parent.  Whether you are single and choosing to welcome a child into your life or are married and unable to conceive on your own, there are several options available to you when choosing to build your family.  

You may choose to employ the help of a gestational surrogate.  This option is available in Florida to married couples (either heterosexual or homosexual) who enter an agreement as the intended parents with a surrogate gestational carrier to take the intended parents’ egg or sperm (or both) and mix them in vitro with the resulting embryo being transferred to the uterus of the surrogate female to carry to term.  While some states, do not allow gestational surrogacy, Florida surrogacy law requires that the genetic material of at least one of the intended parents be used and none from the gestational surrogate.  This provides a protection for the parents since the surrogate has no legal connection to the child and makes Florida a popular place of these types of arrangements.  Both parties to the agreement should have their own representation to review and negotiate the terms of the agreement.  Contact us here at The Joseph Firm to have an experienced attorney help you through this exciting process.

Unmarried couples may not enter into gestational surrogacy agreements in Florida, but they may engage in something called pre-planned adoption. The result is the same as with a gestational surrogacy agreement. The genetic material of one or both of the intended parents is used and none from the gestational carrier, but since it is termed a pre-planned adoption, the surrogate is agreeing to bear a child for the intended parents and relinquishes all parental rights to them. The agreements are nearly the same with the exception of an irrevocable adoption consent being signed at the same time.  Just as with gestational surrogate agreements, it is important that each party have representation by an experienced attorney.  

In addition to the above agreements, it may be necessary for you to engage in an agreement with an egg or sperm donor.  These agreements can also be complicated as the specific rights and expectations of the parties must be laid out in detail prior to donation to prevent any unintended outcomes or complications.  It should be made clear that the donor of the genetic material is relinquishing any legal parental rights to the child as well as declaring that they are free of any obligations of support.  Because these issues can be so complex and so weighty these agreements should always be undertaken by an assisted reproduction attorney.  

If you are looking to grow your family through the use of assisted reproductive technology, call us here at The Joseph Firm to speak to an experienced attorney about your options.