I do my best to make sure you do not need to worry about the surrogacy legal process, and that the end result is what you were hoping for.
If you are seeking the services of a matching agency or donor facility, they will likely ask you to sign a contract with them to pay for the services of finding a surrogate/carrier, an egg donor, a sperm donor or an embryo donor. These agencies often times have their own contracts that they require you to sign prior to utilizing their services. You need an attorney to review a contract with a surrogacy agency or a matching agency or an egg donation or embryo donation agency. Be sure that the contract is appropriate and protects your rights, without being one-sided for the agency.
Once you have obtained your egg donor, sperm donor, embryo donor or surrogate, you need an attorney to draft a contract between the intended parents and the surrogate or intended parents and egg/embryo donors. Do not rely on contracts you find “on-line”. I am happy to draft a contract between the parties to the agreement to be sure that all rights are protected. When the contact is complete, I will provide clearance letters to your physician’s office.
If a pregnancy occurs as the result of a surrogacy contract, it is never too early to begin the legal paperwork to assure all rights of all parties are protected and the baby/babies are sent home with the “parents”. Check List I advise clients to contact me after the first trimester to begin the legal process. Be aware that the legal procedure varies from county to county, so it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney to make sure the county’s requirements are being met.
I will draft the documents for the court, as well as affidavits for the parties and physician to sign. When everything is complete, I will file the documents with the court as soon as permitted. The next step for the client is to relax, enjoy the pregnancy and anticipation, and await the arrival of the baby(ies).
In most cases, I will be able to obtain a court order for you prior to the birth of the baby so that you have all the legal documents you need at the hospital at the time of birth to ensure your parental rights. Occasionally a hearing is required, however, you will not need to attend the hearing, and I will do so on your behalf. Genetic testing is at your discretion and will not be ordered by the court. It is not a requirement for a court order declaring your parental rights.
When the baby is born, you will have the court orders that are necessary to present to the records clerk at the hospital when filling out the birth certificate forms. The clerk will provide the order to the Ohio Department of Vital Statistics in order to have the proper birth certificate issues.
If the parents are international clients and require passports for travel out of the country with the baby, I can assist in obtaining the proper documentation on an expedited basis.