Gestational surrogacy is an arrangement that involves a woman carrying and delivering a baby for another couple. Most often, the baby is genetically related to at least one of the intended parents. The surrogate mother will either undergo vitro fertilization of one of her eggs or be artificially inseminated with one of her eggs, or an egg belonging to a donor. In the state of New York, the couple to whom the baby will belong remains actively involved throughout the pregnancy and labor.
How Does the Process Begin?
Every case is different, but most often, the surrogacy process in New York starts with a consultation with a fertility counselor. The counselor listens to the couple’s story, weighs the pros and cons, and discusses various details and challenges of the process so the couple knows precisely what they will be committing to. The counselor will also gauge the emotional stability of the couple and their eligibility as parents.
Where Does the Surrogate Come From?
When it comes to finding the surrogate, there are several options. Some choose her from friends and family, while others choose her from an agency that specializes in thorough screening and has strict medical and psychological guidelines in place for potential surrogates.
Hiring a Lawyer
Regardless of how positive an experience surrogacy can be for all involved, there are several complex legal issues to consider, which is why hiring an attorney to handle those issues is highly recommended. An attorney can help protect the rights of all parties and includes provisions for legal custody, parental rights, visitation rights, parameters of the mother’s delivery of the baby, insurance, future contact between the biological mother and child, and who’s in charge of any pertinent medical decisions throughout the pregnancy or labor. An attorney is also necessary to document what compensation will be given to the surrogate and how it is to be paid. Any signing away of parental rights by the surrogate will also be handled by the attorney.
The next stage initiates the medical phase of the process as the surrogate starts using medications designed to sync her gestation. This will ensure that the surrogate’s uterus will be capable of carrying an embryo once the doctor has retrieved and fertilized the eggs. Using gonadotropins, the biological mother’s ovaries are stimulated to develop multiple eggs. Once the egg is fertilized in a laboratory, the frozen embryos are implanted into the uterus of the surrogate, and this initiates the beginning of the pregnancy.
Gestational Surrogacy Contracts
The surrogacy process is an emotional journey that involves the complexities of emotion, time, and money. Gestational surrogacy contracts vary from state to state. Some states will only honor agreements that involve married couples, other states prohibit parents-to-be from compensating their surrogate, and some still impose strict restrictions on non-heterosexual couples. These variances are why it’s so important to hire an attorney who is licensed in your state and experienced with navigating the complexities of third-party reproduction agreements.
Not everyone is granted the blessing of pregnancy and having a child. Some people must explore other non-traditional options, and those options can often be complex. With the help of an experienced attorney or resources like Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc, the surrogacy process can be as stress-free as possible.