Five Important Questions to Ask Your Surrogacy Lawyer

Growing families choose to work with gestational surrogates for different reasons, ranging from fertility issues to LGBT family building needs. Regardless of your reason and whatever your situation, your parental rights will be protected by a surrogate contract executed by your surrogacy attorney. This also holds true for surrogates, albeit with a focus on protecting a surrogate’s right to be compensated and to receive a high standard of care during her pregnancy.

When it’s time to start working with a surrogacy attorney, we recommend having these five questions handy in order to learn important, up-to-date information directly from the person whose primary function it is to legally protect you and your family during a surrogacy transaction.

1. How much will surrogacy law services cost?
At your consultation, you can ask this question right away. Intended parents should prepare for about $3,000 in legal fees when it comes to drafting a surrogacy agreement. This figure does not include fees charged by the attorney representing the gestational surrogate, which will be additional.

2. What are the surrogacy laws in my state?
This is a very important question, since surrogacy laws and statutes do vary by state. Your lawyer can explain the various nuances of surrogacy law and help you understand your rights, obligations and privileges.

3. What is a surrogate contract?
The main service a surrogacy lawyer provides in a surrogacy transaction is the execution of your contract. This agreement covers the establishment of intended parents’ parental rights, the termination of a surrogate’s parental rights, and the details of both parties’ rights and obligations throughout the surrogacy transaction.

4. Can the surrogate decide to keep the baby?
While the answer is typically “no,” this question keeps some intended parents up at night. In California, the surrogate contract precedes the embryo transfer procedure, making it very difficult for a surrogate to claim she ever intended to parent the resulting child. Since surrogacy laws vary by state, confirming this with your surrogacy lawyer will provide peace of mind and inform the steps you need to take to ensure your parental rights.

5. What happens after we sign the contract?
After intended parent(s) and surrogate agree to the terms in the surrogate contract, all parties must go through the parental establishment process, which finalizes intended parents’ parental rights in the court. Your attorney can help you understand how this court hearing works.

It’s a good idea to write down these and any additional questions you have for your surrogacy lawyer prior to your consultation. For legal assistance with California surrogacy, on either the parent or surrogate side of the transaction, contact Falletta & Klein today.

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