How Parental Rights Are Established When Using an Egg Donor or Surrogate

Whether someone is single, dealing with infertility, or part of an LGBT+ partnership, using an egg donor or surrogate is a way for many people to start a family. However, unlike other forms of family-building, the egg donor and surrogacy processes require specific legal actions in order to establish parental rights. These legalities are in place so that both the intended parents and the third-party individual are protected during and after the process.

During this time, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced fertility lawyer. Fertility lawyers are deeply knowledgeable about all legal matters that concern assisted reproduction and can help guide you through the process to ensure your parental rights are properly established.

Egg Donor and Surrogacy Contracts

The establishment of parental rights is an important component of an egg donation or surrogacy contract. These contracts ensure that the third-party individual will not change her mind after the baby is born and try to claim herself as the child’s legal parent. In these agreements, the egg donor or surrogate must agree to relinquish their parental rights and to recognize that the child born from the process legally belongs to the intended parents.

Going to Court

When using a surrogate, you will also need to go through the court system in order to establish and confirm your parental rights. It’s important to note that, because they are not legislated by the federal government, surrogacy laws and regulations vary wildly from state to state. As such, the legal process can be very different depending on where the surrogacy contract is established.

In some states, such as California, where surrogacy laws are very amenable to intended parents, the legal process of establishing parental lines is fairly straightforward. A judge issues the intended parents with a pre-birth order, which grants the birthing hospital the authority to treat them as the legal parents. This gives intended parents the right to make medical decisions for the baby, fill out any required paperwork such as a birth certificate, and take custody of the child once born and discharged from the hospital.

Learn More

Establishing your parental rights when using an egg donor or surrogate doesn’t have to be a stressful or time-consuming process. As long as you work with an experienced fertility attorney, the entire process should be relatively easy and painless. To learn more about the third-party reproduction legal process in California, contact Falletta & Klein today.

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