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How an Attorney Can Help Resolve Surrogacy Issues in Pennsylvania

By Sheryl Rentz on June 29, 2011

Surrogacy is an arrangement under which a woman carries a child to term for another person or couple. The woman can be the child’s genetic mother, which is referred to as traditional surrogacy, or she can have an embryo, to which she is not genetically related, implanted in her uterus and carry to term, which is called gestational surrogacy. Typically, the child is conceived by artificial insemination or impregnated by intrauterine insemination (IUI) or intracervical insemination (ICI). Sperm and egg donations may also be utilized.

There are many reasons why a couple may seek to arrange a surrogate pregnancy, such as female infertility, medical problems that may make the pregnancy dangerous or not possible, and more. In Pennsylvania, surrogacy is not governmentally regulated, which means couples do not have to comply with certain regulations, as couples do in other states. Traditional and gestational surrogacy arrangements and contracts are presumed to be legal and enforceable. Additionally, the state allows same-sex couples to adopt children.

There are many legal issues that must be considered in assisted reproduction that involves a third party. If a dispute arises, it is crucial to have legal agreements with all parties involved; including donors and surrogate mothers. Certain legal documents may need to be drafted with the assistance of a skilled family law attorney, including the following:

  • Pre-birth orders or surrogacy agreements, which clarify before a pregnancy between a surrogate mother and a couple that the surrogate will give up their parental and custody rights to the child. Having the intended parents’ names on the original birth certificate will also be a part of these agreements. A post-birth order can also be drafted to accomplish the same thing should a pre-birth agreement not be made before the child’s birth.
  • Adoption documents, which would allow a second parent to legally adopt a child carried by a surrogate and give them legal custody of the child.

Consulting with a Philadelphia surrogacy attorney can help protect your rights if you are considering surrogacy as an option of adding to your family. To learn more, call The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz at 610-645-0100.

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