Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I have decided to call myself a Family Formation attorney instead of an Adoption attorney. We are doing more and more Assisted Reproduction Technology law these days instead of the old days of strictly adoption law. It has probably been at least 15 years now since the first time I reviewed a Surrogacy contract for a surrogate. Back then the surrogate was frequently also the biological mother to the infant. In those cases the intended father was also the sperm donor and therefore the legal and biological father. However, the intended mother was not the legal parent, so we had to do a step-parent adoption following the birth in order for intended mom to be the legal parent. These days most surrogates are gestational surrogates, not related biologically to the child. Surrogate is impregnated via embryo transfer. Intended parents can both be biological parents or one can be or neither can be. Sperm and eggs can be donated or purchased. Assisted reproduction technology is absolutely amazing and getting more successful all the time. It is important that all parties to a surrogacy arrangement are represented by separate legal counsel throughout the process. Competent and experienced attorneys can be found through the American Academy of Assisted Reproduction Technology Attorneys (AAARTA). California is one of the states where we can obtain a pre-birth order to mandate that the intended parents' names be inserted in the original birth certificate.