Surrogacy Agreements - New York
There are many ways to form a family. The law in New York (effective February 15, 2021) has opened new doors for married and unmarried different-sex couples, same-sex couples, and single individuals to be able to create and expand their families and the Law Office of Jennifer P. Maas, PLLC can offer personalized assistance and guidance throughout the legal process to help you in achieving your goals of parenthood.
New York has now created a process for a legal and enforceable surrogacy agreement to be executed between a Gestational Surrogate (a woman who bears a child, but has no immediate genetic relationship to the child), and an Intended Parent or Parents (“IP or IPs”). This surrogacy agreement protects the rights of the parties involved and can lead to a pre-birth parentage order, which allows for the recognition of an Intended Parent’s legal rights and responsibilities towards a child born through this type of surrogacy arrangement immediately upon the child’s birth. Further, it will relieve a Gestational Surrogate of any unintended parental obligation post-birth.
A surrogacy agreement is an agreement between Intended Parents and a Gestational Surrogate (“GS”) (also sometimes referred to as a Gestational Carrier (“GC”)), and additionally the surrogate’s spouse, if applicable. The agreement serves to address and make clear the intentions of the parties, and outline the rights and obligations of each from the time prior to the transfer of any embryo up through the time of the birth, and often beyond. In New York, the Gestational Surrogate (and spouse, if any) and the Intended Parent(s) must each be represented by independent legal counsel throughout this process.
A surrogacy agreement will detail not only the parties’ intentions regarding the ultimate issue of parental rights, but also such things as the choice of doctors, choice of delivery location, the number of embryos to be transferred, control over medical decisions throughout the pregnancy, how to address situations of multiples, contact between the parties
during the pregnancy and at the time of the birth, contact with the child and parties post-birth for things such as milk production, notification requirements, insurance coverage, payment of medical bills, liability for medical complications, issues related to breach, among other things. If applicable to your situation, a Gestational Surrogate’s compensation and other expenses are also detailed in the agreement between the parties.
The Law Office of Jennifer P. Maas, PLLC will be able to help you navigate through and anticipate the many legal issues that are addressed in these types of agreements, both for clients who are Intended Parents and for those who are Gestational Surrogates.