Dallas Assisted Reproduction Lawyer
Within the last couple decades, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has grown significantly worldwide, making pregnancy possible for many infertile couples. As such, the need for fertility legal services has also increased, including surrogacy contracts, egg donor agreements, and more. The process of assisted reproduction can be complicated as there are many steps that go into finding an egg donor or surrogate, creating the proper legal documentation, going through the pregnancy, and birthing process, and establishing parenthood.
If you are looking to create your dream family through ART, it is imperative that you ensure you are legally protected by establishing a surrogacy or egg donor agreement.
At Garcia-Windsor, P.C., we represent couples and individuals interested in building a family through various method of ART with all their legal needs. Contact us online to learn more about our services.
A surrogacy agreement defines the intended parents’ or parent’s responsibilities as well as those of the surrogate. It covers matters including but not limited to the following:
- Embryo transfers
- Selective reduction
- Medical decisions, including emergencies
- Surrogate’s health care
- Financial terms
- Intended parent and surrogate contact during pregnancy
- Dispute resolution and breach of contract
It is important to ensure that your surrogacy agreement protects your rights as the intended parent(s) of the child. The agreement must state that the surrogate is not and does not intend to be the parent of the child after going through an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. It should also state that you as the intended parent(s) will accept full parental rights for the baby’s life. As such, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney to create a surrogacy agreement that reflects your interests and protects your rights to your future baby.
What Happens if the Surrogate Changes Her Mind and Wants to Keep the Child?
While rare, a surrogate may change her mind and want to keep her child. Therefore, a surrogacy agreement is established to protect the intended parents in the event the surrogate decides not to move forward with the agreement. Once the surrogate signs this agreement, she does not have the right to keep her child after giving birth.
Egg Donor Agreement
If you are currently in the process of searching for an egg donor, or have found one, you should familiarize yourself with what is called an egg donor agreement. This document is established to protect everyone involved in the egg donation arrangement and states the intended parent’s/parents’ and donor’s intentions and legal obligations.
Consult with a fertility attorney to create this agreement as every egg donor situation is different. A fertility attorney will help you form an agreement that protects you from unexpected legal issues after your baby is born.
Once the baby is born, the intended parent(s) will sign a pre-birth order which establishes them as the legal parents of the child. Some courts in Texas may require the intended parents and surrogate to appear for a pre-birth validation, but others so not. Additionally, hearings are not required for post-birth orders. It would be best to consult with your fertility attorney to determine how to establish parentage after your child is born.
Obtaining a Divorce During IVF Treatment
What happens if you and your spouse decided to get divorced while going through IVF? While no one plans to get divorced, a couple should be aware of the possibility of getting a divorce when they decide to move forward with IVF.
Typically, an agreement is signed before the IVF process beings that contains clauses and consent forms regarding what will happen to the embryos in the event of divorce, death, or some sort of unexpected delay. If the agreement that was established states that the couple will not move forward with the process of IVF in the event of a divorce, then this must be upheld.
The court may make one of the following rulings in this situation:
1. If the individuals do not have an agreement that states what happens to the embryos in the event of a divorce, then the court will not force one person to become a parent against his/her wishes.
2. If the participants do have an agreement, but it awards the embryos to one person, then the court may disregard the agreement so that one person is not forced to be a parent against his/her will.
3. If the participants do have an agreement, but it states that the embryos will be donated either for implantation of another couple or for medical research, then the court may disregard the agreement so that one parent is not forced to be a parent against his/her will.
If you are considering assisted reproduction and require legal counsel to protect your rights, contact us online or via (214) 972-3025 to schedule a consultation.