Surrogacy Attorneys in Melbourne, Florida Provide Sound Counsel
Florida law firm aids prospective parents and surrogates
Thousands of surrogate births take place each year throughout the United States, and Florida law provides specific standards regarding this delicate reproductive process. At Tucker Mitnik P.A. in Melbourne, we offer knowledgeable, compassionate guidance to clients concerning surrogacy contracts. Whether you are a woman considering carrying a child who will be raised in another home or someone seeking to bring an infant into your family, our firm has the skill and experience to safeguard your interests in a gestational or traditional surrogacy relationship.
Types of legal surrogacy arrangements
We can help you understand the legal aspects of different surrogacy options, such as:
- Traditional surrogacy — In a traditional surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate’s egg is fertilized through artificial insemination using the commissioning father’s sperm. As the surrogate is the biological mother in these cases, they are covered by Florida’s pre-planned adoption law. The surrogate has 48 hours following the birth to rescind her consent to relinquish parental rights. Single individuals and unmarried couples may bring a child into their family through pre-planned adoption following a birth resulting from a traditional surrogacy arrangement.
- Gestational surrogacy — A legally married couple is permitted to enter into a gestational surrogacy contract with a woman when all of the parties are at least 18 years old. This means that a fertilized egg from the couple is implanted into a gestational surrogate because it is likely that the commissioning mother cannot safely carry a baby to term. Under this arrangement, the surrogate is not the child’s biological mother and agrees to transfer legal custody to the couple once the child is born.
- Commercial vs. altruistic surrogacy — Some women agree to become surrogates in order to collect compensation, while others might do so for altruistic reasons. For example, a woman might agree to carry a child for a family member who is physically unable to get pregnant. Regardless of whether payment is being made or not, it is critical to have a legal contract that clearly establishes the terms of the surrogacy relationship.
Whatever path you choose, we will make sure that you understand the rules and practical considerations associated with a surrogacy agreement.
Establishing parental rights for an infant born through surrogacy
To simplify matters once the child is born, the parties to a gestational surrogacy contract often opt to obtain an affirmation of parental status while the surrogate is still pregnant, sometimes referred to as a “pre-birth order.” Within three days following the birth, the intended parents must file a petition for parental rights, which should result in an order confirming that they are the legal parents of the newborn infant.
What does a Florida surrogacy agreement cover?
You might have heard about problems that can arise in a surrogacy relationship, which is why it is essential to work with an attorney who is familiar with Florida surrogacy agreements and can draft a document that averts unnecessary problems. Elements of a typical contract between a surrogate and a commissioning family include:
- Medical treatment for the surrogate during the pregnancy and responsibility for healthcare costs
- Compensation, if any, for the surrogate mother
- In gestational surrogacy matters, the transfer of custody to the commissioning parents
- In traditional surrogacy matters, the transfer of parental rights to the commissioning mother and custody to the couple
- Arrangements if the pregnancy does not result in a birth or if the child borne by a gestational surrogate is not the biological child of the commissioning parents
Each party to a surrogacy agreement should be represented by counsel. You can rely on us for comprehensive guidance based on your particular circumstances and needs.
Contact an experienced Florida attorney to discuss your surrogacy issue
Tucker Mitnik P.A. advises clients in Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge and throughout Brevard County on Florida surrogacy law. For a consultation, please call our office at 321-392-5239 or contact us online.