Legal Services For Surrogacy And Assisted Reproductive Technology
The field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has grown tremendously in recent years as a means of starting or expanding one’s family. Whether it be via gestational surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation or embryo donation, more and more prospective parents are turning to fertility treatment and third party reproduction to have or carry their child.
Whether you’re trying to grow your own family or helping another, our dedicated team at Lincoln & Wenk can assist you in navigating the complexities of this area of law and will work to ensure your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
The Surrogacy Process
With the help of modern medicine, the process of building a family today can take a variety of forms. One of the most commonly used is gestational surrogacy. In gestational surrogacy, the intended parents create their own embryo (either via their own egg and sperm or donated), which is then transferred to the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother then carries the implanted embryo to term.
For intended parents, the gestational surrogacy process can be a significant financial investment and leap of faith. For the surrogate mother, the journey can be a rewarding yet emotional one. At Lincoln & Wenk, we understand the sensitivity that fertility issues can present on both sides, and are committed to ensuring our clients’ goals are safely achieved.
Negotiating And Drafting A Surrogacy Agreement
Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating and crafting customized surrogacy agreements for our clients. We will work and communicate with the other party’s counsel to ensure everyone is on the same page. A comprehensive surrogacy agreement will set forth in detail the intentions and responsibilities of both the intended parents and the surrogate, including:
- Establishment and/or relinquishment of parental rights
- Compensation to the surrogate (living expenses, medical care, surrogacy fee)
- Health insurance coverage and access to prenatal care
- Prohibited behaviors during pregnancy
- What should happen in the event of multiple embryos or birth defects
- Birth plan
- Breach provisions and remedies
Establishing Parental Rights
Although timing may vary, typically in the third trimester the intended parents will petition the court for a pre-birth order declaring them as legal parents of the child. Most Arizona courts will grant pre-birth orders establishing parental rights in advance so that the intended parents have legal standing and peace of mind as they anticipate their new baby.
Assuming the pre-birth order is granted, this will in turn allow for the intended parents’ names to be entered on the birth certificate (via the office of vital records), as well as make any necessary medical or financial decisions for their baby at the time of birth. Your legal team at Lincoln & Wenk will help guide you through the process so the delivery of your baby is as seamless and special as it should be.
Egg and Sperm Donation
When an intended parent is unable to create an embryo on their own, an egg or sperm donor can sometimes be utilized to help turn their parenthood dream into a reality. Donors can be found by working with a fertility clinic, but often times can be a friend or family member as well.
Our legal team has experience representing either party to a donor agreement, and will help negotiate, review and finalize the agreement on your behalf from start to finish. Whether you are the intended parent or donor, we will work to ensure the agreement is uniquely tailored to fit your specific circumstances and intentions.
Guidance From Experienced Family Law Attorneys
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is a field that is quickly evolving, which lends itself to complex legal questions at times. With sound legal advice from our experienced attorneys at Lincoln & Wenk, you can proceed with confidence in growing your family or helping others to grow theirs. Call us today at 623-748-4890 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.