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Surrogacy laws and parental rights

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2021 | Surrogacy Law |

Surrogacy is an option for California couples who may not be able to have a baby on their own. If you’re a prospective parent, you’ll want to inform yourself about state laws before entering into a surrogacy contract. While some states, including California, tend to support surrogacy, others are less supportive of biological parents.

Every state has different surrogacy laws

Consider both the state you live in and the state the surrogate lives in if they differ. Are the laws similar for parents entering into surrogacy agreements? Must parents adopt their baby once it has been born, or do they have rights to the child prior to its birth?

States like California are surrogate-friendly states. It is one of the few states to allow parents legal rights to their child before its birth. Other states require parents to adopt their child after a mandated waiting period. Some states even prohibit paid surrogacy and do not recognize written contracts.

When surrogacy issues happen

Surrogacy issues can happen when the woman carrying the baby refuses to relinquish the child to the people she entered into a contract with. One such case happened in 1985. The surrogate decided to keep the baby after entering into a contract with the biological parents. The couple’s surrogacy contract was not accepted by the courts when they sued. Eventually, after great struggle and stress, the couple received custody of their child.

No new parents or baby should have to endure these challenges. Surrogacy cases that have no written contract are determined by the courts. In these cases, the judges have to rely on each parties’ word, and the turmoil that new parents have to go through before being able to take their child home is heartbreaking. Knowing your state’s laws ahead of time could help eliminate this turmoil. You may want to consult an attorney about your options for writing a valid contract.