What are parental rights and how do I secure them?
Parental rights refer to the establishment by law of your rights as parents and the termination of the rights your surrogate (and her husband or partner, if applicable), may be presumed by law. We establish your parental rights through the United States Superior Court systems in the state where the child will be born in what is called the pre-birth order process.
What is the pre-birth order process?
The pre-birth order process begins once the gestational carrier or surrogate is safely in the fourth month of pregnancy. At that time, we will reach out to you to begin the following pre-birth order process:
- Once you retain our legal services, we will begin the client intake process. This includes the completion of intake forms, and the possible processing of criminal background checks. We will collect the information needed to draft the pre-birth order documents.
- We will draft your pre-birth order documents and send you copies for review.
- You will review the documents with one of our expert attorneys and make any changes necessary. Finalized versions will be sent out to all parties for signatures.
- Once we receive all the necessary signed documents, we will prepare your pre-birth order to file in the U.S. Superior Court in the proper state and county.
- The judges who review surrogacy cases are typically familiar with the subject matter, and our attorneys have established and maintained professional relationships with many of them. Cases take a few weeks to be reviewed. Depending on the county, a court hearing may be required, we will attend those on your behalf.
- A pre-birth order is issued between two and six weeks after filing. We obtain certified copies of the judgments establishing your legal parental rights and coordinate with your fertility agency and delivering hospital to ensure everything is in place for the delivery of your child.
Is it essential to confirm parental rights?
Absolutely. If you do not legally confirm your parental rights, your surrogate (and her partner if she has one) may be considered the legal parents of your child. A pre-birth order judgment clearly establishes your parental rights and terminates the surrogate’s.
Is there a difference between parental establishment and adoption?
Although there are some similarities between the two processes, the pre-birth order process differs from the adoption process in that a home study or visit is not involved. Additionally, pre-birth orders are obtained in less time than it takes for an adoption to be processed and have more certain outcomes.
I may need translation services, can Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group help me with that?
Yes, Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group has two Chinese translators, as well as a Spanish translator on staff. We can also accommodate French, Portuguese and German speakers. If you speak a language not mentioned here, feel free to reach out! We will find a qualified translator to assist during the legal process.
I live outside of the United States, what if I can’t make it in time for the delivery?
If you cannot make it to the U.S. in time for the delivery of your child, you must select someone you trust to be at the hospital during the time of the delivery to make legal and medical decisions for your child. You can do this by executing a limited power of attorney ahead of your child’s delivery. While this is a temporary option, it is important to remember that you should make all efforts to be present at delivery and this option should only be used in cases involving extenuating circumstances or emergencies. Our agreements stress the importance of being here for the birth of your child.