While many South Florida couples cannot conceive children the old-fashioned way, modern medicine has alternatives that give would-be parents the chance of fulfilling their dream of having kids of their own.
The two types of surrogate pregnancy
Surrogacy, in which a woman who is not in the couple carries and delivers the baby, is one of those options. Fortunately, Florida law is friendly to couples and individuals who want to pursue surrogate pregnancy. The only requirement is that all the parties involved are at least 18 years old. Medically, there are two versions of surrogacy:
- Gestational surrogacy works by producing embryos using sperm or eggs from at least one of the intended parents, then implanting the embryos in the surrogate mother.
- A traditional surrogacy works by having the surrogate mother use her own eggs fertilized with sperm from one of the intended parents.
The parties are allowed to negotiate, sign and enforce a surrogacy contract. This is a good idea because having a contract means everybody involved clearly understands their rights and obligations. Keep in mind that if you are doing a traditional surrogacy, state law allows the surrogate to terminate the agreement at any time until 48 hours after the infant is born.
Protecting your rights
Which version of surrogacy you use is mostly a matter for you, your spouse or partner and doctor to decide. But there are legal implications that you should be aware of. You need to take steps to preserve your rights and create a framework for resolving potential disputes. A consultation with a family law attorney can help you begin this process.