Some Florida individuals or couples facing fertility challenges may turn to surrogates to grow their families. The most common method is gestational surrogacy, involving in vitro fertilization (IVF). During this process, the intended mother’s (or donor’s) eggs are fertilized with sperm from the father (or donor) and a resulting embryo is carried by a surrogate. Surrogacy is also a common way same-sex couples build their families. Here are the four main steps of the process.
Step 1: Donation of egg and sperm: This will occur at the IVF clinic you choose. Donating sperm takes a few hours, while egg donation requires at least a couple of weeks of hormone treatment before eggs are retrieved.
Step 2: IVF fertilization: During an outpatient procedure, the eggs are removed, fertilized and placed in an incubator for roughly five days. At this point, fertility doctors freeze the highest-quality eggs or transfer them to the surrogate.
Step 3: Pregnancy: Surrogate mothers must undergo hormone injections to prepare for the pregnancy. In most cases, surrogates manage their own prenatal and medical care. However, it’s recommended that the intended parents be part of the process. A supportive environment is in everyone’s best interests.
Step 4: Birth and finalizing parenting rights: The child’s delivery usually comes long after the intended parents and surrogate enter into a contract, which outlines legal protections over parenting rights. With a valid contract, the birth certificate is prepared with the intended parents’ names when they take the baby home.
The surrogacy contract is crucial as no federal laws govern surrogacy, which is regulated state-by-state. Without it, complications can arise even when the surrogate has no biological ties to the child.
Clarifying legal issues helps everyone achieve peace of mind
While IVF can help solve biological challenges for many who want children, assisted reproductive methods can lead to legal problems. That’s why receiving experienced legal guidance is crucial for drafting a surrogacy contract aligning with Florida’s rules.
These agreements specify the intended parents’ and surrogate’s rights and responsibilities, so each is protected under the law. They also typically address financial support and include contingencies in case issues or conflicts arise during the process.