Start Your Family with Surrogacy
For some couples (and some single folks), it is very important that their child be biologically related to one or both intended parents. For this reason, they would prefer to start a family with the help of a gestational surrogate.
A gestational surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry a fertilized and implanted embryo to term. She is not the egg donor and the child she will carry has none of her biological material. Nonetheless, under Texas law, the surrogate is legally the birthmother. After the child is born, the surrogate will need to legally surrender the child to its intended parents, one or both of whom may be the child’s biological parent.
Surrogacy is an expensive process and because the surrogate has legal parental status in Texas there is a potential risk that she could change her mind and fail to release the child. If you are considering using a gestational surrogate, there are things you can do to minimize that risk and ensure your interests as a parent are protected.
Work with a Reputable Surrogacy Agency or Fertility Clinic
It is rare that a gestational surrogate changes her mind, and this has a lot to do with the careful screening process that reputable agencies use when hiring women to be gestational surrogates.
- Surrogates must be both physically and mentally healthy, with no history of depression.
- The surrogate must have had at least one prior pregnancy that was full term. If she suffered post-partum depression, she would be ineligible to act as a surrogate.
- If the surrogate is married, her spouse must also agree that the child will be released to the intended parents.
Work with a Reputable Family Law Firm
At Albin Oldner, our adoption and surrogacy attorneys help would-be parents achieve their dream of starting a family. We have decades of experience helping families with adoption and we look forward to helping your family with surrogacy, either with a legally binding gestational agreement or with pre-pregnancy planning if you are not eligible to enter into a gestational agreement.
A gestational agreement is a legally binding contract that, among other things, requires the surrogate to surrender your child after birth. It provides intended parents with peace of mind that their rights and interests can be protected in court. In order to be party to a gestational agreement:
- The intended parents must be married to each other (this could be an opposite-sex or same-sex marriage).
- Both intended parents must sign the agreement.
- If there is an intended mother, she must be unable to carry a pregnancy to term or unable to do so without substantial risk to her physical or mental health or to the health of the child.
- The egg(s) used for fertilization and implantation must come from a source other than the gestational carrier.
- The egg(s) and the sperm could come from the intended parents or they could come from a donor.
Single Parents and Gestational Agreements
Single parents can choose to start a family using a gestational surrogate, but they are not eligible to enter into a gestational agreement under Texas family law. Should the surrogate change her mind, she cannot be legally compelled by the court to surrender the child.
There is some added risk for single parents but remember, it is rare for a surrogate who has no biological connection to a child to change her mind. If you work with a reputable fertility clinic or agency, your surrogate has been carefully and thoroughly screened. And our surrogacy lawyer, Matt Davis, he will help you with pre-pregnancy planning.
Meet Your Texas Surrogacy Attorney
Schedule a time to meet with surrogacy attorney Matt Davis. He works with surrogacy agencies, intended parents, and surrogates to help them navigate the process of starting a family through surrogacy.