Surrogacy Legal Issues
What are the legal considerations surrounding gestational surrogacy?
The legal aspects regarding gestational surrogacy are determined by each individual state in the United States of America. California is a surrogacy friendly state. The California state legislature has enacted laws supporting gestational surrogacy. The laws clearly define the intended parents as the sole parents of the child(ren) born through the gestational surrogacy process (embryo derived from the egg of someone other than the surrogate). The laws also provide parameters which must be followed. The legality of gestational surrogacy with the intended parents being the sole parents of child(ren) born through gestational surrogacy was upheld by the Supreme Court of the state of California. The laws passed by the legislature and the precedence set by the courts together clearly make California a surrogacy friendly state.
Laws & Precedence:
Laws and precedence have existed for several decades to define the legal process and ramifications of going through gestational surrogacy. California’s long history of favorable case law make this state an excellent location for surrogacy.
California’s favorable statute recognizes contracts for gestational surrogacy arrangements as well as egg, sperm, and embryo donations. California’s comprehensive law protects the rights of the surrogate, the intended parents, the baby, and the egg donor (if one is needed). The intended parents and the surrogate will not have to appear in court regardless if the intended parents are or are not US citizens. All that is required for all parties involved (surrogates and intended parents) is to simply craft a legal agreement with their respective attorney, review and sign legal documentation and then let the attorneys finalize the agreements.
California makes it possible for all intended parents, single or married, to establish legal parental rights prior to the actual birth of their child(ren).
Regardless of sexual orientation, California law permits gay, lesbian or heterosexual intended parents to establish legal parentage prior to the birth of the child(ren) without going through adoption proceedings.
Once the gestational surrogate is medically cleared and approved by the intended parents, the following occurs:
Individual lawyers will represent each party.
An agreement is reached between the intended parents and the surrogate, mediated by attorneys.
The legal contract is created. The contract is extensive and contains specifics about parentage, who has rights to decide the outcome of the pregnancy, medical issues that may arise, number of embryos to be transferred, financial obligations and payments, escrow (funding and legalities pertaining to California state laws).
The team at Western Fertility Institute understands that this process may seem intimidating, we are here to guide you and help make this process easier and less overwhelming. We are here to provide you with the tools needed to have a clear path to follow so that you have the confidence that your needs and concerns are being met each and every step of the way. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact our office anytime.
What is Sex Selection?
It is common for many patients to be curious about the ability to choose the sex of their baby. This is known as Sex Selection (also commonly referred to as Gender Selection). Through genetic testing, this is possible for our patients undergoing IVF at Western Fertility Institute. A By-product of the genetic testing performed on the embryos called PGT-A allows for differentiation between male and female embryos since the sex of each embryo is identifiable by their chromosomes.
How does Sex Selection Work?
Sex selection through Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy (PGT_A) testing allows patients to select the sex of their embryos with almost 100% accuracy. Our highly skilled embryologists will biopsy a single cell from the embryo and send it to a third-party laboratory for PGT-A testing. The PGT-A results will show if each embryo has the proper number of chromosomes as well as the prospective of sex. Embryos containing two X chromosomes are female, while male embryos will contain one X and one Y chromosome. This allows the patient to choose a PGT-A embryo of a desired sex for transfer.
Why Do People Use Sex Selection?
Patients choose to use sex selection as an option for multiple reasons. In some cases, it can be used for medical reasons. Sex selection allows for the prevention of sex-linked genetic diseases and chromosomal disorders. For instance, there are certain disorders, linked to the X or Y chromosomes, that have the potential to be passed on to only a son or only a daughter. In other cases, sex selection can be used for what is known as "family balancing". Family balancing is when the patient chooses a specific sex in order to fulfill their desire of a balanced family. This can include choosing a sex based on a previously lost child, because they feel better equipped to raise a specific sex, or they want representation of both sexes in their family.