It doesn’t matter whether a woman is physically unable to carry a child, a couple is interested in an alternative option for having a biological child, or a list of other reasons — surrogacy is a practice that has helped bring new life to thousands.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is the process where a woman (also known as the surrogate) becomes pregnant with the agreement that once the baby is born, the child will go to another person or people who will be the child’s parent or parents. There are two types of surrogacy — gestational where the surrogate becomes pregnant with an already fertilized egg or traditional where the surrogate provides the egg that is later fertilized.
In Tennessee, surrogacy is not uncommon and there are no specific laws or legal requirements if parents choose to enter this type of arrangement. However, it is expected that once this contract is made all involved parties will abide by the agreement.
In a surrogacy contract, conditions can be outlined such as:
- Compensation — there is no set amount of compensation that a surrogate must receive. However, many couples choose to pay for all medical-related expenses connected to the pregnancy and additional compensation for the surrogate.
- Responsibilities — this would usually include not only responsibilities of the child’s parent or parents but also the surrogate. An example of a surrogate’s responsibilities could include the surrogate not putting the unborn child intentionally at risk by the surrogate committing acts such as smoking or drinking alcohol during the pregnancy.
- Establishing paternal rights — this is a critical condition that should be outlined with any surrogacy. It needs to be clear that after the child's birth, the surrogate mother relinquishes any potential rights she may have even if she provided the egg for the embryo.
Whether you are someone intending to become a surrogate or a couple interested in using a surrogate, it is critical to have a contract in place for protection. To make a contract the most enforceable, it is best to have an experienced family attorney draw up the document.
The team at Peterson White, LLP has created these types of contracts for countless individuals and couples. See what our past clients have said about our attorneys and reach out so we can start working for you.