Surrogacy in San Diego California
California is among the states in the country which has the most convenient laws regarding surrogacy. Surrogacy is allowed in California, and the state has one of the friendliest laws for Surrogacy.
Surrogate parenthood is when a woman decides to carry a pregnancy for somebody else. The other person whom the surrogate is carrying the child for becomes the lawful parent after birth. Women who are unable to give birth often employ surrogate mothers to carry a child through artificial insemination. Same-sex c
ouples also hire surrogate mothers and fertilize them instead of having to adopt or foster children.
There are 2 types of Surrogacy
- Gestational Surrogacy, where the surrogate is implanted by the sperm from the father and egg from the woman. The procedure is usually complicated, costly, and time-consuming, but it allows parents to have a child with their genes. In gestation surrogacies, there are many procedural provisions and compulsory requirements. Under the California Family Code, both parties of the surrogacy agreement must be represented by an independent licensed attorney. Without evidence that both parties are represented by licensed attorneys, the court will declare the contract invalid and unenforceable.
- Traditional surrogacy is the process where the surrogate is artificially fertilized by the sperm from the father. When this happens, the surrogate becomes the biological mother of the child. Although these types of agreements are allowed in California, the Family Code lacks the statutory provisions in terms of the requirement and enforceability of traditional surrogacies. Also, note that because as per the traditional way the surrogate is the biological parent, she can claim parental rights. When courts are deciding on traditional surrogacy agreements, they put the interests of the child to be born first, which involves invalidation of the contract.
What to Expect?
Deciding to become a surrogate is perhaps one of the most life-changing decisions you can make as a woman. Not only is carrying someone else’s child an emotionally taxing process, but it also comes with all of the risks and trials of a natural pregnancy with the potential for added complications from IVF and legal contracts.
It’s important that you seriously consider the risks of being a surrogate mother before you commit to a year or more of fertility treatments, carrying a child who isn’t yours and a close relationship with a couple who desperately want a baby.
Below are some of the general risks that extend to most surrogate gestational pregnancies, but it’s encouraged that you speak to your doctor, your fertility clinic and your surrogacy agency to determine what your personal health, financial and emotional risks could be based on your individual situation.
To speak with someone who has been through the process, you can find other surrogates through online support groups.
Like any other pregnancy, surrogate pregnancies involve the same medical risks of carrying a child and giving birth. These can include nausea from morning sickness, weight gain, swelling, back pain, heartburn and other uncomfortable side effects. Some more serious side effects are conditions that can develop during the pregnancy like gestational diabetes, hypertension or potential damage to your reproductive organs.
As with any pregnancy, there is also the risk of a surrogacy miscarriage or preterm labor. To reduce these risks, it’s important to keep in close contact with your doctor, take the proper medication, get the right amount of rest and follow their recommendations precisely.
With gestational surrogacy, there are also some minor medical risks associated with IVF treatments. Because you do have to take medicine for IVF with surrogacy, including injecting yourself with fertility medications at home, you can expect anything from slight needle bruising to temporary allergic reactions. As you take medicine to regulate your menstrual cycle and increase your chances of becoming pregnant, you may also experience increased pre-menstrual syndrome effects, like headaches or mood swings.
There are few risks associated with the embryo transfer process. You may experience slight cramping or bleeding from the procedure. As always, it’s important to stay in touch with your doctor; in rare cases, you may develop an infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
Because carrying multiple babies is common in surrogacy, you should also be aware of the risks of a twin or triplet pregnancy; preterm labor, low birth weight for the babies, placental abruption and the potential for a Cesarean-section may be more likely with multiples. If you are carrying multiple babies, your doctor will likely give you strict instructions on how to proceed safely with your everyday life.
To reduce surrogacy risks, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s recommendations and schedule an appointment as soon as possible if something feels wrong about your pregnancy. While your side effects may be completely normal, updating your doctor about your condition is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce the risks of being a surrogate mother.
Your surrogacy agency will also require you to complete an extensive medical screening before becoming a surrogate. These screenings are extremely helpful in informing you and your doctor about your medical condition and the possibilities of medical issues with your surrogacy. Make sure that you’re completely honest and open about your medical history during this screening. For information about how your previous medical conditions may affect your ability to be a surrogate, click here.
Emotional Risks of Surrogacy
In addition to the medical risks of surrogacy, there are sometimes emotional challenges for potential surrogates to consider. While pregnancy in itself can be a difficult process, some women find surrogacy to be more emotionally challenging because, at the end, they will not be going home with the child they have lived with for nine months.
As with any pregnancy, you may be at risk for depression during and after the surrogacy process. While you’ll be excited and overwhelmingly happy for the intended parents, you may also experience some difficult feelings of grief and loss following the birth of the baby.
These feelings are why it’s so important to meet with a mental health professional, seek surrogacy counseling and establish boundaries and expectations for post-birth contact before you even become pregnant.
A key part of coping with any challenging emotions you may experience is creating a solid support system that you can lean on before, during and after your surrogate pregnancy. This should be a group of friends and/or family members who can talk to about your feelings — but it’s important that you are open and honest with them (and yourself) during the whole process.
In addition to the emotional effects surrogacy may have on you, it’s important to recognize how your surrogacy will affect your family. If you have a spouse, you may need to abstain from sex while you are trying to become pregnant, and they may need to take on more duties around the house and with your family as you reach the final stages of your pregnancy. They will need to be 100 percent in agreement with your surrogacy decision, and they can act as one of the most important members of your support team.
You also should be honest about your feelings with the intended parents and your surrogacy case worker through the surrogacy process. If you are struggling emotionally, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist experienced in surrogacy issues. Remember, the emotional risks of surrogacy are completely normal and many other surrogate mothers experience them so they’re nothing to be ashamed of.
Surrogacy Contracts – What to Look For?
A Basic Surrogacy contract has all the information below.
- Date of the contract
- Names of the prospective parents and the surrogate
- A statement indicating all parties are 18 years or older
- A report that the mother is unable to conceive or carry a child
- An agreement by the surrogate to submit a medical and psychological test
- Information about the medical coverage of the surrogate and a contract to keep the current coverage in effect
- A contract between the prospective parents and the surrogate, that artificial conception, and implantation of the fertilized embryo will be made in the surrogate’s uterus
- An arrangement on the maximum number of times the surrogate should attempt to achieve pregnancy
- A pact that the surrogate will not engage in sexual intercourse during the period of trying to get pregnant
- An arrangement that the surrogate will not try to terminate the pregnancy unless her life is on the line
- An agreement with the surrogate mother that she will not engage in smoking, drinking, or using controlled substances during pregnancy
- A promise by the surrogate to regularly go for prenatal medical care whether the prospective parents are present or not
- An agreement that the surrogate mother will take any medical tests if requested by the prospective parents.
- An arrangement on a diet the surrogate should stick to at the time of pregnancy
- An arrangement about the activities the surrogate should refrain from
- A pact that the prospective parents may or may not be present at the time of conceiving
- An agreement that the surrogate mother or male partner will not claim physical or legal custody over the child born out of surrogacy.
- An agreement by both parties that the surrogate will lose parental rights over the child upon birth
- An arrangement that it will be in the child’s best interest to have the prospective parents raise him or her
- A pact that after birth, the prospective parents will assume the legal custody of the child
- A pact on financial terms of the contract
- An arrangement in case the contract fails
- Confidentiality arrangement
- Signature of both parties
What to look for?
Surrogacy Contracts can be complicated, according to California Court supports Surrogacy Contracts, but the court does cover all agreements between parties, there are some agreements that the parties must follow to ensure a smooth Surrogacy process. Here are some important things you must look for in the contract.
- Finances, including the surrogate’s base compensation, as well as additional compensation the surrogate may receive for invasive procedures, carrying multiples, going on bedrest, etc.
- The risks and liability associated with the pregnancy
- The surrogate’s health and her responsibilities to take care of herself and the baby throughout her pregnancy
- An agreement on sensitive issues such as selective reduction and termination, if that should become necessary
- Who will be present at prenatal appointments and birth
- And more
Why You Need a Surrogacy Lawyer? – One that is specilaized in the field of Surrogacy Contracts.
Prospective parents who cannot conceive or carry a child rely on surrogacy as a solution to having children. In vitro fertilization is one of the reproductive technologies that has made it possible to create and implant an embryo for pregnancy. The surrogate mother agrees through a contract to carry or conceive a child for another person or couple. You will need a surrogacy attorney because of the complexity of laws that govern the process. Some of the reasons you will need an attorney include:
- Your Child
The surrogacy attorney’s main objective is to assist couples who can’t conceive to get a child or children. With one of these legal practitioners by your side, you increase the possibility of having a child.
- Preparing the Contract
, The parties involved in this process must draft a contract. The agreement then goes to court for validation. The court will then evaluate the contract in terms of validity and enforceability before approving or declining it. With a surrogacy attorney, you are sure that they will prepare an enforceable and valid agreement, one that contains issues and contingencies that could arise before, during, and after pregnancy.
- Dispute Resolution
Often, the surrogate mother and the couple or individual who wants a child might have some disagreements, especially at the time of pregnancy. With an attorney, disagreements or conflicts can be quickly resolved.
- Relationship Management
When entering into a surrogacy agreement, it’s essential to define the boundaries or the kind of relationship you will have with the surrogate. Some couples or persons will prefer to have the surrogate live with them or close enough so that they can maintain contact during pregnancy. When deciding on the degree of contact or kind of relationship you want to have with the surrogate, a surrogacy attorney will come in handy.
Surrogate mothers usually agree to carry a child to term for a particular fee. Once you have spotted the right candidate, it’s advisable to let your attorney negotiate the money. Surrogacy attorneys are used to such negotiations and often know the customary charges. Also, because they are not desperate to enter into an agreement, they will not feel the pressure to agree to a sum of money that isn’t reasonable.
When looking for a surrogate, you want someone with a clean bill of health both physically and psychologically. An attorney who has been in this industry for long has already established a network with medical professionals, which means he or she has the right people to conduct the medical and psychological examination on the surrogate to determine if she is suitable or not.
Most of the couples or individuals who want to go the surrogacy way don’t know how to accelerate the process of locating a surrogate or where to find one. An experienced attorney, on the other hand, has the contacts and network to ease the process of finding a surrogate.
The other reason why you should work with a surrogacy attorney is that they do this every day. They can easily give a timeline for the process, the cost, and the challenges that you are likely to encounter before the process commences, thus avoiding surprises.
Surrogacy and artificial conceptions laws keep changing. It is, for this reason, you will need an attorney by your side, especially during the drafting of the contract.
What about Child Custody and Visitation Rights?
Biological parents have parental rights over a child, which means they are entitled to child custody or visitation regardless of whether they were married or not. When deciding whether to allow visitation or custody, the court considers what is best for the child.
Unmarried fathers need to draft a parenting agreement with the other parent of the child. The father of who was not married to the mother at the time the child was born must first establish paternity. This can be done during or after birth by both parents filing and signing an acknowledgment of paternity in court or with the relevant government agency. If there is a dispute on paternity, a DNA test can be conducted and the decision on whether you are the biological parent or the child or not made by the court based on the results. Once you have established paternity, you can begin the process of claiming custody or visitation.
The mother of the child and the biological father can begin to negotiate a parenting plan. In the agreement, they agree on these details:
- Which parent will have primary custody
- Visitation of other parents
- Which parent will make critical decisions like education, religion, or health care of the child
There are some aspects that may affect your visitation as an unmarried father this includes
- Alcohol Abuse
- Drug Abuse
- History of Domestic Violence
- and more
Usually the court decides what is best for the child if the court sees that there is a possibility that you may cause harm to the child it will not grant visitation rights to the unmarried father.
We are willing to help you fulfill your dream of becoming a parent
Here at Law and Mediation Office of Julie Wolff we are willing to help. We have witnessed and experienced the happiness brought by Surrogacy.
Our team is always full of energy and passion to help. Our goal is to provide you guidance in accordance with California Law with Surrogacy Contracts.
Consult Julie Wolff Family Lawyer – Surrogacy Contract Attorney Near me.
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