Surrogacy has become an increasingly popular option for those struggling to conceive or carry a child. Even though entering into a surrogacy agreement is illegal in some states, that is not the case in Florida. In fact, Florida surrogacy laws are some of the least restrictive in the country. Nonetheless, surrogacy law is complex and a qualified Miami surrogacy attorney can guide clients through the surrogacy process.
Two Legal Surrogacy Agreements
Under Florida surrogacy laws both forms of surrogacies are allowed, gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. Florida statute 742.15 governs Gestational Surrogacy Agreements, while statute 62.213 governs Pre-Planned Adoption Agreements, also called Traditional Surrogacy Agreements. Intended parents, legally referred to as the “commissioning couple,” can enter either of these agreements.
- Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA)
Pregnancy is created through in vitro fertilization, at least one of the intended parents must contribute genetic material, and the surrogate is prohibited from donating her own egg. Permitted combinations include:
- egg and sperm from the intended parents
- egg from intended mother and sperm from separate donor
- sperm from intended father and egg from separate donor
To enter this type of agreement, the commissioning couple must establish the health risks, confirmed by a physician’s diagnosis, that prevent the intended mother from carrying the child herself.
- Traditional Surrogacy Agreement (TSA)
Traditional surrogacy is significantly less popular than gestational due to legal issues. In this type of agreement, the surrogate can donate her own egg to create the pregnancy. The egg is fertilized with the intended father’s sperm, inside the surrogate’s uterus. Therefore, the child is biologically connected to the surrogate.
Parental Rights in Surrogacy Agreements
As dictated by Florida surrogacy laws, a written contract needs to be signed for either type of surrogacy agreement. An experienced Miami surrogacy attorney can help commissioning couples draft these contracts. However, the assignment of parental rights may depend on whether the surrogacy was gestational or traditional.
Gestational Surrogacy — The surrogate is not biologically connected to the child and therefore has no legal parental right to the child after giving birth. She relinquishes away any and all of her parental rights when signing the contract. The commissioning couple automatically has the parental and custodial rights of the child after the birth.
Traditional Surrogacy — Since the surrogate has a biological connection with the child, the assignment of parental and custody can become complicated. She may consent in the contract to give up her parental rights, but she has the right to rescind her consent and terminate the contract within 48 hours of the birth of the child. In which case, the legal counsel of a Miami surrogacy attorney becomes necessary for the commissioning couple.
The assistance of a seasoned Miami surrogacy attorney is beneficial for those who want to enter a surrogacy agreement, whether you are an intended parent or the surrogate. At Pimentel & Castillo, we are committed to make the process as smooth as possible for our every client. If legal drawbacks do occur, we are skilled at defending our client’s rights in court. Call us today for a free consultation.