Advocacy And Answers In Florida Reproductive Law

Surrogacy · Egg And Sperm Donation · Second Adoption

The medical advances that made parenthood possible for infertile couples inevitably spawned new legal issues. The involvement of third parties such as surrogates and donors has further stretched the bounds of family law. The legal and social landscape is ever-evolving, and new technology can abruptly render laws obsolete.

Winter Spires & Associates, P.A., can knowledgeably address surrogacy law and all facets of Florida reproductive law. We counsel all parties to these complex legal situations — intended parents, surrogates, egg and sperm donors — in contracts and conflict resolution to define the terms and make the process as smooth as possible.

With offices in Destin and Marianna, we serve Fort Walton Beach, the Emerald Coast and statewide. Arrange a consultation today for answers to your questions.

Surrogate Agreements And Related Issues Of Family Law

Winter Spires is an experienced reproductive law attorney. Having represented hetero couples and same-sex couples, and every permutation of surrogates and donors, she can guide you through the legalities of:

  • Gestational surrogacy — In which the parents provide both egg and sperm and a surrogate with no genetic connection to the implanted embryo carries the baby to term
  • Traditional surrogacy — In which a surrogate's own egg is fertilized (by the intended father's sperm or donated sperm)
  • Egg donation contracts — In which a relative or friend agrees to provide one or more of her eggs for in vitro fertilization of the intended mother or a surrogate
  • Sperm donor contracts — In which a relative, friend or selected donor provides sperm for insemination
  • Adoption — Legal steps to recognize the transfer of parental rights in a traditional surrogacy or "pre-arranged adoption"
  • Parentage — Establishing that both intended parents (including a spouse or partner who did not contribute genetic material) have full parental rights and standing. Same-sex couples sometimes encounter resistance from hospitals over who can be listed on the birth certificate.

Attentive To Detail And Sensitive To Complexities

We realize that surrogacy and egg/sperm donation are more than mere transactions. The intended parents have their hopes for a family wrapped up in the surrogacy, as well as a substantial financial investment. The surrogate must likewise protect her own health and finances. Donors need to be clear about their rights and obligations.

We spend time educating clients and attending to the fine print of agreements, to make sure that the contracts are unambiguous, legally binding and compliant with state law. For example, under Florida law, a surrogate cannot be paid a "fee" for carrying another couple's baby, but she can be reimbursed for her expenses. The intended parents can subsidize housing, health care, nutrition, travel and other costs associated with implantation, pregnancy and delivery. It is important to agree — in advance, in as much detail as practical — on what will be covered and what the ground rules will be.

Our lawyers also work with you to spell out foreseeable scenarios. What happens if the implantation fails ... or results in a multiple pregnancy? Under what circumstances could the pregnancy be terminated (and who decides)? What happens if the fetus dies? Will the surrogate have any ongoing relationship with the child? Can the surrogate mother change her mind? What becomes of any "leftover" eggs, sperm or embryos after a successful surrogacy?

Protection And Peace Of Mind

We are well-versed in Florida family law and contractual matters. Ms. Spires can negotiate, draft or review your surrogacy and donor agreements. If disputes arise, she can represent you in mediation, arbitration or court proceedings to protect your rights and resolve the conflict as amicably as possible.

Call 850-502-4506 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. We have convenient office locations in Okaloosa County and Jackson County.