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What couples should know prior to surrogacy

Bringing a child into the world is one of the greatest joys for a parent. For infertile or same-sex couples, medical advances have made it so these couples can also experience the true joy of becoming parents. This is why it is particularly troubling when legal issues arise related to adoption, surrogacy, sperm or egg donation or parentage.

A recent legal case involving a surrogate mother being asked by the parents to abort one of the fetuses she is carrying for them points out some of the issues that can arise. This case also brings up the importance of why couples need to have well-detailed contracts that address any surrogacy issues that could arise. It is important for everyone involved to have a clear understanding of his or her roles, rights and obligations.

In this case, the surrogate is attempting to find legal counsel, as the parents are asking her to abort one of the fetuses. She is carrying three -- two twin boys and a girl. Through in vitro fertilization, one of the two fertilized eggs split, leading to twins. The parents would now like to just move forward with the twins, claiming they fear medical risks, including development delays, from her carrying all three.

However, the surrogate is saying she does not want to abort one of the fetuses. She has even offered to adopt the third child herself as opposed to termination. She claims she had an agreement with the parents that abortion would only be an option in a life-or-death situation. She goes on to say her doctors have told her via email that there are no abnormalities.

Needless to say, as one can imagine, this is a rather complicated case with a lot of stress, worries and frustration for everyone involved.

For those Florida couples who are interested in starting their own family through surrogacy, this case is a prime example of just how important it is to have a very detailed surrogacy contract. This contract should address such issues as:

  • What would happen if implantation led to multiples?
  • Under what circumstances is it OK to terminate?
  • Who makes termination decisions?
  • Will the surrogate continue to have a relationship with the child after birth?
  • Can the surrogate change their mind during pregnancy?

With the medical world ever advancing, so does the legal landscape. Reproductive law is a complicated and complex facet of law. At Winter Spires & Associates, P.A., we guide all parties through the process. We will help hetero and same-sex couples to create viable contracts, while also providing counsel when conflict arises.

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