When will you need a surrogacy agreement?
If you and your spouse are considering surrogacy, there are a lot of legalities you will have to prepare for. It is best to arm yourself with enough information to prepare yourself for your plans.
Surrogacy involves a surrogate – a woman who carries a child for a couple who are not able to bear the child themselves. Same-sex marriages have become common nowadays and have been steadily on the rise since its legalization across the United States. This means that there is also a surge in demand for surrogacy, which is in addition to the existing demands from traditional marriages.
Many people believe that children make a marriage complete. There are also people who get married because they want to have children and start their own family. There are many situations which can hinder the child-filled dreams of many couples. A lot of them turn to adoption, but those who long for a child that is biologically their own would rather turn to surrogates. Even when a couple can’t conceive due to various reasons, their dreams of having their own family can still be fulfilled through surrogacy.
If you are seriously considering surrogacy for your family, you will need to come up with a surrogacy agreement.
Requirements for Surrogacy Agreements in Texas
Just like in most areas of law, a surrogacy agreement cannot be completed unless you comply with the requirements. In case you did not know, Texas is actually one of the first states that started implementing laws related to surrogacy. When it comes to surrogacy, the state of Texas strictly implement laws to regulate the relationship between the surrogate and the parents. One of the terms of these Texas law requires at least one party to be a resident of the state of Texas.
These laws were created to allocate rights and responsibilities fairly to everyone involved in the surrogacy agreement. The contract that must be signed includes the parental rights of the new parents as well as the surrogate. The contract will also provide guidance to the mother, father, gestational mother and her spouse.
The first requirement is that the parents of the child born through a surrogate must be married and must be unable to conceive a child. For instance, the mother must have a valid health issue that would put her life and the child’s life in danger if ever she conceives the child herself. Secondly, there will be a thorough home study conducted by a representative of the court. This home study will cover the home environment of the would-be parents.
Surrogates and Gestational Mothers
A surrogate is a woman who will supply the egg and carry the child until it is born. A gestational mother carries the child but does not supply the egg used in the conception. Texas laws allow both surrogates and gestational mothers to agree to a surrogacy agreement. Many television shows and movies portray surrogate mothers being unwilling to part with the child, and this is just one of the many reasons why it is necessary to have a legal agreement.
The gestational mother has various rights that she can exercise. This includes the right to make any decision for the protection of her health or the embryo’s. She and her husband (if she has one) can choose to stop a gestational agreement as long as it is before the start of the pregnancy. It is even possible to terminate the agreement even if it has already been approved in court.
The would-be parents of the child that is to be born through surrogacy also have their own rights. They are to be the legal parents of the child, and the surrogate or gestational mother will not have any type of legal hold on the child. The child will completely be the offspring of the would-be parents legally. There will be no reference to the surrogate or the gestational mother on the birth certificate. This might sound harsh considering what the surrogate or the gestational mother have to go through in conceiving, bearing and giving birth to a child but this rule is just part of the agreement that the gestational mother or surrogate must agree to.
As long as the couple wanting a child are qualified where the surrogacy agreement requirements are concerned, the court will validate the agreement. There is another important requirement though. Nobody should have been coerced into signing the agreement. These days, more and more people are looking into surrogacy because they now know that it’s possible to have a child which is their own flesh and blood despite not being able to bear any children. Because of this, a surrogacy agreement is very important to protect the rights of the new parents and of the surrogate or gestational mother.
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