Here in Baltimore at the Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr., and Associates, LLC, we handle a variety of family law related matters including divorce, alimony, custody, visitation, and protective orders. While we treat every matter with the same level of intensity and thoroughness, every once in a while, we handle matters that are a bit outside the “norm” which require a little more creativity and thinking outside of the box. Case in point is area of the law that most family law attorneys do not handle, namely, surrogacy contracts.
First with some basics. A Surrogacy Contract is an agreement made between parties for one party to aid another in the gestation of a child. Surrogacy is handled in one of two ways. Option one, the Surrogate mother uses her own egg (which is a Traditional Surrogacy) and is artificially inseminated. Option two, the Intended Mother’s egg is inseminated with by the Intended Father Sperm (Gestational Surrogacy) and subsequently placed into the Surrogate. The obvious key between the two is the genetic link. In the Gestational Surrogacy, the Surrogate has no genetic ties to the child.
Legally, this situation creates a variety of issues that have to be properly addressed in Surrogacy Contracts. What role can the Intended Parents play during the pregnancy and labor? Who pays for the costs? What happens if pregnancy complications arise? What happens if the surrogate changes her mind and wishes to keep the child, particularly if it’s her egg? What happens if twins are born? What happens if one of the Intended Parents die during the pregnancy?
Recently, we just completed a comprehensive traditional surrogacy contract which successfully addressed the aforementioned questions, as well as a number of other important considerations. It took ingenuity, foresight, and hard work to craft an agreement that should cover most of the potential “what if’s” that could arise.
-By Zachery Groves, Esquire
This page was last updated on March 3, 2017.