Establishing Your Parental Rights in Gestational Surrogacy

Establishing Your Parental Rights in Gestational Surrogacy

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The gestational surrogacy process can be a confusing yet rewarding one for intended parents. However, a reliable and experienced surrogacy agency will guide you through the necessary steps of finding a surrogate, advise you through the initial contract phase and support you throughout the entire journey. Around the end of the first trimester of pregnancy you may begin to hear the terms pre-birth order and/or post-birth order. The following is a brief description of the two types of birth orders and why they are recommended.

Why Get a Birth Order?
Depending on where the surrogate lives in the U.S., a birth order is needed in order for the intended parents to establish their parentage of the child at birth. It legally allows the intended parents to be recognized with their names on the birth certificate. While the gestational surrogate has no genetic relationship to the child, a hospital could name her as the mother on the birth certificate without a birth order. If this occurs, there are still options to have the parents' names on the birth certificate changed, but it takes time. Concerns regarding the right to make medical decisions for the infant are relegated to the parents who are named on the birth certificate.

Taking the steps necessary to have a birth order before or as soon as the child is born will eliminate any possible obstacles for the intended parents to make medical decisions for the child. Note that the birth order must be completed in the state where the child is born.

Pre-Birth Order or Post-Birth Order?
When a pre-birth order is filed, legal parentage is established prior to, or in time for, the birth. The state department of vital records must acknowledge that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child. The pre-birth order ensures that the intended parents' names will be put on the birth certificate. If a pre-birth order is filed, the hospital where the child is born will also honor it. The intended parents will be able to immediately execute their parental rights and make medical decisions for their child.

States where a pre-birth order is not permitted but where gestational surrogacy is legal may require intended parents to file a post-birth order. A post-birth order will also establish the parentage of the child but it will occur sometime after the birth.

Different contributing factors, including the state's surrogacy laws, may require intended parents to file for adoption.

The type of birth order required depends on the state and the state's laws for gestational surrogacy. Connecticut is a state that honors pre-birth orders.

Learn About Your Options
While all parties involved in the gestational surrogacy acknowledge who the parents are, a birth order will be needed to legally ensure the parentage. Each state has its own laws regarding what type of birth order is required or if an adoption post-birth will be needed.

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