Intended Parent FAQs

At The Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim we offer New York and New Jersey families skilled and compassionate legal services surrounding surrogacy. Below are some commonly asked questions about surrogacy that you should consider as you chose your family building path.

What’s the difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy?

Traditional Surrogacy: a woman provides the egg and the intended father (typically) provides the sperm. The child is conceived with the intention of relinquishing the child to be raised by the biological father alone, or with his partner. After the birth of a child by traditional surrogacy, an adoption proceeding must be held for the traditional surrogate to relinquish her parental rights and establish legal parentage of the child. Traditional surrogacy is high-risk, legally, and is prohibited in some states for this reason.

Gestational Surrogacy: the intended parent(s) secure and provide the genetic materials for the embryo (sperm and egg), and the gestational surrogate becomes pregnant through IVF. After birth, the gestational carrier places the child with the intended parent(s), who will become the legal parents. The legal agreement between the collaborating parties must be carefully crafted and reviewed by ART lawyers representing the gestational surrogate as well as the intended parent(s), to ensure the rights of all parties involved, including the child, are protected.

What role would you play as my ART lawyer?

Once you have found a surrogate and/or donor, Laurie can draft or review the donation agreement or compassionate carrier memorandum required to protect all parties involved, and make clear the parentage of the child.

What does surrogacy typically cost?

Surrogacy is complex in its inter-relation of ethical, legal and financial considerations. In compensated surrogacy intended parents typically pay the surrogate a fee for carrying the embryo as well as covering certain expenses. Legal contracts are needed for each party at the start of the process, to protect the rights and responsibilities of the intended parents, surrogate and child. Surrogacy costs include fees for the surrogate, fertility specialist, lawyer, and related expenses. These typically amount to $55,000-$100,000 and can vary widely, depending on whether a donor egg is required, the number of IVF cycles needed for the surrogate to become pregnant and the medical costs not covered by insurance.

Can I have a legally binding surrogacy agreement in New York State?

An experienced ART attorney like Laurie can assist you in understanding your legal options and determine the best way to secure your legal rights in a surrogacy proceeding. Currently, New York State does not recognize, nor will New York State courts enforce a fee-based surrogacy contract. A friend or family member can be an uncompensated surrogate, or you can work with a surrogate in a state where fee-based surrogacy is recognized by local courts. Carefully traversing this legal terrain ensures that the legal status of a child born by an assisted reproductive technology is clear and certain.

Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim

Adoption & Reproductive Law Attorney

As adoption and reproductive law attorneys, The Law Offices of Laurie B. Goldheim serve as a primary resource, counsel and partner to clients who seek to grow their families by contemporary means and methods, as recognized by the courts of New York and New Jersey.

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