Florida’s Gestational Carrier Contracts

by | Dec 19, 2023 | Blog, Fertility Law, Gestational Surrogacy

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Rights

The Sunshine State shimmers with the promise of new beginnings, and for many, that includes the path to parenthood through gestational surrogacy. This increasingly popular family-building option offers hope and joy to couples and individuals facing fertility challenges, but it also comes with a complex legal landscape in Florida.

Imagine this: you’ve found the perfect match, a remarkable woman who agrees to carry your child through gestational surrogacy. Excitement bubbles over, but amidst the joy, questions arise. Who gets to make medical decisions? What financial arrangements are in place? And most importantly, how can you ensure a smooth and legally sound journey towards parenthood?

Worry not, future families! This blog post delves into the nitty-gritty of gestational carrier contracts in Florida, equipping you with the crucial information you need to navigate the legal terrain with confidence.  Our goal is to empower you to make informed decisions every step of the way.

We’ll unpack the legalities, demystify key contract elements, and provide resources to help you make informed choices.Whether you’re dreaming of holding your precious child or embarking on the fulfilling journey of being a gestational carrier, knowledge is your power.

What Is a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement

A gestational surrogacy agreement, also known as a gestational carrier agreement, is a legal contract between intended parents and a gestational carrier that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party throughout the surrogacy process. This agreement along with pre-planned adoption agreements (which are commonly utilized by same-sex couples) are designed to ensure that all parties are protected. These contracts are intended to detail each respective party’s rights, obligations, intentions, and expectations, and are designed to cover all aspects of the anticipated pregnancy, including parental rights, reasonable reimbursements to the gestational surrogate, location of delivery, insurance, payment of medical expenses, future communication between the parties, and other provisions required by Florida law.

Here’s a breakdown of its key features:

Purpose:

  • To establish a legally binding framework for the gestational surrogacy journey.
  • To protect the rights and interests of all parties involved: intended parents, gestational carrier, and the child.

Key Elements:

  • Financial arrangements: Covers expenses for the gestational carrier, including medical care and living expenses.
  • Medical decisions and consent: Determines who has the authority to make medical decisions for the gestational carrier and the pregnancy.
  • Parental rights and termination: Defines the legal process for establishing parental rights for the intended parents and outlines the grounds for terminating the contract before or after birth.
  • Post-surrogacy relationship: Addresses any ongoing communication or support between the parties after the birth.

Importance:

  • Ensures a clear understanding of each party’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Minimizes potential legal disputes and protects everyone involved.
  • Provides a foundation for a smooth and successful surrogacy journey.

Legality:

  • Varies by jurisdiction.
  • In Florida, gestational surrogacy agreements are governed by §742.15 of the Florida Statutes, which outlines specific requirements for enforceability.

The Legal Cornerstone: Understanding Florida’s Gestational Carrier Contracts

As mentioned in the previous section, Florida Statute §742.15 is the legal cornerstone of gestational carrier contracts in the Sunshine State.

This statute outlines the key requirements for a binding and enforceable contract:

  1. Age: All parties must be 18 years or older.
  2. Marital Status: Intending parents must be legally married. This requirement ensures stability and commitment to raising the child.
  3. Compensation: The contract cannot involve financial compensation beyond reasonable living, legal, medical, and psychological expenses for the gestational carrier. This safeguard prevents exploitation and ensures ethical practices.
  4. Genetic Disconnection: The contract must clearly stipulate that the intended parents are the sole legal parents of the child, that at least one member of the intended parents is genetically related to the child, and that the gestational carrier will not be genetically related to the child.
  5. Post-Birth Affirmation: Within three days of the child’s birth, the intended parents must file a petition in court for an expedited affirmation of parental status. This legally establishes their parental rights.

Understanding these requirements is vital for both intended parents and gestational carriers. It ensures you’re entering a legally sound agreement and protects the rights of everyone involved.

Remember, this statute lays the groundwork, but a well-drafted contract is essential. A successful gestational surrogacy not only requires that both the intended parents and gestational surrogate think deeply about the process, but also obtain effective legal representation for all parties involved to reduce uncertainties and potential complications during the pregnancy and post-birth. Simply stated, working with an attorney experienced in fertility law is important for all parties involved.

Send Us a Message

4 + 12 =

*required fields