Albany Surrogacy Lawyer
Changing societal norms and advances in reproductive medicine have changed the ways that people start or add to families. For decades, the concept of using a surrogate to give birth to a child has offered people with reproductive issues, those in same-sex relationships, or single people an opportunity to become parents. However, this raised many important questions concerning the rights of donors and the surrogates, as well as how prospective parents could compensate those surrogates.
New York changed much of this with the passage of The Child Parent Security Act. Effective February of 2021, this act provides new definitions of legal parentage, as well as establishes the rights of parents early in the process. An Albany surrogacy lawyer could help both surrogates and future parents to better understand their rights and obligations under this new law. A practiced family attorney is available to help you determine how best to go about this process.
Surrogacy Agreements and Contractual Payments
For decades, the practice of serving as a compensated surrogate to an unborn child was not only discouraged and thought to violate public policy, but also illegal and, in cases where donor eggs, sperm, or embryos were utilized to assist with reproduction, no statute addressed the legal status of each party. As a result, parties often faced confusion concerning their legal rights, and courts were prohibited to enforce a contract concerning a person’s services as a surrogate if she was compensated.
All of this changed with the passage of The Child Parent Security Act. Specifically, New York Family Court Act § 581-401 states that an agreement to enter into a surrogacy arrangement is valid under the law. In addition, courts have the power to rule on the validity and legality of these agreements if one party alleges a breach. Finally, the Act says that parties may provide compensation in exchange for a person’s services as a surrogate beyond direct expenses. However, potential surrogates must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include, but are not limited to:
- Being at least 21 years old
- Being a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident
- The surrogate does not provide the egg used in the conception
- The surrogate receives a medical and psychosocial evaluation prior to the process and understands the potential risks
- Provide Informed Consent
A local surrogacy attorney could help parties to understand the legal requirements behind entering into these contracts and draft enforceable agreements.
Surrogacy Law and the Legal Rights of Children
Another major impact of the new Child Parent Security Act concerns the rights of children. The purpose of a surrogacy arrangement was always to have a person give birth to a child who would have different legal parents. The Child Parent Security Act enshrines this concept into law. By granting legal authority to surrogacy agreements, courts now have the power to enforce a contract concerning the child’s parentage and decide that parentage before the birth of the child. This avoids expensive adoption proceedings or a surrogate’s assertion of parentage upon the birth of the child.
This can have a wide range of consequences on family law, as well as probate and insurance laws. Because that child is the legal child of the parties paying for the surrogacy services, he/she will be an heir under probate law, as well as a designated beneficiary for insurance purposes. In addition, the New York Family Court Act § 581-406 states that the surrogate and any spouse of that surrogate have no parental rights over the child. This makes it clear that a child born to a surrogate has no stake in that surrogate’s estate or any other rights of a child under the law. An Albany surrogacy lawyer could provide more information about how a surrogacy agreement affects a child’s legal future.
Reach Out to an Albany Surrogacy Attorney Today
New changes in the law have affected the legal rights of surrogates, parties engaging the services of a surrogate, and children born out of these arrangements. Contracts that provide payment for a person’s service as a surrogate are now valid under New York law. However, these agreements must meet specific and precise criteria. An Albany surrogacy lawyer could help to solidify these agreements.
In addition, these new laws touch upon the rights of surrogates, parents, and children, including in the realm of probate law. Contact a legal professional today to learn more about these recent changes in state law.