As attorneys, we see our job in every surrogacy case as creating certainty and safety for the child — and that means ensuring all state laws are followed through each step of the surrogacy process. We are very familiar with surrogacy laws in Pennsylvania and can provide all of the legal services you need to ensure your surrogacy is handled safely and legally, including:
– advising you on applicable laws and legal procedures through each step of the surrogacy process.
– drafting and negotiating a comprehensive surrogacy contract.
– obtaining a pre-birth parentage order in every surrogacy case.
– providing stepparent adoption and parental confirmation services as necessary.
– coordinating with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the hospital to ensure birth certificates are handled properly.
– providing general legal counsel and oversight throughout the surrogacy process.
– referring your surrogate or intended parents to independent legal representation.
– and more.
Here, find additional information about Pennsylvania surrogacy laws and the legal services provided by Bierly & Rabuck.
Surrogacy in Pennsylvania
There are no published statutes regarding surrogacy in Pennsylvania, but there is appellate case law making Pennsylvania a very surrogacy-friendly state.
However, legal surrogacy procedures can vary from county to county and even judge to judge. It is important to work with an experienced Pennsylvania surrogacy attorney throughout the entire process to ensure your surrogacy complies with all applicable laws.
The Surrogacy Contract
One of the most important parts of the legal surrogacy process is the contract. The surrogacy contract is the roadmap that guides the entire surrogacy experience, clearly outlining each party’s rights, roles and responsibilities. It helps limit miscommunication and protect everyone involved in the surrogacy process, especially the baby.
The surrogacy contract is typically drafted by the intended parents’ attorney, then reviewed and negotiated by the surrogate’s attorney. It is important for each party to work with their own independent legal counsel; if Bierly & Rabuck is representing the intended parents, the surrogate will be referred to her own attorney, and vice versa.
The two attorneys will continue to negotiate the contract until everyone is happy with the terms that are included. Typically, the contract addresses the following issues:
– Surrogate compensation
– Risks and liability
– The surrogate’s health and prenatal care during pregnancy
– Agreement on sensitive issues, such as selective reduction and termination
– Social information, including the intended parents’ involvement in certain key appointments
– And more
Surrogacy is a complex issue, and there are many variables and possible outcomes to take into account when drafting the surrogacy contract. It is important to work with experienced attorneys to complete the contract prior to the medical surrogacy process.
Obtaining a Pre-Birth Order
In every surrogacy case, legal action is needed to officially establish the intended parents as the baby’s legal parents. In Pennsylvania, this is typically done through a pre-birth order of parentage.
Obtaining a pre-birth order is beneficial for a number of reasons:
– It allows the intended parents to be named on the baby’s original birth certificate
– It ensures the baby can be discharged to the intended parents at the hospital
– It enables the intended parents to make important medical decisions for the baby at birth
– It may help resolve insurance coverage issues
– And more
Bierly & Rabuck will begin the pre-birth order process during the surrogate’s fifth month of pregnancy. We will file the necessary paperwork, coordinate with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and arrange a hearing to obtain a court order of parentage for the intended parents.
We are able to obtain a pre-birth order in nearly every surrogacy case, regardless of whether the intended parents have a genetic connection to the baby.
Surrogate Compensation in Pennsylvania
For gestational carriers, the surrogacy process is a demanding one — it involves a number of complex medical procedures and fertility treatments, a significant commitment of time and energy, and all of the risks and discomforts associated with pregnancy and childbirth. In Pennsylvania, surrogates may be fairly compensated in exchange for these efforts and sacrifice.
Surrogate compensation can vary based on a number of factors, including the surrogate’s experience, her needs, and the course of her pregnancy. Compensation is typically discussed early in the process and outlined in the agreed-upon surrogacy contract.
The Rights of Egg and Sperm Donors
Many intended parents require the services of an egg or sperm donor during the surrogacy process, and it is important to ensure the rights of those donors are handled legally.
In Pennsylvania, if an anonymous donor is used, he or she does not have parental rights that need to be legally terminated. However, if the intended parents choose to work with a known donor, Bierly & Rabuck will guide them through the legal process to terminate the donor’s parental rights.
In any case when donor gametes are used, it is important to have a clear legal contract in place before the donation occurs. Bierly & Rabuck can provide the legal services clients need when drafting and negotiating a donor contract.
Surrogacy is a personal process, and legal procedures can vary based on individual needs and circumstances. Because surrogacy laws can be so complex and ever-changing, it is important to work with an experienced attorney like those at Bierly & Rabuck to ensure all aspects of the process are handled safely and legally.
If you are looking for legal surrogacy services, or if you have additional questions about surrogacy laws in Pennsylvania, please contact Bierly & Rabuck to schedule a consultation.