Third Party Reproduction Law (also known as assisted reproductive technology law -“ART Law”) includes representing intended parent(s), donors, gestational carriers and surrogates in the contractual negotiations and/or parentage proceedings concerning the following arraignments:
- surrogacy (gestational and traditional);
- egg donation;
- sperm donation; and
- embryo donation
It is important to begin working with an ART attorney as early as possible in the third party reproduction process. This allows for making informed decisions at every step of the process – enabling clients to plan rather than react to circumstances.
The parties to an ART arraignment have current and future legal and privacy interests that can only be properly addressed by an attorney experienced in ART law. The ART attorney is the one professional in any infertility journey legally and ethically bound to serve the client’s interests and concerns alone rather than their own and/or another party’s.
Furthermore, the firm is unique among ART law practitioners in that it serves both the families created using Third Party Reproduction as well as the medical practices, agencies and other professionals providing these families their services.
Assisted Reproduction In Nevada
In Nevada, surrogacy is open to anyone! Anyone can build their family through surrogacy or help Intended Parent(s) by serving as a surrogate REGARDLESS of their:
- Martial status
- Familial size/status
- Lack of any Genetic Connection to the Resulting Child(ren)
- Sexual Orientation
Nevada law recognizes the validity and enforceability of a written Gestational Carrier Agreement so long as the Agreement is drafted by an attorney and all parties are represented by independent legal counsel. The agreement must include clear information regarding the parties’ legal, financial and contractual rights and obligations. A surrogate (also known as a Gestational Carrier or a “GC”) may be compensated for their time, trouble and inconvenience as well as their reasonable expenses, including, without limitation, medical, legal or other professional expenses, incurred due to their participation as a Gestational Carrier. The Agreement DOES NOT need be validated by a court prior to pregnancy so the contract negotiation phase of the Gestational Carrier Arrangement can proceed as rapidly as the parties (and their attorneys) desire.
Once the Agreement is executed, the Gestational Carrier will never be considered the legal parent of the child(ren) she is carrying. Nevada law recognizes (and Nevada courts will enforce) that Intended Parent(s) are the legal parent(s) of any resulting child(ren) carried by the GC from the moment the Agreement was executed. Practically that means that, once the Agreement is executed, a Gestational Carrier cannot legally “change her mind” regarding parentage and/or the adequacy of the financial compensation.
Anytime after confirmation of fetal heartbeat, however typically between 11 and 15 weeks of pregnancy, Intended Parent(s) may petition any district court in Nevada for a Order affirming parentage and dictating the contents of the birth certificate — doing away with the trouble and the inconvenience of a post-birth parental finalization proceeding and/or the additional expense of a post-birth or second parent adoption. A Pre-Birth Order (“PBO”) is especially important for Intended Parent(s) from places where surrogacy is illegal or severely restricted. Court filing fees and other associated costs are some of the lowest in the nation and the PBO can be obtained in a matter of weeks typically without any hearing.
All of the above makes Nevada one of the most surrogacy friendly jurisdictions in the United State if not the world.
Assisted Reproduction in New Jersey
On May 27, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Gestational Carrier Agreement Act. This groundbreaking legislation effectively overturns a 1986 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling in the infamous Baby M case where the court declared gestational carrier agreements unenforceable in New Jersey. The new law is effective immediately.
Similar to other modern surrogacy legislation nationwide, the Act recognizes the Intended Parents’ parentage once a GC Agreement that fulfills the Act’s requirements is signed. Those requirements include:
- medical and psychological evaluation of the Gc
- independent legal representation of the IP(s) and GC
- express language in the contract concerning
custody and parentange of the child, the IPs duty to support the child and the GC’s right to choice her doctor and/or other licensed medical professionals providing her care.
The Act allows a GC to receive payment for the reasonable expenses she incurres in connection with her performance under a GC Agreement including payments for food, clothing, medical expenses, housing, legal expenses and/or counseling services (religious, psychological, vocational, etc.) during the pregnancy and her postpartum recovery.
The Act also provides for pre-birth orders to be granted, birth certificates to be issued with the IPs information without need to amend at a later date and does not require a hearing to be held if the petition for the PBO is unopposed.