Surrogacy. It sounds foreign to most. The main reason why? Alabama hasn’t accepted it yet. I know, shocking, right? Alabama is behind on yet another legal front? Yes, we’re really behind. We’re moving slow as molasses. BLESS.OUR.HEART. That being said, surrogacy may not be something that many people know of as an option because it isn’t extremely common in these parts. Parents who are having difficulties having a baby and difficulty adopting, may want to know about this option. Here are a few things about surrogacy you may want to know:
- There are different types of surrogacy. In one instance both (the intended) parents donate their genetic material to make a baby and the surrogate is only carrying the baby of those parents. In another, the father donates his sperm and the surrogate is providing her genetic material to make the baby. Depending on the type of surrogacy, you’ll need a different plan of action. You want to make sure to contact an attorney BEFORE you begin the process. Otherwise, you may end up in a situation, like many people in other states, who have a surrogate on the loose with YOUR baby.
- There are no laws on this matter in this state. Many lawyers don’t even know how to move forward with a surrogacy because there are no guidelines laid out. Lawyers have to be creative and move forward. In essence, they have to create their own law interpreted by what is written out in black and white on other subjects related to surrogacy such as paternity, maternity, and adoption. The good thing about having a lawyer is that we know how to look in the gray. We find a way to get your end result even if the legislature hasn’t caught up to your needs… which brings me to the point that… it doesn’t mean you cannot take advantage of the theory or idea of surrogacy as long as you have a good attorney.
- You’ll need a good contract. The contract needs to take care of all legal mishaps that could happen. You need a lawyer who has read the news articles on issues that have arisen in other states. You need a lawyer who knows the absolute worst case scenario. You never know if your surrogate has a past. A baby is a precious thing, and trusting someone to carry your baby during the development of their life is a hard task. Having a document that states in black and white what you’re providing and what you expect the surrogate to provide (a warm healthy womb for your baby) is not just a safety net… it’s a necessity. You need to look at all current and future costs associated with carrying and recovering from childbirth. Tis not the time to be trustworthy. Tis the time to think of the possibility of a surrogate who tricks you into thinking she’s Mary Poppins, while in reality she’s a serial killer who secretly got pregnant by her boyfriend on a conjugal visit, convinced you it was your baby with your husband, took your money, and started a drug trading business with it. Then she flees to Mexico before you even realize what’s happening. If you can think of all of those crazy misfortunes, your lawyer can handle the contract just fine. If you can’t, we will think of those crazy misfortunes for you, handle the contract, and you’ll never have to worry about it.