You are here
Houston Attorneys Offer Legal Assistance in Building Families
The legal system is constantly evolving, thanks in part to a host of new issues brought about by assisted reproductive technologies (ART) that utilize a third party, like egg donors, sperm donors, embryo donors, and surrogates. Some Houston-area attorneys and law offices specialize in representing the unique needs of clients building a family through infertility treatments or adoption.
Attorneys specializing in Family Building Law or Adoption and Reproductive Technology Law create contracts that allow for legally-sound family building, clearly stating the legal rights, responsibilities, and protections of all parties involved.
Houston Law Practices
Infertility procedures can become very complex legally. It is a good idea to retain the services of a Houston attorney who specializes in reproductive law if you are looking into third party reproduction or adoption. Your lawyer will draw up legal documents that clearly state the roles and responsibilities of those involved, as well as help you deal with insurance claims and disposal of embryos. Utilizing the services of a lawyer beforehand will help prevent any kinds of legal challenges afterwards.
The following law offices and attorneys specialize in assisted reproductive technologies and family building law in the Houston area.
- The Law Office of Ellen Rubenstein
- Law Office of Katrina Cassidy
- The Law Offices of Gregory E. Stern
- Ellen A. Yarrell, Attorney at Law
Surrogacy is often thought of as the most legally-complex of the assisted reproductive technology treatments. For that reason, it is important that couples planning to use a surrogate retain the services of an attorney who specializes in surrogacy law.
In Texas, gestational surrogacy is considered legal, although traditional surrogacy is not. In order for a surrogacy agreement to be considered binding, it must be validated in court.
A reproductive law attorney can help create a contract that legally states the rights and responsibilities of each party – the intended parents, the surrogate, and a donor, if donor egg or sperm is used. The surrogacy agreement must clearly state that the surrogate does not intend to have custodial rights to the resulting child, and that she plans to turn the baby over to the intended parents.
Surrogacy contracts should state additional fees along with the base fee. Surrogacy fees can vary, but often include reimbursement for transportation, in vitro fertilization (IVF), maternity clothing, multiple pregnancies or births, and caesarian section. The contract should also include what role, if any, the surrogate will play in the child’s life after birth.
Retaining the services of a lawyer specializing in adoption is important for couples considering a domestic or international adoption. Your lawyer will help you understand Texas adoption laws, and explain how they pertain to your situation. An adoption lawyer will also talk to you about the risks involved, especially before the contract is finalized.
In the contract, your adoption lawyer will also clarify a post-adoption agreement, including what role, if any, the birth parents will play in the child’s life after birth.