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Using a Surrogate in Houston, Texas
Women who are unable to conceive or successfully carry a pregnancy to term often turn to surrogacy to realize their family-building dream. A surrogate is a woman who carries a child for another woman or a couple.
Surrogacy is broken up into two types: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, a woman is inseminated with sperm, usually that of the male partner. Because the child is conceived using the surrogate’s eggs, the surrogate is biologically related to the resulting child. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is implanted with a fertilized egg, which usually comes from the couple or a donor. In this method, the surrogate is not related biologically to the child.
Women can be matched with surrogates through agencies. Many often ask close friends or relatives to serve as a surrogate if they cannot get pregnant or successfully carry a pregnancy.
Surrogacy Laws in Texas
The laws dealing with surrogacy in Houston, Texas can be found in the Texas Family Code. This statute is modeled after Part 8 of the Uniform Parentage Act of 2002. According to this law, gestational surrogacy is allowed, but traditional surrogacy is not, since it is not legal for a surrogate to use her own eggs.
There are certain requirements that must be met in order for the surrogacy to be legal. First, a gestational agreement must be made in court. The surrogate must previously have had at least one successful pregnancy and delivery, and the intended mother must show she cannot sustain a pregnancy. There is a 90 day residency requirement in Texas for both intended parents and surrogates. Before the surrogacy procedures begin, the intended parents, who must be married, must submit to a home study.
Because the stature requires that the intended parents be married, it appears to exclude same-sex couples. However, there is no explicit ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender couples jointly adopting a child or adopting the child of the same-sex partner.
Surrogacy Agencies in Houston
Surrogacy agencies match up the intended parents with a potential surrogate. Before the procedure begins, the surrogate must undergo medical screenings and psychological evaluations to prove she is physically and mentally capable to become a surrogate. The following agencies in the Houston area work with surrogates for intended parents.
- Fertility Resources of Houston, LLC
- Surrogate Solutions
- Surrogacy Specialists of America Parenting Options
- Texas Surrogacy Lawyer: Law Office of Katrina Cassidy
Every agency has different fees and stated responsibilities, so make sure you research all of this carefully before making your surrogacy decision.
Surrogacy is often described as the most complex of the assisted reproductive technologies, since there is a third party involved. It is a good idea to retain the services of a lawyer who specializes in assisted reproductive technology law to guide you through the surrogacy process.