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Using a Surrogate in Tampa, FL
Choosing a surrogate can be a smart family-building option for women who have difficulty conceiving due to certain medical conditions or cannot carry a pregnancy to term. A surrogate is a woman who carries and gives birth to a child for another woman or a couple.
Surrogacy is described as either traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy involves the insemination of the surrogate with a man’s sperm, usually that of the male partner. Because the surrogate’s eggs are used, the child will be biologically related to her. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is implanted with a fertilized egg, either from a donor or the couple. This results in a child who is biologically unrelated to the surrogate.
Couples can choose someone they know to function as their surrogate, such as friend or family member. There are also surrogacy agencies to help match couples with surrogates.
Surrogacy Laws in Florida
Unlike many states, Florida has clear, comprehensive laws regarding surrogacy. Because it is legally protected, Florida has become an attractive location for host surrogacies from around the country.
Florida Statute 63.212 deals with traditional surrogacy, which is referred to as Pre-Planned Adoption Agreements in Florida Law. Before the process begins, the surrogate signs an agreement stating that the child is the biological child of the intended father, and she intends to relinquish custody of the child to the intended parents. According to this statute, no fees or compensation can be given to the surrogate, though medical fees and reasonable living expenses are provided. The agreement is final seven days after the child’s birth.
Florida Statute 742.15 clarifies the law for gestational surrogacy. The surrogate must sign an agreement saying she agrees to carry the child for the couple and turn over the child’s custody to the intended parents after birth. No fees or compensation can be paid to the surrogate beyond medical care and reasonable living expenses.
The statute requires the intended parents to be over 18 and married to each other. A physician must also determine that the woman cannot conceive or sustain a pregnancy, or that doing so would endanger her wellbeing.
After the birth, the intended parents will have established parental status on the child’s birth certificate. Florida is one of only two states that allows this without having to go through adoption or paternity processes.
Tampa Surrogacy Agencies
The Tampa area has several well-respected agencies that match up intended parents with potential surrogates. These agencies require the surrogate to undergo physical and psychological screenings beforehand. It is a good idea to research each agency thoroughly, and become familiar with the costs, fees, and policies of those you are considering.
- Proactive Family Solutions, Tampa FL
- Heartfelt Adoption & Surrogacy Services,Tampa FL
- Jeanne T. Tate Law, Tampa FL
Surrogacy is considered the most complex of the assisted reproductive technology treatments, so it is a good idea to retain the services of lawyer trained and experienced in fertility and surrogacy law to help you through the process.