Our office has extensive experience in helping same-sex couples who seek to build their family through gestational surrogacy. There are various legal mechanisms for married same-sex couples to achieve parenthood through use of a Gestational Carrier - be that using donor sperm, donor eggs, or donor embryos. Whatever assisted reproduction path meets your needs, we can assist you with the legal framework to achieve parentage.
Our office handles the necessary legal process in its entirety from drafting the Gestational Agreement to securing a Pre-Birth Order and finalizing your legal parentage. A significant benefit of working with our office is that you are not required to appear in Court as we present all affidavits to the Court on your behalf. We also act as a liaison for you at the hospital where your child will be delivered.
Texas law provides for the entry of a Pre-Birth Order that validates the Gestational Agreement entered into between married Intended Parents, a Gestational Carrier, and, if applicable, her Spouse / Partner.
We will prepare a Gestational Agreement that conforms to the discussions and desires of the parties, and then submit a draft Agreement to the Intended Parents for review. Upon execution of the Agreement, we will submit a legal clearance letter to the IVF physician authorizing the embryo transfer. The Intended Parents and Gestational Carrier can then proceed with the next step in the medical process.
Pursuant to the Texas Family Code, Gestational Agreements between Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers are valid and enforceable. The Gestational Carrier may be supported financially for her efforts, and the Intended Parents will be recognized as the legal parents of the child(ren) upon birth without the need for adoption. The names of the Intended Parents are listed on the original birth certificate(s). Out-of-state and international Intended Parents can avail themselves of Texas jurisdiction if working with a Gestational Carrier residing in Texas.
The Gestational Agreement must be executed by all parties at least 14 days preceding the date of the transfer and must set forth specific facts regarding the nature of the arrangement as well as the rights, privileges, duties and obligations of each party to the Agreement. The Agreement must further set forth that the physician informed the parties of the rate of successful conceptions and births attributable to the procedure, the potential for risks associated with fertility drugs used in any retrieval or transfer procedure, and the reasonably foreseeable psychological effects resulting from the procedure.
Following a confirmed pregnancy, the Court may validate the Gestational Agreement based upon the following findings:
Each party has voluntarily entered into and understands the Gestational Agreement;
The Intended Parents are unable to carry a pregnancy to term and/or give birth without undue risk to their physical or mental health or the health of the child;*
Unless waived by the Court, a home study has been completed on the Intended Parents; **
The Gestational Carrier has had at least one previous pregnancy and delivery, and another pregnancy and delivery would not pose an unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or the health of the child; and
The parties have adequately provided for which party is financially responsible for the expenses associated with the pregnancy.
* An Intended Mother must provide a letter from her IVF physician indicating a medical and/or psychological condition which prevents her from carrying a pregnancy.
** Home studies are typically waived by the Court.
Following the validation of the Gestational Agreement as set forth above, the parent-child relationship exists between the Intended Parents and any child born to the Gestational Carrier pursuant to the Gestational Agreement. Upon the birth of the child, the Intended Parents’ names are placed on the child’s original birth certificate as the parents of the child.