Three Benefits of Hiring an ART Attorney for Your Family Building Needs

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) law is still an evolving area of law and can be scary or overwhelming for intended parents trying to start a surrogacy journey. By this point you have already gone through and done so much that having to figure out yet another step can seem like the final straw. You may want to dive right in and figure things out on your own. However, hiring an ART attorney can save you time and headaches in the long run. Here are three reasons you should hire a surrogacy attorney:

A young baby with the number three spelled out in apples

  1. Writing Contracts. If you are working with a fertility clinic, the doctors and staff there will most likely require a legal contract between you and your donor or surrogate. These legal contracts protect both you and your donor or surrogate and spell out the exact terms and responsibilities that each person has. An assisted reproductive technology attorney has experience with what goes into these contracts, including any type of payment schedule, insurance expectations, and levels of expected privacy, to name a few. If you tried to write these contracts on your own or create an informal or verbal contract, your fertility clinic may not be able to continue assisting you. If you are not using a clinic, you can set yourself up for legal troubles down the road.  An experienced attorney can create a contract that protects both your rights as well as the rights of your donor or surrogate and gives all parties legal protections if something bad happens.
  2. Guaranteeing Your Parental Rights. Once you have decided to work with a donor or a surrogate, you may have some questions about making sure your rights as parents are upheld. An experienced ART attorney can make sure that your rights as the parents of your child are respected. One such way is to write it into your original contract to make sure everyone knows. For example, if you are working with a known sperm donor, you can make sure your contract says what his role in your child’s life may be going forward. A surrogacy lawyer can also obtain a signed order (by a judge) that directs the hospital and Vital Records to put your names on your baby’s birth certificate. 
  3. Working with the Doctors, Hospitals, Court and Other Public Offices. Good ART attorneys have a lot of experience navigating the court system and other public offices to help address your family-building needs. Often, ART attorneys have relationships with surrogacy agencies, fertility clinics, doctors, psychologists, birth hospitals, and local and statewide officials (clerks of court, Vital Records, Register of Deeds, etc.) These relationships can be vitally important in helping facilitate a smooth family expansion journey as your attorney may be able to call or email a necessary person or department with whom there is an established relationship in a way that you would not be able to access on your own. 

If you have questions, please contact us.  Because, sometimes it takes a village.  

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