Many same-sex couples are eager to grow their families. One popular option for members of the LGBTQ community is surrogacy. Even though the surrogacy process is similar to that of heterosexual couples, there are some unique factors same-sex couples must consider.
An experienced Chattanooga LGBTQ surrogacy lawyer could provide valuable guidance throughout the entire process. A dedicated family attorney at our firm could explain local surrogacy laws and regulations, help you complete your surrogacy agreement, protect your rights and interests during the surrogacy process, and establish your parental rights as soon as possible.
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which one person agrees to carry and deliver a child for another person or couple, with the agreement that they will become the child’s parents after the birth. For LGBTQ couples, the process typically includes using an egg donor, gestational carrier, or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve pregnancy.
Surrogacy is a great option for lesbian couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy on their own, as well as for gay men who want to be biologically connected to their child. Though, there are important decisions same-sex couples must make before beginning the process, as a knowledgeable surrogacy lawyer in Chattanooga could explain in more detail during an initial consultation.
When a heterosexual couple decides to use surrogacy as a means to have a baby, both parents’ genetic material is often used to create the embryo. This is frequently done so that both the mother and father are the child’s biological parents. This is not the case in a LGBTQ surrogacy.
When a same-sex couple begins the surrogacy process, they must determine whose sperm or egg will be used. They must also determine whether to use an anonymous surrogate or someone that they know. Many LGBTQ couples choose a relative of the partner whose genetic material is not directly used to form the baby, that way they still have some genetical link to the child. A seasoned Chattanooga surrogacy attorney could help a same-sex couple talk through their options and determine what solution is best for them.
The laws around surrogacy in the state of Tennessee are deceptively simple, as there are none. Tenn. Code Ann. 36-1-102(48) merely defines the process. Thus, pursing surrogacy in Chattanooga can be a complex process for same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike.
If one of the intended parents in a LGBTQ couple uses their own sperm or egg, that individual can apply for a pre-birth order to protect their parental rights, as they share a genetic connection with the child. However, in such a situation, only the genetically related parent will be named on the parentage order. The other partner would need to complete a second-parent or stepparent adoption after the child is born in order to gain parental rights.
Unlike in a heterosexual surrogacy where both partners could be biological parents of the child, when an LGBTQ couple uses a third-party surrogate, the surrogate often shares a biological link with the child. In this situation, the parental rights of the surrogate cannot be terminated until after she gives birth, due to her genetic relationship with the baby. Because of this, it is extremely beneficial to retain a qualified attorney at the start of the surrogacy process.
A skilled attorney in Chattanooga could create a surrogacy agreement between an LGBTQ couple and the third-party surrogate that outlines all the risks, responsibilities, and expectations for the surrogacy. That way if the surrogate changes her mind, there is legal recourse available to the same-sex couple.
Many LGBTQ couples wish to have children together but do not want to go through the often lengthy and expensive adoption process. If you and your partner are looking to expand your family, surrogacy could be a great option for you. Unlike with adoption, through surrogacy, one of you could be the biological mother or father of the child. In addition, surrogacy provides the opportunity for both intended parents to be involved throughout the pregnancy, from conception to birth.
Though there are numerous benefits to the surrogacy process, it can be complicated—especially as there are no legal parameters in the state of Tennessee around it. If you are considering surrogacy as a way to have a child, reach out to a Chattanooga LGBTQ surrogacy lawyer at our firm to ensure your rights are protected. Call today to schedule a consultation.