Gestational Surrogacy & Adoption

Why

TOP PROBLEM

“We are interested in gestational surrogacy. What is the process?”

You’re tired, frustrated, and heartbroken. You might be experiencing infertility or maybe you’ve exhausted all your medical options for a viable pregnancy. Maybe you’re a same-sex couple and you’ve been longing to adopt and have a child of your own. Whatever issues you may be facing to grow your family, we understand that the process can seem endless, exhausting, stressful, and emotional. You want a child. You want to grow your family. You want to create a wonderful life for a someone you will love more than they will ever know. We understand. We are parents too. Our team of attorneys want to help end the worry, end the stress, and set your heart and eyes toward the future of your newest little family member. To us, that’s so worth it.

How

SOLUTION

There are many couples who have trouble conceiving a pregnancy or are able to conceive, but experience fertility problems that prevent them from carrying a pregnancy to term. In such cases, couples may choose to use the services of a Gestational Carrier. A Gestational Carrier is a woman who becomes pregnant with the embryos of someone else and has no genetic link to the child she is carrying.

Goosmann Law Firm provides a gestational carrier, intended parent, and adoption legal services throughout Iowa and South Dakota. View a 50 state United States Surrogacy Map here.

Our attorney team represents clients in this cutting-edge area of the law. We understand the ever-changing reproductive practices including those of Gestational Carriers. We advise on changing family needs and help navigate the laws associated with gestational surrogacy. As a Sioux City law firm and Sioux Falls law firm, our attorneys have the local knowledge to adapt to each states every-changing laws in Iowa and South Dakota. We can either represent the Gestational Carrier, a resident of Iowa or South Dakota, or the Intended Parents, regardless of where the Intended Parents reside. We work closely with all parties involved to ensure the exciting journey of surrogacy is fully and legally administered, and the ultimate goal of the Intended Parents to become legal parents of the child is met.

Families who experience infertility often go through a roller-coaster ride of emotions, doctor visits, and medications. Our team of attorneys advises clients in this cutting-edge area of family law. We understand the ever-changing reproductive practices including those of gestational carriers. We advise on changing family needs and help navigate the laws and risks. At Goosmann, we understand the importance of confidentiality and request a protective order for all of these proceedings.

We are lawyers, but we are also parents ourselves. We’ve also experienced the gestational surrogacy process from our own first-hand experience. Paralegal Monica Colella was a gestational carrier and shares her personal story that changed her life as well as the family she helped by giving them one of the most wonderful gifts.

Contact our gestational surrogacy legal team today to help make your wish a reality.

Monica Colella

former surrogate and Senior Paralegal at Goosmann Law Firm
Making the decision to become a gestational carrier was definitely not a decision made over night. In fact, it’s something that I knew I wanted to do for a long time. Over the years I would hear in the news or read in a magazine that someone was having a baby via a surrogate. I was always fascinated with science and the advances of technology and found the idea of surrogacy very interesting, and, when I thought about the gestational carriers, I thought, how inspiring, how selfless of them. So, the ultimate decision was an easy one for me, and after discussing it with my husband, I was happy to discover our feelings were mutual. We decided that after we completed our family, it would be my turn to give someone else the unconditional love that I was feeling. Working with an agency allowed me to not have to worry about the day to day administrative and medical duties that came with being a gestational carrier. I just followed the directions given to me and everything fell into place. Once I talked with the intended parents on the phone for the first time, I had that feeling. The feeling that yes, this is right. This is what I’m supposed to do, and this is the couple I need to do it for. Having that bond was very important. The intended parents were extremely supportive of me and were truly interested in my life, even outside the surrogacy. We talked regularly about their family and mine, and became friends as the process moved along. They were involved but not too involved. They knew that I was a responsible adult raising three children of my own and that I knew what I was doing. The trust was there from the beginning and that was also important to me. The day that I gave birth to their daughter was one of the most wonderful days of my life. To see how happy the parents were is too hard to even describe. To help mom get the daughter she had been trying so hard for 20+ years was one of the best feelings I’d ever felt. It was a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, content, and selflessness. Since then, I have actually had numerous people ask me to be a gestational carrier for them and it’s always difficult to say no. My experience was probably as close to perfect as you can get and I choose to remember it just like that. I did what I set out to do. I wanted to do something selfless. I wanted to do something amazing.

Disclaimer: The following testimonials do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

What we do.

PROBLEMS AND HOW WE SOLVE THEM

"We are interested in gestational surrogacy. What is the process?"

Our team of lawyers helps navigate clients through the gestational surrogacy process. We represent both intended parents as well as gestational carriers. Our process most often involves creating, reviewing, and walking you through the gestational carrier agreement, pre-birth process, and post-birth process. Most likely, this happens after you’ve met with an agency to assist you. We work closely with your agency to help simplify and ease the process for you and your family. Even if you choose not to use an agency, we can still assist you.

Each case is unique and depending on the state, different laws can apply which affect the process. If you’re interested in gestational surrogacy, contact our Sioux Falls law firm or Sioux City law firm today. We can’t wait to get started.

 

 

What is the process when a donor is used? Does the donor have any rights?

When a donor is used

When an egg donor or sperm donor is involved, the parties execute an egg or sperm donor agreement. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, the pre-birth process is the same as when both parents are biological parents. Depending on the goals and needs of the parents, we may petition the court for a pre-birth order.

In Iowa, regardless of whether we get a pre-birth or post-birth order, we still complete a second parent adoption when an egg donor or sperm donor is involved. This completely terminates any rights of anyone except the intended parents. In South Dakota, a post-birth order and second parent adoption may not be necessary.

When both parents use their own biological materials

A birth mother is presumed to be the legal mother in Iowa, even if she is not the biological mother of the child. In addition, her spouse is presumed to be the father. When both parents are using their biological material, we rely on the Iowa Administrative Code to establish paternity and maternity so that the birth certificate will be amended to include both biological parents.

In some cases, we request a pre-birth order prior to the baby’s birth. In Iowa, we will also complete a post-birth order, whether or not we get a pre-birth order, due to Iowa law. The post-birth order will amend the birth certificate to show the biological parents as the legal parents. The post-birth order is not required in South Dakota.

For more questions regarding the process when a donor is used and if an egg or sperm donor has rights to the baby, contact our law firm.

Can you help me with adopting a child?

Yes! Our team can help you adopt a child. We love the adoption process and helping unite a child with a family. We walk you through each document and step to alleviate the stress and ease the process. We work closely with adoption agencies to make sure we are both meeting your family’s goals and wishes.

Contact our team of lawyers to help grow your family through adoption.

What do we need to know about a gestational surrogacy pregnancy?

The process can be very emotional and time-consuming, but the end product is well worth it! You will work with a variety of legal and health professionals that will, in turn, work together to make the process flow as smoothly as possible. It’s not something that is done overnight and there are various legal and medical processes that need to be followed to ensure the best outcome possible. This is what we do for a living, so put your trust in us!

Is there any question that the baby our gestational carrier is pregnant with is ours?

To date, we have not had this happen. Because the gestational carrier process is such an emotional, time-consuming, and dedicated part of each parties lives, we have found that all parties take the terms of their contract very seriously and do anything possible to avoid any breach of the contract. In any case, in which the Gestational Carrier does get pregnant with her own child during the terms of the Agreement, the Gestational Carrier Agreement will contain a specific clause regarding this and also the breach of contract terms.

A birth mother is presumed to be the legal mother in Iowa, even if she is not the biological mother of the child. In addition, her spouse is presumed to be the father. When both parents are using their biological material, we rely on the Iowa Administrative Code to establish paternity and maternity so that the birth certificate will be amended to include both biological parents.

In some cases, we request a pre-birth order prior to the baby’s birth. We will also complete a post-birth order, whether or not we get a pre-birth order, due to Iowa law. The post-birth order will amend the birth certificate to show the biological parents as the legal parents.

To help you and your family with the post-birth order, contact our family law attorneys today.

Can we mandate health and care requirements for the gestational carrier during the pregnancy?

Yes, you can mandate health and care requirements for the gestational carrier. A lot of cultures have various eating habits and/or religious habits that you may or may not want the gestational carrier to take part in. This would be important to discuss prior to deciding to work together. The Gestational Carrier Agreement will contain a standard clause as to the gestational carrier following all health and care requirements recommended by the physician/obstetrician, but this can be customized to address any specific requirements you would like to include.

What rights does a gestational carrier have?

A birth mother is presumed to be the legal mother in Iowa, even if she is not the biological mother of the child. In addition, her spouse is presumed to be the father. This means that they have certain parental rights. A voluntary paternity affidavit is filled out at the hospital allowing the intended father to go on the initial birth certificate but the gestational carrier will be on the birth certificate as “mother”. The pre-birth order allows us to establish the intended father as the legal father of the child and the post-birth order allows us to disestablish the parental rights of the gestational carrier, the gestational carrier’s husband, and egg donor, if applicable. If a second parent adoption is needed, that is when the gestational carrier’s parental rights are terminated.

What we offer

SERVICES

Our legal team walks you through the gestational carrier process of assisted reproductive technology. We help create, review, and navigate you through the gestational carrier agreement, pre-birth order, and post-birth order.

How we can help:

  • Gestational Carrier Agreement
    This lays out the terms between the Gestational Carrier, her spouse, and the Intended Parent(s). Iowa surrogacy laws and South Dakota surrogacy laws vary. When the birth is expected to be in either of the states, the respective laws should be considered and applied to the agreement.
  • Pre-Birth Order
    Once the implantation is successful, in some cases it may be helpful to petition the court for a pre-birth order. Because Iowa Surrogacy Law and South Dakota Surrogacy Law have no statutes on point, the likelihood of being granted a pre-birth order depends on the judge.
  • Post-Birth Order
    If a pre-birth order was obtained, a post-birth order may also pave the way with each states’ Department of Public Health to name the Intended Mother as the “mother” on the birth certificate. We will work with the hospital and Department of Public Health. In Iowa, the Administrative Code offers guidance as to when a post-birth order will be appropriate.

Whether or not a pre-birth order is obtained, in most cases we recommend completing the adoption process to cut off the rights and obligations between the Gestational Carrier, her spouse, and the child(ren). This applies even when there is no biological connection between the Gestational Carrier and the child(ren) due to the Iowa surrogacy and South Dakota surrogacy statutes. Our Iowa and South Dakota attorneys make this process as quick and easy as possible.

A birth mother is presumed to be the legal mother in Iowa even when she is not biologically related to the child. In addition, her spouse is presumed to be the father. Therefore, there are certain filings that need to be prepared in order for the Intended Parent to adopt the child, particularly when there is no genetic connection between one or both of the parents and the child(ren). We help guide our clients through the process and do our best to make this last step as smooth as possible, so the parents can concentrate on what is important: a new addition to their family!

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