Providing Gestational Carrier, Intended Parent, and Adoption

legal services throughout Iowa and South Dakota.

Iowa and South Dakota Surrogacy Lawyer

Attorney: Emilee Boyle Gehling

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 another couple and has no genetic link to the child she is carrying. 

Goosmann Law Firm 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 with locations in Spencer, Iowa and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, our attorneys have the local knowledge to adapt to each states every-changing laws. 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 their child is met. 

What We Do. 

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.

Adoption Process

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 attorneys 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 and South Dakota, 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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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.

– Monica Colella