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Surrogate Parenting Questions

There are many couples that would love to have children and can't. Often they resort to a surrogate mother for help. At times, neither is aware of the legal implications of a surrogate parenting agreement or what the rights of a surrogate mother are. This can often lead to confusion and legal questions. Below are five of the most commonly asked legal questions related to surrogate parenting, answered by Family Lawyers on JustAnswer.

In Michigan is it legal to use a surrogate mother when there is no legal contract or compensation?

At the time of writing this article, there were no laws stating that there needs to be a contract for surrogate parenting. There are no laws for surrogate mother compensation either. As such, not having a legal contract and not offering compensation to a surrogate mother would not be considered illegal in Michigan. However, laws are bound to change from time to time and it is advisable to check the provisions of the law at the time of getting into a surrogate parenting agreement. One option is to ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for the provisions of the law in your state.

What are the stipulations of being a surrogate mother?

There are many qualifications that must be met in order to be a surrogate mother, some of them are: you must have had a child of your own already, most of your earlier pregnancy must have been free of compactions such as low birth weight, early birth, and high blood pressure. Also, if you are on any anti-depressants or other medications this could possibly be an issue with being a surrogate mother. The surrogate mother must ideally be healthy, and have a normal body mass index, although some clinics do allow higher body mass indexes.

Is it legal for a married person to adopt a child from someone else?

The legal provisions could depend on whose child you intend to adopt. While there is no legal restriction on adoption of a child without parents, adopting the child/children of a person that you are having an affair with may not be considered legal. In extreme circumstances, a judge may accept this if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child, but it is highly unlikely for courts to deem this legal.

If a woman already has children is it legal to be a surrogate mother for someone else?

In most instances, this is completely legal. In fact, a healthy past pregnancy would be seen favorably while assessing the health of the mother for surrogate parenting. Also, if the person wants to be a surrogate mother and then give the child up for adoption, this also would be entirely the mother's choice. However, if there is already a surrogate parenting agreement in place before the start of pregnancy, the provisions of the agreement would normally be legally binding. If you want to assess your legal rights as a surrogate mother, you could ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer to evaluate your situation and provide Expert legal insights.

How does someone transfer parental rights from the surrogate mother to another person?

Before the child is born parental rights can normally not be given up. However, you could have all the adoption papers filled out and ready to file to ensure that adoption can take place as soon as the child is born. When the child is born the surrogate mother's name will be on the birth certificate, but once the adoption is finalized then the name would be replaced with that of the adoptive mother.

Surrogate parenting is an arrangement and agreement through which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. Many times the surrogate mother may be the child's genetic mother. This is also called traditional surrogacy. If the surrogate parent receives compensation for any type of medical or reasonable expenses this is referred to as commercial surrogacy. The difference between the two and the legal rights of both the adoptive and surrogate parent often lead to questions. If you find that you need questions answered regarding surrogate parenting, you can ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer for legal insights.
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