San Diego Surrogacy Attorneys
Helping You Navigate the Surrogacy Process
Surrogacy is a complex process that involves many moving parts. When you are considering surrogacy, it is important to have a legal team that is experienced in handling surrogacy cases in California.
At Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC, our San Diego surrogacy lawyers are familiar with the surrogacy process and can help you navigate it with ease. We are highly respected in the field and have a reputation for providing strong, compassionate legal support inside and outside the courtroom.
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is a process in which a woman carries a child for a couple or individual who is unable to conceive and/or carry a pregnancy to term. The woman who carries the child is known as the surrogate mother. The intended parents are the couple or individual for whom the surrogate mother is carrying the child.
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the child, as her own eggs are used to conceive the child. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child. In this case, the child is conceived via in vitro fertilization, using the intended mother's or a donor's eggs and the intended father's or a donor's sperm.
Here is a general overview of the surrogacy process in California:
- Selecting a Surrogacy Agency or Independent Surrogacy: Prospective parents can choose to work with a surrogacy agency or pursue an independent surrogacy. Surrogacy agencies can provide comprehensive support, matching intended parents with a suitable surrogate, coordinating legal and medical processes, and providing emotional support.
- Screening and Matching: Both the intended parents and the prospective surrogate undergo thorough screening processes, including medical, psychological, and background checks. The goal is to ensure that all parties are physically and emotionally prepared for the surrogacy journey.
- Legal Agreements: Once a suitable match is found, legal contracts are drafted to outline the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved. The legal process helps establish parental rights and address issues such as compensation, medical decisions, and the surrogate's relinquishment of parental rights.
- Medical Processes: The surrogate and the intended parents work closely with fertility specialists and medical professionals to facilitate the embryo transfer process. This involves in vitro fertilization (IVF), where an embryo is created using the intended parents' or donor gametes and then implanted in the surrogate's uterus.
- Pregnancy and Prenatal Care: Throughout the pregnancy, the surrogate receives prenatal care, and the intended parents are typically involved in the process. Regular medical check-ups and communication between all parties are essential for a successful surrogacy journey.
- Birth and Post-Birth Processes: When the baby is born, the intended parents usually have immediate parental rights, as established by the legal agreements. The birth certificate is then typically issued with the names of the intended parents.
- Legal Finalization: After birth, there may be additional legal steps to finalize the parental rights and complete the surrogacy process. This can include court orders and other legal documentation.
Surrogacy Laws in California
California is considered to be one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the U.S. Under California law, the intended parents are the legal parents of the child, even if the child is not biologically related to them. In addition, the surrogate mother has no legal rights to the child, even if she is the biological mother.
California does not have any laws that specifically address surrogacy. However, California courts have been handling surrogacy cases since the 1980s and have consistently upheld surrogacy contracts, as long as the surrogacy arrangement is properly handled. The courts will not enforce a surrogacy agreement if the surrogate mother did not have independent legal representation at the time she signed the agreement.
To ensure that your surrogacy agreement is enforceable, it is crucial to work with a surrogacy lawyer who has experience drafting and reviewing surrogacy contracts in California.
Why Choose Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC?
Surrogacy is an emotionally charged process. In order to ensure that your legal rights are protected, it is crucial to work with a surrogacy lawyer who understands the surrogacy process and can provide you with the strong legal support you need.
At Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC, our experienced surrogacy attorneys play a crucial role in guiding intended parents, surrogates, and egg/sperm donors through the complex legal aspects of the surrogacy process.
Here's how we can assist:
- Legal Consultation and Advice: We provide comprehensive legal consultations to intended parents, surrogates, and donors to explain the legal implications of surrogacy, address any concerns, and ensure a clear understanding of the entire process.
- Drafting and Reviewing Contracts: Our legal team is skilled in drafting and reviewing surrogacy contracts. These agreements outline the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved, covering aspects such as compensation, medical decisions, and parental rights.
- Navigating State and Federal Laws: Surrogacy laws vary by state, and our attorneys are well-versed in the legal landscape of California. We ensure that all legal requirements are met, helping clients navigate state and federal regulations related to surrogacy.
- Parental Establishment: We assist in establishing parental rights for the intended parents, ensuring a smooth transition of legal responsibilities from the surrogate to the intended parents. This includes obtaining court orders and facilitating the legal steps required for parental recognition.
- Addressing Legal Issues and Disputes: In the event of any legal issues or disputes that may arise during the surrogacy process, our legal team is here to provide guidance and resolution. We work to protect the interests of our clients and facilitate amicable solutions whenever possible.
- Coordination with Other Professionals: Surrogacy involves collaboration between various professionals, including fertility specialists, surrogacy agencies, and medical professionals. We work collaboratively with these experts to ensure a cohesive and well-coordinated surrogacy journey.
- Post-Birth Legal Processes: After the birth of the child, our attorneys continue to assist clients with any additional legal processes required to finalize parental rights. This may include obtaining court orders and ensuring that all legal steps are completed for a smooth transition to parenthood.
Certified Ten of our attorneys have earned the distinction of certified family law specialist.
Equipped Skilled in litigation and mediation, we are prepared to handle any type of divorce.
Attentive We respond quickly to clients and ensure they are always informed about their case.
Seasoned Our professionals have more than 200 years of combined family law experience.
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David Schulman Founding Partner & Board Certified Expert in Family Law
Erik Moore Founding Partner & Board Certified Expert in Family Law
Julie Westerman Partner & Board Certified Expert in Family Law
Jeremy Boyer Partner & Board Certified Expert in Family Law
Kevin Polis Partner & Board Certified Expert in Family Law
Lesa Christenson Of Counsel & Board Certified Expert in Family Law
Bryan Yerger Associate
Sarah Bear Associate
Jillian Minter Associate
Isabel Steinmetz Associate
Lindsey Dentino Associate
Lauren Haack Associate