People hoping to grow their families have lots of options. While many families opt for adoption, others pursue assisted reproductive technology choices, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, donor gametes, and other related procedures. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) opens the possibility of parenthood to same-sex couples and those struggling with infertility, but these options also come with legal considerations you should be aware of.
An Oklahoma City assisted reproductive technology lawyer could explain all applicable laws and how to resolve common issues that arise in ART. Working with a skilled and experienced attorney allows you to embark on this new chapter of your lives with confidence and peace of mind.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) often requires intended parents to use donated eggs, sperm, or embryos. Establishing who has the right to this biological material through a written contract is critical. Sometimes donors are anonymous and have made their donations through a contract with a fertility clinic. In other cases, intended parents make a private arrangement with a donor.
A legal professional could draft a donor contract reflecting your unique needs and intentions. It could establish compensation for the donated material as well as the donor’s time and expenses in providing it. The contract could address who owns any embryos and specify what may be done with extra embryos. It might also cover issues like anonymity and conflict resolution.
Whether you are a donor or an intended parent, an Oklahoma City assisted reproductive technology attorney with extensive experience in fertility law should review any contract with the facility before you sign it. A legal professional could explain its terms in detail and suggest revisions, if necessary.
Many couples choose to hire a gestational surrogate who receives an embryo and carries the child in the womb until delivery. 10 Oklahoma Statutes § 557.5 requires intended parents, the surrogate, and the surrogate’s spouse to all sign a written agreement spelling out the terms of the surrogacy arrangement.
Intended parents must be legally married to each other. Couples who have not formalized their union cannot legally enter into a surrogate agreement. A single person may be an intended parent and use a gestational surrogate, but if an intended parent is married, their spouse must also be an intended parent.
Some states restrict the compensation a surrogate may receive, but Oklahoma allows intended parents to compensate a surrogate for their services. A fertility attorney in Oklahoma City could prepare a surrogacy agreement and advise intended parents or the surrogate about structuring a compensation agreement.
A court must validate the agreement between the intended parents, the surrogate, and the surrogate’s spouse before an embryo transfer occurs. An Oklahoma City assisted reproductive technology attorney from The Smith Firm could prepare the petition asking the court to validate the agreement.
10 Oklahoma Statutes § 557.10 requires a judge to review multiple factors when considering whether to validate a surrogacy agreement. The petition for validation must include the written surrogacy agreement as well as the following:
The judge also must confirm that all parties entered into the agreement voluntarily and had the advice of independent legal counsel.
If the judge agrees that the surrogacy arrangement meets legal requirements, the court will issue an order validating the agreement. The order also establishes the intended parents as the child’s legal parents. If a child is born of the agreement, the intended parents will be named on the birth certificate and will be the only people with parental rights.
If you plan to use ART to have a child, you need an attorney with knowledge of fertility law. Technology is evolving rapidly, and the law is also developing as courts gain more experience with ART.
The legal professionals at The Smith Firm are conversant with all fertility law matters. Schedule a consultation An Oklahoma City assisted reproductive technology attorney as soon as you decide to use ART to expand your family. We are here for you.