surrogate-babyQ: How much risk do we run when we use a gestational surrogate to carry our child that the surrogate will be given some type of parental rights? What can we do to lessen this risk?

A: Stephanie Caballero, a reproductive law attorney in California, provided the following answer: “First, work in a state where the surrogate has no parental rights at birth, like California, where I practice. There is a statue, as well as case law, to protect your parental rights and if you comply with the statue, you are the presumed parents. The surrogate will not be given any parental rights at all to your child. I have to say that it is very, very rare that your surrogate will even want any parental rights. I know there are some cases where that has happened, but, for the most part, the surrogate doesn’t want your child. She wants to help you realize your dream of having a child. She has her own children and her own family and after she gives birth she wants to say hello to the baby (or babies), take a nice nap and watch you hold and love your child. But, you do need to ensure that your surrogate has been properly screened by a mental health professional who specializes in this field. That is key to a successful surrogacy and something that should not be waived by anyone.”

For more information, check out the Creating a Family radio show on Legal Issues You MUST Consider when Using Egg Donation, Sperm Donation or Surrogacy. More information on surrogacy can be found on the Creating a Family show Legal Issues You MUST Consider with Egg/Sperm Donation & Surrogacy.


Image credit: Michael Verhoef