Surrogacy is a process through which a woman agrees to carry a child for another person or couple. The surrogate does not intend to parent the child she carries.
Surrogacy is generally classified into one of two forms : "genetic" (or "traditional"), or "gestational." In "genetic" surrogacy, the surrogate usually becomes pregnant through assisted insemination and has, therefore, a genetic link to the child. In "gestational" surrogacy, the pregnancy is achieved through embryo transfer, where the embryo was formed using in vitro fertilization (IVF). In "gestational" surrogacy, the surrogate does not have a genetic link to the child she carries.
From a legal standpoint, "gestational" surrogacy is more straightforward, although medically it may not be. Gestational surrogacy agreements are generally seen to be more enforceable, and the path to securing the appropriate parentage arrangements tends to be more clear.
Modern Family Law has experience with surrogacy arrangements in Massachusetts, and understands the legal landscape of surrogacy both domestically and internationally.
In Massachusetts, gestational surrogacy is considered legal, and there are several decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court (our highest state court) that support surrogacy arrangements. Currently there is no specific statute that governs surrogacy arrangements or parentage of the children born from them, and intended parents are often able to obtain pre-birth orders of parentage.
For more information about the legality of surrogacy across the United States, click here. Keep in mind, however, that laws in this area change frequently. It is best to consult with a lawyer in the state to get the most up-to-date, detailed information.
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