I am proud to represent same sex couples who desire to use a surrogate
With current advances in reproductive technology coupled with the evolving legal landscape in Florida, surrogacy for same sex couples is permissible and Florida does not prohibit egg or sperm donation for same sex couples. There are additional steps required for same sex couples to ensure parental rights for the biological and non-biological parent. After selecting a surrogate, the same sex couple enters into a Pre Planned Adoption Agreement with the surrogate which is governed by Florida Statute 63.213. This is an agreement in which a surrogate agrees to bear a child and relinquish parental rights to the intended parents. Florida law has mandatory requirements of what must be included in this type of agreement to be effective in terminating the surrogate’s parental rights and avoiding Florida’s adoption laws. Upon the birth of the child(ren), the non-biological parent files a Second Parent Adoption to obtain full parental rights to the child(ren).
Since gestational surrogacy agreements (which allow for automatic parental rights for both parties in the commissioning couple) are currently illegal in Florida for same sex couples, the process in which the non-biological partner obtains full parental rights to the child(ren) is through the process of Second Parent Adoption once the child(ren) are born via a surrogate. Without utilizing a Second Parent Adoption, the non-biological parent in the same sex relationship has no legal rights to the child(ren). The process for Second Parent Adoption, which can take approximately 2-3 months from filing the adoption petition, is similar to a standard adoption which involves filing an adoption petition, fingerprints, background checks, a home study, obtaining the necessary consents to terminate parental rights from the necessary parties, a search of the putative father registry to ensure nobody else claims parents’ rights to the child, a final adoption hearing and judgment, and ultimately placing both parents on the child’s birth certificate.
For any questions related to surrogacy, gestational surrogacy agreements, embryo or sperm donation, please feel free to reach out.