Each state has different laws regarding surrogacy. Some have very surrogacy friendly laws, like Florida's surrogacy friendly laws, and some states either have no laws at all or have restrictive laws that make surrogacy legally risky for the parties. Florida surrogacy attorney, Marla Neufeld, can assist with any Florida surrogacy matter by either representing the intended parents or in representing a gestational surrogate. The intended parents can be located anywhere in the world, and in order to utilize Florida surrogacy laws, the surrogate should be located in Florida to deliver in Florida. Two lawyers are needed for each match, one lawyer to represent a surrogate and one lawyer to represent the intended parents where the intended parents pay for each attorney. Separate lawyers is not a legal requirement in Florida, however it is a best practice and important to ensure that everyone understands the legal obligations and commitment involved in a surrogacy contract and journey. It is important before any person embarks upon a surrogacy journey to be familiar with the applicable surrogacy laws to make sure that legal rights will be protected. It is important for intended parents to research surrogacy laws to make sure that the intended parent/parents will be able to obtain parental rights to the child without any legal complication with a surrogate having an ability to revoke her consent or assert parental rights to the child. A surrogate should also research the applicable surrogacy laws to make sure she will not be vested with any parental rights to the child. Typically, the law of the state where the birth occurs is the applicable state law, however the applicable state law does need to be analyzed on a case by case basis as there may be grounds to utilize other state law based on the parties' facts and location. For any Florida surrogacy matter, a medical necessity is required to proceed. Each state has different laws regarding surrogacy and some states do require some form of medical necessity before being cleared to proceed with a surrogacy journey. What constitutes this medical need and how such medical need is determined is not specifically defined. Based on U.S. case law, it appears that the determination of a medical need is within the discretion of the doctor. An example of a state's law requiring a medical necessity for the intended parent(s) is in Florida Statutes 742.15 which states in part,
(2) The commissioning couple shall enter into a contract with a gestational surrogate only when, within reasonable medical certainty (emphasis added) as determined by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459: (a) The commissioning mother cannot physically gestate a pregnancy to term; (b) The gestation will cause a risk to the physical health of the commissioning mother; or (c) The gestation will cause a risk to the health of the fetus
Provided the medical necessity requirement is met to proceed with surrogacy in Florida, below is a summary of a portion of the applicable Florida surrogacy laws.