If a single or same sex father is considering surrogacy, there are a few key elements to consider. For starters, the legal process itself varies from state to state. Before you get started, arm yourself with as much information as possible, In Florida, any hopeful father who wants to work with a surrogate to build a family can legally do so as Florida is considered a surrogacy friendly state due to established laws governing the surrogacy and egg donation process. The laws and process as generally set out below relate to “gestational surrogacy” where the surrogate has no genetic connection to the child – as the intended father(s) will need to secure an egg donor in connection with the created embryo(s) transferred to the surrogate. If the surrogate has a genetic connection to the child, that is referred to as “traditional surrogacy” or “genetic surrogacy” and does not afford the same legal protections to intended father(s) via gestational surrogacy.
Surrogacy for Single Fathers or Same Sex Fathers:Because of the legal protections under the Florida surrogacy statutes (Florida Statutes 742.15 or 63.213), intended fathers can be sure that the surrogate has no parental rights to the child and that the intended father’s parental rights will be secured upon the birth of the child. Depending on whether the intended fathers are married, or the intended fathers are able to use the genetics of at least one member of the intended fathers, that will dictate which Florida surrogacy law is utilized, however, a single intended father or same sex intended fathers, whether married or not, can all legally pursue surrogacy in Florida. Both the intended father(s) and the surrogate should have separate Florida legal representation to protect the parties in a gestational surrogacy arrangement. Both lawyers are paid for by the intended father(s). The gestational surrogacy contract is a detailed agreement that sets out many critical provisions such as protecting parental rights, confidentiality, establishing the payment terms, dictating the number of embryo transfers that will be attempted and how many embryos will be transferred, along with many other important provisions. The surrogacy contract will be drafted once the chosen surrogate has medical approval by the intended father(s)’s fertility clinic and is psychosocially approved by a mental health professional who is experienced with reproductive and surrogacy issues. Once the child via a surrogate is born, Florida’s surrogacy friendly procedures requires the intended father(s), within 3 days after the birth of the child, to petition the court for a birth certificate with the intended father(s)’ name(s) as the biological parent(s).
Egg Donation for Single Fathers or Same Sex Fathers:Egg donation in Florida is governed by Florida Statutes Section 742.14, which provides:
742.14 Donation of eggs, sperm, or preembryos.—The donor of any egg, sperm, or preembryo, other than the commissioning couple or a father who has executed a pre-planned adoption agreement under s. 63.213, shall relinquish all maternal or paternal rights and obligations with respect to the donation or the resulting children. Only reasonable compensation directly related to the donation of eggs, sperm, and preembryos shall be permitted.For any father pursuing egg donation, is imperative and the best practice to ensure that the proper legal documentation is drafted by a Florida egg donor attorney, to protect both the intended father(s) using the donated egg and the egg donor. In fact, an intended father(s)’ fertility clinic should not allow the egg donation cycle to begin until a legal agreement has been properly drafted and executed by all the parties. The egg donation contract drafting process will start once the chosen egg donor has been medically approved by the intended father(s) fertility clinic and psychologically approved by a mental health professional who specializes in reproductive issues. The intended father(s) will hire their own lawyer to draft the egg donor contract and the intended father(s) will also pay for a separate Florida attorney to represent the egg donor and her spouse (if any) to review the contract. The Florida egg donation contract covers many topics such as the Florida donation laws and relinquishment of the donor’s parental rights, payment terms, assumption of risk language, and confidentiality, just to name a few of the notable provisions.