What are the parentage process for Intended Parent(s) when a gestational surrogate delivers in Florida?

Florida Surrogacy Court Proceedings

Once the child(ren) is born in Florida via surrogacy, Florida law requires the intended parent(s), within 3 days of the birth, to petition the selected Florida court for a post-birth court order directing the Florida Department of Vial Statistics to issue a birth certificate naming the intended parent(s) as the sole legal parent(s) of the child(ren) and terminating the parental rights of the surrogate. Once the final court order is issued following the birth of the child(ren), the Florida birth certificate in the name(s) of the intended parent(s) is provided shortly thereafter to the intended parent(s). The birth certificate will allow the intended parent(s) to obtain a social security number and U.S. passport for the child(ren). Many times the birth certificate is necessary to place the child(ren) on the health insurance of the intended parent(s).

Consult with an Experienced Florida Assisted Reproductive Attorney

It is important that the parties’ surrogacy contract (entered into before the pregnancy), properly addressed certain issues relating to the Florida court proceedings, which includes but is not limited to, the termination of parental rights of the parties, designating Florida law (if applicable) to the court proceedings, and that the intended parent(s) attorney obtain the required supporting documents that are filed with the court. During the contract stage of the surrogacy process, the intended parent(s) have a reproductive attorney representing the intended parent(s), and the surrogate has her own separate reproductive attorney paid for by the intended parent(s).

Obtaining the Florida Birth Certificate

While the court order procedure to place the intended parent(s) on the birth certificate is obtained in Florida after the child(ren) is/are born, it may be beneficial to discuss with your reproductive attorney the option of additionally obtaining a pre-birth order on or around the second trimester of pregnancy to provide to the hospital in advance of the delivery to ensure for a smooth delivery process. The post birth court order is what allows a new birth certificate to be issued removing any reference to the gestational surrogate and naming the intended parent(s) as the sole legal parent(s) of the child(ren). All hearings in Florida are held in closed court and the pleadings and information filed with the court is confidential. The intended parent(s) and gestational surrogate and her spouse/partner (if any) likely will not be required to attend the hearings relating to the parental right actions referenced above however this would be a determination to be made by the intended parent(s)’ reproductive attorney involved in the matter.