Why Every Family Using Assisted Reproduction Needs an Attorney

There are many ways to build a family, and parents who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy on their own are increasingly turning to assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including fertility treatments, egg or sperm donation, embryo adoption, and surrogacy.

ART often involves complex medical processes, and these special families often also have unique legal needs. Claiborne|Fox|Bradley represents these hopeful parents, as well as the surrogates and donors who help make their dreams of parenthood a reality.

Here, learn more about several common types of ART and the legal services you may need on your family-building journey.

What is surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is the most contemporary means of adding to your family when you are not able to carry a pregnancy yourself. Essentially, gestational surrogacy is a legal arrangement in which a woman (referred to as the “surrogate” or “gestational carrier”) becomes pregnant by means of an embryo transfer and gives birth to a child for another person or couple (referred to as the “intended parents”).

Experienced attorneys are required in every surrogacy arrangement to ensure the intended parents and surrogate both understand their rights and responsibilities during the process. Whether you are considering becoming a surrogate or adding to your family through surrogacy in Georgia or North Carolina, we can provide all of the services you need to safely and legally complete the process, including:

  • guiding you through the intended parent or surrogate recruitment, screening, evaluation and selection process.
  • drafting, reviewing and negotiating highly detailed surrogacy agreements based on your individual circumstances.
  • obtaining pre-birth parentage orders to establish the intended parents as the child’s legal parents.
  • referring you to top professionals, including reproductive endocrinologists and psychologists, for additional surrogacy services as needed.
  • and more.

Claiborne|Fox|Bradley also owns and operates Southern Surrogacy, LLC, a full-service surrogacy program that recruits, screens, and matches gestational carriers with intended parents and then helps to manage the surrogacy journey from embryo transfer through delivery of the child. The lawyers of Claiborn|Fox|Bradley also provide legal services for those pursuing independent surrogacy or working with other surrogacy agencies.

If you are considering surrogacy and would like to know more about our North Carolina and Georgia surrogacy services, please contact us or schedule a consultation with Southern Surrogacy to learn more about your surrogacy options.

What is embryo adoption?

While most adoptions involve children who have already been born, there is another option for hopeful parents who want to experience pregnancy and childbirth: embryo adoption.

Frozen embryo adoption allows hopeful parents to adopt an embryo that was leftover and donated by a couple who has been through in vitro fertilization. Through this form of adoption, an adoptive mother can carry the pregnancy herself and deliver her genetically unrelated baby.

As with surrogacy, an attorney is required for every family donating or adopting embryos. Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can provide the legal assistance you need through every step of the embryo adoption process, including:

  • providing the information and advice you need to ensure you understand how to adopt an embryo safely and legally.
  • drafting a detailed legal contract to ensure the adoptive parents’ parental rights are fully clarified and that the donors do not have any parental rights or responsibilities for the resulting child.
  • addressing any unused embryos that are leftover following the embryo adoption.
  • obtaining a parentage order, if necessary, to ensure legal parentage of the child is clear.
  • and more.

This is an advanced type of family-building that requires the assistance of experienced legal and medical professionals. If you are interested in donating or adopting an embryo, please contact Claiborne|Fox|Bradley to learn how to get started.

What is egg and sperm donation?

One of the most common forms of ART is sperm and egg donation. LGBT parents, unmarried individuals, families pursuing surrogacy and those struggling with infertility are often able to add to their families using donor eggs or sperm.

Whether you are considering becoming a donor or require a donor’s assistance to add to your family, Claiborne|Fox|Bradley can provide the legal guidance and services you need. As your family-building attorney, we will ensure the parental rights for the child are fully clarified, the donor has made a legally enforceable donation and there’s no question about each party’s legal relationship to the child.

We are highly experienced in drafting and negotiating detailed donor agreements tailored to each individual’s specific needs. In addition, we can provide referrals to the best egg and sperm banks in Georgia and North Carolina as you search for the right donor for your family.

With assisted reproductive technology on the cutting edge of medicine and the law, we are constantly updating our contract provisions to conform with the changing legal landscape of this evolving form of family building. Our goal in representing intended parents, surrogates, donors and recipients is to ensure that all parties’ rights and interests are protected, and especially to protect the parent-child relationship of the family.

To learn more about assisted reproduction, embryo adoption, and surrogacy in Georgia and North Carolina, please contact Claiborne|Fox|Bradley to schedule a consultation and begin your family-building journey.