Family Formation/ Assisted Reproductive Technology Law in Southern California

 

What is Family Formation Law?

Family Formation Law is an extremely specialized area in the law that is ever changing. Attorneys at A Center for Children & Family Law, Inc. specialize in this field and have worked with thousands of families on preparing the legal documentation necessary for a Surrogacy, Egg Donation, Sperm Donation, Embryo Donation, and Parentage Judgment Documents. It is critical to have an experienced attorney prepare these documents so that the latest legal requirements are followed so that all parties are protected from the many “what ifs” that might occur. Our firm routinely drafts and reviews these contracts with either the Intended Parent(s) or the Donor/Surrogate.
 
Family Formation—A Center For Children & Family Law in Orange, CA
 
We are committed to the highest ethical standards and handle each case with knowledge, compassion, and understanding. We believe that families come in all shapes and sizes and work with all families including single parents and same sex couples to make their dreams come true.

The Family Formation process can be quite daunting to begin. We strive to make the legal process as simple and understandable as possible.

Surrogacy Agreements:

A surrogacy agreement is necessary and required under the law of California. A carefully prepared Surrogacy Contract is used to anticipate and answer the legal and medical questions that may arise during the course of the pregnancy. The Surrogacy contract clearly lays out and makes clear what each party intends and understands will happen during the pregnancy and birth.

The law requires that the Surrogate and the Intended Parent(s) each have independent attorneys representing them and reviewing the Surrogacy Contract with them to ensure their interests are being protected. Our office represents both Intended Parent(s) and Surrogates depending on the case. We strive to ensure that each side is completely comfortable and informed throughout the process so that there are no surprises or misunderstandings later. Our experienced attorneys will walk either the Surrogate or the Intended Parent(s) through the process and make sure everyone has a complete understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities.+

Oftentimes a family member or friend will agree to act as a Surrogate for the Intended Parent(s). During these special situations a contract is still required under the law. The contract must address sensitive topics which family members may be uncomfortable discussing with one another. The Contract will clearly state that the Intended Parent(s) are going to be the parent(s) of the child and that the Donor will not have any parental rights our responsibilities. Our firm hopes to allow both sides to appreciate this joyous time while making sure that both parties are protected and understand the expectations of the other party.

Our firm also regularly works with Surrogacy Agencies who match Surrogates with Intended Parent(s). Our office will work with the agency during this process to make sure legal requirements are up to date and are being met.

Below is a simple outline of the process in a general surrogacy matter when our office represents the Intended Parent(s).

1. Match. The first step begins when a Surrogate and Intended Parent(s) find one another and agree to work together. This can occur independently or with an agency. Sometimes a friend or family member agrees to help Intended Parent(s) achieve his/her dream of having a child. Once this occurs, the Fertility doctors begin their work. The Surrogate will be evaluated both medically and psychologically. Once the doctor agrees that the Surrogate is a good candidate we ask that you contact our office immediately.

2. Legal Contract. Our office would next prepare the Surrogacy Contract. We begin by asking some questions regarding the specifics of your agreement, such as which doctor will be used for the transfer, what insurance policy will be utilized, and whether the Surrogate is a family member and is generously agreeing to act as a Surrogate without compensation or whether there is a financial agreement. Once we have all the specifics regarding your contract we prepare the legal agreement. We then review the agreement with the Intended Parent(s) first. Once the Intended Parent(s) approve the contract it is sent to the Surrogate for her to review the contract with her own independent attorney. Edits to the contract may be necessary during this process to make sure both sides' goals and understandings' are clearly specified. Once both sides agree, the contract is signed and notarized. Then our office prepares a legal clearance letter which we send to the Fertility doctor to allow the beginning of medication and the transfer of the embryo to occur.

3. Pregnancy- Once the Surrogate is pregnant it is very important that you notify our office. We must then draft the final round of paperwork needed to obtain a Pre-Birth Judgment of Parentage Documents from the Court. These legal documents are used to ensure that the Intended Parent(s) name(s) are placed on the child's birth certificate and that the Intended Parent(s) are declared the legal parent(s) of the child. The documents are reviewed with the Intended Parent(s) and then reviewed with the Surrogate and her attorney. These documents are signed and filed with the Court and certified.

4. Birth- A certified copy of the Pre-Birth Judgment documents are given to the parties and to the Hospital. These legal documents will explain to the hospital how to prepare the birth certificate and ensure that the hospital understands the role of the Surrogate and Intended Parent(s). The baby then leaves the hospital with the Intended Parent(s) as a family is formed!

Egg Donation Agreements

An Egg Donation agreement is necessary to ensure each party is protected. A carefully prepared Egg Donation Contract is used to answer the legal and medical questions that may arise and to make clear what each party intends and understands will happened. Our office represents both Intended Parent(s) and Egg Donors depending on the case. We strive to ensure that each side is completely comfortable and informed throughout the process so that there are no surprises or misunderstandings later. Our experienced attorneys will walk either the egg Donor or the Intended Parent(s) through the process and make sure everyone has a complete understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities.

Oftentimes a family member or friend will agree to act as an Egg Donor for Intended Parent(s). During these special situations a contract is still a necessary and important step. The contract must address sensitive topics which family members may be uncomfortable discussing with one another. The Contract also clearly states that the Intended Parent(s) are going to be the parents of the child and that the Donor will not have any parental rights or responsibilities. Our firm hopes to allow both sides to experience this joyous time while making sure that both parties are protected and understand the expectations of the other.

Below is a simple outline of the process in a general Egg Donation matter when our office represents the Intended Parent(s).

1. Match - The first step begins when a Donor and Intended Parent(s) find one another and agree to work together. This can occur independently or with an agency. Sometimes a friend or family member agrees to help an Intended Parent(s) achieve his/her dream of having a child. Once this occurs, the Fertility doctors begin their work. The Donor will be evaluated both medically and psychologically. Once the doctor agrees that the Donor is a good candidate we ask that you contact our office.

2. Legal Contract - Our office would next prepare the Egg Donor Contract. We begin by asking some questions regarding the specifics of your agreement. Whether the Donor is a family member and is generously agreeing to act as a Donor without compensation or whether there is a financial arrangement, we prepare the legal agreement. We then review the agreement with the Intended Parent(s). Once the Intended Parent(s) approve the agreement it is sent to the Donor for her to review the contract with her own independent attorney. Edits to the contract may be necessary during this process to make sure both sides' goals and understandings are clearly specified. Once both sides agree the contract is signed and notarized. Our office then prepares a legal clearance letter which we send to the doctor to allow the beginning of medication and the egg retrieval to occur.

Embryo Donation Agreements

When Embryos are donated to a new set of Intended Parent(s), it is important that a legal agreement is in place. This agreement outlines that embryos originally created for one family will now be donated to a new family. This new family will be the new Intended Parent(s). Our firm will work with the families to make sure that the legal documents are in place to allow this transfer to occur and to ensure that the new Intended Parent(s) are declared the parents of any child born from these embryos. These agreements are drafted with care and allow one family to give another family a truly amazing gift.

Sperm Donation Agreements

Sperm donation contracts are important to outline the legal rights and responsibilities of both the Donor and the Intended Parent(s). A carefully prepared Sperm Donation Contract will address the legal questions that may arise and to make clear what each party intends and understands will happen. Our experienced attorneys will walk the Intended Parent(s) through the process and make sure everyone has a complete understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities.