Florida Law

Florida Law: Why the Sunshine State is a Good Place to Build Your Family

Florida is one of the few states that permits intended parents to establish the parental status to a child born through assisted reproduction without a paternity/adoption process. This dispenses with the insult of intended parents being forced to ‘adopt’ their own biological child in order that they may have their names put on their child’s birth certificate.

Florida statutes detail certain mandatory provisions for a contract to be enforceable. The intended parents must be over the age of 18 and a physician must determine within reasonable degree of medical certainty that 1) the intended mother cannot physically gestate a pregnancy to term; or, 2) the gestation will cause a great risk to the physical health of the intended mother; or 3) gestation will cause a risk to the health of the fetus.

Florida statutes also require the gestational carrier to be over the age of 18, that she submit to reasonable medical evaluation, treatment and prenatal care and that she retain the sole consent with respect to clinical intervention and management of her pregnancy.

Some Other Considerations for Gestational Surrogacy

One question asked by all Intended Parents is “Can the carrier keep my child?.” In Florida, the answer is always no. Florida statutes state that the gestational carrier relinquishes her possession of the child immediately upon the birth and must then assist the intended parents in the birth certificate proceeding. A review of the Legislative testimony which lead up to the Surrogacy Statutes reveals that the Florida Senate believes that the Carrier can never make a claim for the Child unless she is a genetic contributor.

Alternatively, Carriers often ask if the intended parents can abandon a child born through a gestational surrogacy. Florida law provides that intended parents are the legal parents of the baby upon birth. Thus, the carrier need not concern herself with raising a child she shares no genetic relationship with or with having to pay child support for a child she never intended to raise.

Some Considerations for Single Parents

Single intended parents can also rely upon Florida courts to permit them to have a genetically related child through surrogacy. While the steps are more involved than that used with couples, the end result is the same, your name will be on the birth certificate of your child. We believe the presumptions remain the same whether you are single or not. Specifically, your Carrier may not make a claim for the Child upon or after birth. For those single parents who have partners, Florida provides alternate methods to place your partner on the birth certificate with you.

Some Considerations for Egg Donation

Florida law supports donations by providing that so long as the donation is evidenced by a contract, the donation is absolute and neither the intended parent or the donor should worry about the future of their privacy, the newborn or any remaining frozen eggs. The donated egg is viewed legally as if it came from your body.

We recommend that all egg donations be anonymous. We provide a multi-step process to insure that donor and intended parent do not share their personally identifying information. At the same time, we recommend the parties permit limited contact, through a neutral third party, to transmit medical information should the donor or child be diagnosed with a serious disease process having a genetic link to the other.

Summary of Surrogacy Law in the US 

For a legal summary on the surrogacy law in other states please visit the following link: http://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/us-surrogacy-law-map.