Some of the hottest topics in the nation right now have to do with an individual’s reproductive rights, how they should be preserved, and what authority each person has over their own body. These issues are far from simple and have continually led people to fight for their rights in a court of law. However, some people might not know about the advantages of hiring a reproductive rights lawyer before the issue requires an all-out court battle.
Reproductive rights span several different topics, including egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy, and other issues that are associated with a person’s right to plan a family or terminate a pregnancy.
If you are planning on becoming a surrogate, working with a surrogate, donating your eggs or sperm, or otherwise participating in any transaction having to do with reproductive rights, it is extremely important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.
About Reproductive Issues
Advances in technology have enabled us to grow and expand our families in ways we’ve never been able to in the past. Whether individuals or couples are unable to have children naturally or they wish to use a surrogate for other reasons, it’s become much more common for a woman to carry and deliver another couple’s child.
As more and more people opt to use surrogacy or reproductive donations, it has become extremely important for those on either side of the issue to seek legal guidance and protection. Whether you are the surrogate or donor, it is crucial to make sure your expectations and wishes are understood by the other party, in full, before anything takes place. An experienced reproductive rights attorney can create a legally-binding document that explains each party’s rights and obligations, thus protecting your interests and your future.
A contract for either a surrogate or donor can address the following:
- Expectations of both parties
- Agreed-upon expense of the arrangement
- Establish the rights of all parties involved
- Outline all privacy and confidentially agreements
Potential Reproductive Rights Disputes
Seeking legal representation before you enter into any type of reproductive arrangement, either as a donor or a surrogate, can help prevent more serious disputes further on down the road. Legally speaking, a surrogate who carries another woman’s embryo is still considered the biological mother of the child. For this reason, it is exceedingly important for the parents, and the surrogate, to outline their rights ahead of time. Without a protective contract, the surrogate may attempt to exercise her rights as the biological mother, affecting the way you and your spouse or partner choose to parent.
While acting as a sperm donor is not generally as large a commitment as it is to be a surrogate, it is also important to protect your rights as the male donor. Whether you were asked to be a sperm donor or you wish to conceive a child with the help of a sperm donor, the rights of either party need to be outlined and documented ahead of time.
Protecting Your Interests as Parents
Likewise, it might also be important to establish your parental rights with your partner if you are not legally bound by marriage or a civil union. Otherwise, if one parent has more legal authority over the child than the other, it could create a serious custody issue if the two of you were to separate.
Whether you are hoping to expand your family or help others to do so, you must be diligent in protecting your rights. All parents, surrogates, and donors have certain rights and expectations in cases like these. Even though the best option is to establish a contract ahead of time to avoid litigation, disputes can come up either way. If you are dealing with a legal dispute regarding reproductive rights, surrogacy, or a similar issue, our firm is here to help.
Contact Ford & Friedman today to discuss your case with our Henderson family attorney.