Were you served divorce papers in the middle of planning a surrogate pregnancy? Is the pregnancy putting your relationship in jeopardy?
The concept of a surrogate child challenges certain areas of the law. However, as in any divorce your family plans do not have to end with your relationship.
Is a surrogacy handled like any other pregnancy in divorce?
There are many complications to a surrogate pregnancy and a divorce. Each of them presents a different challenge to your case. Plenty of couples begin the divorce process while pregnant. However, a surrogate pregnancy is different.
Most importantly, you can arrange a surrogacy through a contract and a Case Specialist. If you change the terms of that contract, the consequences affect a future child’s life and the surrogate’s. If the divorce is announced before the implantation, the plan can be put on pause or cancelled.
However, if the surrogate mother is already pregnant, there is an obvious and strict timeline to make decisions. Typically, the intended parents are responsible for creating a new plan for the child. The surrogate parent should not become responsible for the child.
What will influence the new parenting plan?
First the court will need to know the genetic relationship of the intended parents with the child. This could affect custody. In some cases, this relationship matters most. If one intended parent is a biological parent, are they entitled to sole custody? In other cases, the court might see the genetic relation as irrelevant.
Next, the court will need to know who pays child support. Can the court force the non-biological parent to pay child support? If one intended parent does not sign the birth certificate, does this mean they have to pay?
These cases have no clear-cut answers, but your family can still be what you make it. With so many moving pieces, it could be better to seek legal advice to come up with the best solution rather than hoping for a perfect one.