Through surrogacy, couples who long to have a child but who are infertile or incapable of having a child on their own can become parents. Fortunately for these individuals, Illinois has become one of the most surrogacy-friendly states in the country. Children born through surrogacy in Illinois have protected rights, and the medical procedures involved have high safety standards.
However, the surrogacy process can be complicated as it involves both emotional and legal issues. Anyone considering surrogacy should seek the help of a family law attorney who is experienced with surrogacy to prevent problems and deal with issues that may arise.
The seasoned and compassionate Illinois surrogacy and family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., believe that everyone should have a fair chance at having a desired child, and we will do everything possible to smooth the surrogacy process. We offer a free consultation to examine your individual situation, so contact us today at our office or online.
Surrogacy is a method or agreement whereby a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for another person or persons, who will become the newborn child’s parent, or intended parents (IPs), after birth.
There are two types of surrogacy arrangements: traditional and gestational surrogacy.
1) Traditional Surrogacy
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate becomes pregnant with the use of her own eggs. The process involves donated sperm, often the sperm of the desired father. The surrogate has a genetic connection to the child.
Illinois permits traditional surrogacy. If the parent provides the sperm, it is treated like a stepparent adoption in Illinois, and the traditional surrogate must wait for 72 hours after the child’s birth to relinquish her maternity rights.
2) Gestational Surrogacy
With gestational surrogacy, the gestational carrier has no genetic connection to the child. Embryos are created through in vitro fertilization (IVF), in a lab, (sometimes with the use of an egg donor as well as a sperm donor) and are then transferred into the surrogate mother’s uterus to be carried until birth.
Gestational surrogacy in Illinois is covered by the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act of 2005 (GSA), (750 ILCS 47/). The act protects gestational surrogacy but not traditional surrogacy. The stated purpose is “to establish consistent standards and procedural safeguards for the protection of all parties involved in a gestational surrogacy contract in this State and to confirm the legal status of children born as a result of these contracts.”
Under the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act, the court system is removed from the surrogacy agreement. Instead, parents are allowed to go straight to Vital Records to obtain a birth certificate, so long as all statutory requirements are met and all necessary certifications have been filed both with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the delivery hospital prior to the child’s birth.
As a result, both the gestational carrier and the intended parents are required to sign certified statements to ensure that both intended parents have full rights to the child and that their names appear on the child’s birth certificate. There should be two separate certified statements — the rights of parentage, signed by both the intended parents and the surrogate mother, plus another certified statement signed by a practicing physician. The intended parents have parental rights immediately upon the birth of the child, including having their names listed on the child’s birth certificate.
If you are thinking of participating in a surrogacy situation in Illinois, you should have legal help to prepare all necessary documents, including drafting surrogacy agreements and egg or sperm donor agreements, and to ensure your surrogacy contract is compliant with the requirements of the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act.
The seasoned Illinois surrogacy, adoption, and family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec handle all surrogacy cases with sensitivity, respect, and discretion. We can help by preparing your surrogacy contact to make sure it addresses key factors, including:
At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we made our reputation one client at a time. We always focus on our clients’ needs and feelings, and we work to resolve the issues they are facing in the most effective and efficient manner, putting every ounce of our ability into every case. Our lawyers take the time to understand your goals and concerns and then develop a legal strategy designed to achieve those objectives.
With office locations in Woodridge and Chicago, we represent clients throughout the entire Chicagoland area. We offer a free consultation, so call our DuPage County surrogate attorneys today, or contact our team online.