For a Texas Court to have jurisdiction over a surrogacy case, EITHER the parent(s) or the gestational carrier must have resided in Texas for the ninety (90) days preceding the filing of the surrogacy petition and Gestational Surrogacy Agreement with the Court. In Texas, the parties (Gestational Carrier and her husband if married, and the Intended Parents or Parent) must enter into a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement a minimum of 14 days before any embryo transfer. This Agreement is usually drafted by the Intended Parents counsel and contains all the details about
- the surrogacy arrangement such as parentage,
- who makes all decisions about the baby and the pregnancy,
- the fee structure, etc.
At this point the Gestational Carrier and her husband will have their attorney review the Agreement on their behalf and negotiate the agreement if they wish, on their behalf.
After the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement is Completed
Once the Agreement is completed and signed by all parties, it is sent to the IVF clinic and the parties may proceed with the embryo transfer. Either prior to pregnancy or immediately following pregnancy, the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement is filed with the Court for validation and to request a Pre-Birth Order of Parentage so as to establish the child’s legal parentage with the Intended Parents.
Gestational Surrogacy Agreement Validation
Months prior to the birth of the child, the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement must be validated by a Texas judge and a pre-birth order of parentage adjudicating the Intended Parents sole legal parentage of the child will be signed.
Texas law does not require validation or a pre-birth order to be issued, however if the parents do not have the agreement validated and a pre-birth order of parentage issued, the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement will be held to be unenforceable and the gestational carrier may then seek petition for rights to the child if she chooses.
Therefore, it is imperative that the Intended Parents must have the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement validated and a pre-birth order of parentage issued declaring the Intended Parents parentage. This is not only for the parents’ benefit but the Gestational Carrier as well. Many Gestational Carrier’s are concerned as to whether the parents may divorce or not want to keep the child following the pregnancy. Some Gestational Carriers also often prefer assurance that parentage of the child has been clearly and legally established with the Intended Parents.
If you’re an Intended Parent in Texas, nationwide or internationally based who wants to learn more about Gestational Surrogacy, schedule a free, 30 minute initial consultation today! Do have more questions about Gestational Surrogacy? Check out our Intended Parent’s FAQs page.