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Starting a family is an important step forward in many couples’ lives. Luckily, when biological difficulties prevent couples from giving birth the traditional way, Louisiana law allows some families to enlist the aid of a surrogate, or gestational carrier.
But having a baby with a gestational carrier can be a complicated legal process. At Stanley-Wallace Law, our team of family law attorneys have the experience and knowledge of the law to help couples through the legal process and make sure their and their surrogates’ rights are protected.
In 2016, the Louisiana state legislature passed Act No. 494, which allows couples to enter into gestational carrier agreements with the person who’s agreed to act as their surrogate.
However, this act only allows certain couples to enter into gestational carrier agreements. There are two requirements couples must meet to be protected under Act No. 494:
This means that same-sex couples are excluded from the act, as well as couples whose female partner is not able to produce gametes. In other words, Louisiana courts will only allow a couple to enter into a gestational carrier agreement if both will be genetically related to the child.
The act has come under criticism for excluding certain couples from its protection. However, couples who do meet the requirements of the act are able to enter into a “gestational carrier contract” with their chosen surrogate.
A gestational carrier contract is a legally-enforceable document that lays out the terms of the surrogacy and requires both the couple and the surrogate to agree to certain terms.
According to Act No. 494, both parties must agree to the following terms:
The surrogate must meet the following requirements:
The couple must meet the following requirements, in addition to those explained above:
If all goes well, the baby will transfer to the couple’s custody upon birth. Any disputes regarding the agreement can be arbitrated and decisions enforced by a judge as a result of the gestational carrier contract.
At Stanley-Wallace Law, we know how important having a baby is to you. And while you may trust your surrogate completely, it’s always a good idea to lay down your agreements in a legally-enforceable document to avoid any obstacles in the future. That’s where we come in.
Once you find the surrogate you want to work with, we can help you with all of the legal steps necessary to get your gestational carrier contract approved:
Through surrogates, modern medicine has the ability to help you bring a child into this world. Don’t let legal red tape stop you from having children on your own terms.