In a promising development for Louisiana intended parents, Governor John Bel Edwards has signed into law Bill HB 1102, which went into effect August 1, 2016. This law protects the parental rights of couples in Louisiana who have opted to use a gestational surrogate. Formerly, the child was not considered their own until he or she was legally adopted.
House Bill 1102 sets up a legal framework for surrogate arrangements; banning compensation to the surrogate mother, setting age requirements, requiring medical testing and counseling and mandating background checks. It ensures the surrogate mother cannot make a legal claim to the child, and prevents intended parents from backing out on the surrogacy agreement.
The Pros for Intended Parents
The IPs will be considered full parents at the moment of conception under this law. The father’s name will be placed on the birth certificate which was not always the case previously. With these legal protections in place, getting the child covered under the parents’ insurance will be simpler. Intended parents will enjoy more legal protections and fewer concerns about possible interference with their parental rights from the surrogate or any other persons.
The Pros for Surrogates
With the child legally the responsibility of the IPs, the surrogate does not have to worry about them backing out of the contract, leaving her with unanticipated medical expenses and a child she had not planned to raise. She will receive medical and psychological testing which will ensure she is entering into the arrangement fully informed.
The language of the law can be problematic for nontraditional intended parents. It defines the intended parents as a “man and a woman,” preventing same-sex couples from using surrogacy to become parents. The bill further requires that the embryo come from the egg and sperm of the intended parents, precluding same-sex couples as well as singles or IPs who are unable to produce viable eggs or sperm of their own.
While this law is an advancement for intended parents and surrogates, there is still a long way to go before the rights of all involved will be fully protected in Louisiana.
If you have any questions about becoming a surrogate or creating your family through surrogacy, please contact the caring professionals at Surrogate Solutions.