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IVF/Surrogacy FAQ

Can you pursue surrogacy as a single parent or a same sex couple?

Yes, you can pursue surrogacy as a single parent or as a same-sex couple. In fact, it doesn’t matter what configuration your family takes. Whether you’re a single parent, a same-sex couple, or a heterosexual couple, you can pursue the creation of a baby through the use of a surrogate. Surrogacy is a contract between an intended parent and a gestational carrier (the carrier is the woman who carries the baby for you). This is a private contract that is executed outside of the presence of the court, which is why the nature of the parties involved does not matter.

How long does the surrogacy process take?

The duration of the surrogacy process depends on several factors. Surrogates are usually identified through an agency and they do need to go through a series of tests, including psychological and physical tests, to ensure that they can fill the role that you need them to fill through a medical and psychological standpoint. That process can take time. The surrogate also needs to go through a fertility period with the clinic that you’re using for your IVF, so they will need to be on the cycle and will be administered hormones. After this stage, the surrogate must begin the IVF process itself, and, unfortunately, not all IVFs result in viable pregnancies the first time. Lastly, the surrogate will carry the baby through 10 months of pregnancy. So, with all of these factors considered, it’s best to anticipate a two-year process.

What if you and your surrogate have a disagreement after she is pregnant?

Before you can get to the point where your surrogate is pregnant, you should execute a lengthy contract between the two of you so that all parties are bound. The contract should include you and your spouse or partner, and the surrogate and her spouse or partner. The contract will dictate everything that will happen through the pregnancy and should be able to address any questions or disagreements that arise during the pregnancy. The contract will be enforced by the court, which could require a hearing, but usually does not.

Will the surrogate be related to the baby and/or have parental rights?

The short answer is no. The longer answer is more complicated. Generally, in Oregon, surrogates do not have any biological relationship to the baby that they’re carrying because the gametes, (the egg and the sperm), are provided by the intended parents and the surrogate is merely the womb that creates the baby and grows it until it is born. When you complete the surrogacy process and are at the end of the pregnancy, our firm can help you obtain a declaratory judgment that confirms that your surrogate has no biological rights and that you and your partner/spouse are the legal, (and sometimes biological), parents of the child. This process is typically taken care of prior to the child’s birth, but can be handled after the birth as well.

If you and your spouse are getting divorced and have frozen embryos, what happens to the embryos upon separation?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. However, you should know that you’re not alone if you have frozen embryos and you’re looking to get divorced. Even though there isn’t a straightforward answer to the question, this is a topic that the courts are willing to address, so you can always seek assistance from an attorney if you need help determining what will happen to the embryos if you and your spouse can’t decide on your own.

Can my spouse/partner and I have a child using gametes that we did not provide?

Yes, you and your spouse can have a child using gametes (which are either an ovum or a sperm), that are provided by another person. You can have one spouse donate an egg and the other spouse carry the baby, or you can use sperm that is donated/obtained from a person who does not intend to have a connection to the child. However, there are contracts and regulations that you need to be aware of regarding how you come into possession of a gamete. When the baby is born, the spouses/partners who intend to be that baby’s parents will put their names on the child’s birth certificate and will be recognized as that child’s legal parents, provided that they have adhered to all contracts and procedures.

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