Families can grow in a number of ways. All of them are beautiful, but some can be extremely complex. Surrogacy is one such method. Full of promise, but also possible pitfalls, it can lead to legal troubles and possible heartbreak. Potential parents can reduce their risk of experiencing these ill outcomes by ensuring they understand their legal rights during surrogacy. The following covers some of the basics.
Surrogacy Laws in Illinois
Governed by the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act, surrogacy laws in Illinois are designed to protect the legal rights of the surrogate, intended parents, and the child. Specifically, they require that the parent-child relationship be legally established prior to the child’s birth. This is done through certain requirements. These include the following:
- At least one of the intended parents must also be the child’s biological parent;
- All parties involved must sign a certified statement that outlines the details of their surrogacy agreement;
- A physician who is licensed to practice in the state of Illinois must sign a certified surrogacy statement;
- Attorneys representing any party in the surrogacy process must sign a certified statement;
- All statements must be witnessed in accordance with the state’s surrogacy laws;
- Statements must be on forms prescribed by the Illinois Department of Public Health;
- All statements must be completed prior to the child’s birth;
- Original copies of the statements must be submitted to the medical records director at the hospital where the child is to be born;
- Photocopies of the statements must be registered with the state’s Division of Vital Records, prior to the child’s birth; and
- If the birth occurs in an Illinois hospital other than the intended one, the person responsible for preparing the birth certificates should be made aware of the surrogacy agreements so they can verify them.
Failure to correctly execute any of these steps can lead to legal problems and may even result in heartbreak for potential parents. For example, if the documents have not been properly filed with the appropriate departments, or were not done correctly, and the surrogate attempts to keep the child, the intended parents may face a difficult legal battle to gain custody of the child.
Our Naperville Family Law Attorneys Can Help
If you want to grow your family through surrogacy, contact Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. today. Dedicated to helping you achieve a joyful outcome with as little stress as possible, we will help handle the legal details of your case. We can also help guide you in handling any other legal matters that may arise out of the surrogacy arrangement. To discuss your case with our Naperville family law attorneys, call us at 630-665-7676 and schedule an appointment.