Surrogacy In Florida: Does The Surrogate Mother Have Any Parental Rights?
While surrogacy is legal in Florida, many people do not understand how the process works. “Does the surrogate mother have any parental rights?” is one of the most common questions regarding surrogacy.
If you are considering becoming a surrogate mother or a parent through surrogacy, consult with an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process and guide you through the laws in Florida.
Is Traditional Surrogacy Legal in Florida?
Yes, traditional surrogacy laws are governed by Florida Statutes § 63.213. In fact, becoming a parent through traditional surrogacy is very similar to the process of adopting a child.
Since the surrogate mother is the biological parent of the child, the intended parents and the surrogate mother must sign the surrogacy agreement, also known as a “preplanned adoption agreement.”
Does the Surrogate Mother Have Parental Rights?
Yes, the surrogate mother maintains parental rights throughout the process. Preplanned adoption agreements are used to terminate the surrogate’s parental rights.
However, even though the surrogate mother enters into an agreement in which she agrees to relinquish parental rights to the intended parents, she may revoke her consent up to 48 hours after giving birth.
The surrogate mother will maintain her parental rights in any of the following situations:
- The surrogate revokes her consent to adoption;
- The parties terminate the preplanned adoption agreement during the surrogate’s pregnancy; or
- The court does not approve the preplanned adoption agreement.
Is Traditional Surrogacy the Same as Adoption?
For the most part, yes. Under Florida’s surrogacy laws, traditional surrogacy is very similar to the adoption process. That is why you need to understand all state laws that govern adoption in Florida.
However, gestational surrogacy is more popular than traditional surrogacy in Florida.
How Do Intended Parents Become the Legal Parents Through Surrogacy in Florida?
While Florida law does not require pre-birth orders, intended parents can benefit from obtaining the order. In order to obtain a pre-birth order in Florida, the intended parents must file a Petition for Affirmation of Parental Status.
Within 30 days after entry of the pre-birth order, the court will forward a certified copy of the court order to the Department of Health (DOH) and require it to issue a new birth certificate naming the intended parents as the legal parents. In addition, the court will be asking the DOH to seal the original birth certificate with the surrogate mother’s name on it.
The Petition for Affirmation of Parental Status must be filed within three days after the childbirth by a gestational surrogate, according to Florida Statutes § 742.16. When the court approves the petition, the intended parents assume their legal parental rights.
Contact an Orlando Family Law Attorney
If you are the surrogate mother or intended parent who wants to find out more about your legal parental rights in surrogacy, speak with a family law attorney. Contact our Orlando family law attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group to discuss your situation today. Call 407-999-0099.