Navigating the Legal Landscape of Surrogacy

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Surrogacy can be complicated – emotionally, medically and financially.  Great care must be taken to address all of these issues as a couple starts to navigate the path to parenthood.  Perhaps the most important item to tackle when starting on this journey is having some understanding of surrogacy law and a sound contract written between all parties.

There are two types of surrogacy that are generally discussed – Traditional Surogacy and Gestational Surrogacy.  Traditional Surrogacy is when the surrogate is also used as the egg donor.  This often occurs because the Intended Mother cannot produce eggs, and the Intended Father’s sperm is used to inseminated the surrogate.  The surrogate is the biological mother of the resulting baby, and the Intended Father is the biological father.

Gestational Surrogacy removes the biological connection of the surrogate.  In this type of surrogacy, the Intended Mother’s or Egg Donor’s eggs are fertilized with the Intended Father’s sperm.  The resulting embryos are then placed back into the Gestational Surrogate’s uterus.

Surrogacy laws vary from state-to-state, ranging from states that are very friendly to Gestational Surrogacy (California and Texas) to those where surrogacy contracts may not be upheld in a court of law (Louisiana) or where compensated surrogacy is illegal (misdemeanor offense – Washington).  Although our firm does not work with Traditional Surrogates (TS contracts are not illegal, but contracts are not upheld by Texas Courts, if tested),  we are very fortunate to work in a state that supports compensated Gestational Surrogacy contracts.  Intended Parents can even live outside the state as long as the Gestational Surrogate is a Texas resident.   However, Texas surrogacy law only addresses married, heterosexual couples.   Single or same-sex couples may still be able to proceed with surrogacy, they just may not have full protection under House Bill 729.  It’s very important in these situations to work with an attorney that experienced writing these types of contracts.

Once a pregnancy is achieved, the next hurdle to cross is establishment of the “pre-birth” order.  The pre-birth orders is executed around 20 weeks of pregnancy, and establishes the Intended Parents as the rightful parents of the baby(ies) born to the surrogate.  By using a pre-birth order, there is no need for adoption or subsequent legal work.

3 Sisters Surrogacy works with a number of excellent attorneys that have much experience in writing gestational contracts.  We provide all of our clients a referral list so that they can choose an attorney that’s right for them.

 

 

 

 

In the News – Phoenix Opening

3 Sisters Surrogacy Celebrates Expansion into Phoenix; Concierge Surrogacy Firm Sees Increased Demand for Infertility Services

3 Sisters Surrogacy brings a wealth of medical knowledge and clinical experience to third party reproduction options in Arizona by opening a new office in Phoenix. CEO points to positive economic outlook in Arizona and the Southwest as a main reason for expansion.

“With Phoenix and the surrounding areas enjoying a robust economic recovery, it is an ideal time to expand into the Great State of Arizona.”
Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) January 15, 2015

Today, 3 Sisters Surrogacy, LLC, a concierge surrogacy firm, announced the opening of a 4th office in Phoenix, AZ. Seeing an increased need for infertility experts working in Third-Party Reproduction, 3 Sisters has expanded their operations, which also includes offices in Houston and Dallas, TX, as well as Los Angeles, CA.

“With Phoenix and the surrounding areas enjoying a robust economic recovery, it is an ideal time to expand into the Great State of Arizona. With more choices in Third Party Parenting, the goal of 3 Sisters Surrogacy is to provide the highest level of expertise and customer care to Intended Parents not only in Arizona but throughout the Southwest and Internationally,” says CEO Mary Fusillo, RN, BSN, MS. Ms. Fusillo holds degrees in Nursing, Journalism/Public Relations and Public Health Administration – a unique educational and professional experience that streamlines the entire process, from initial complementary consultation through delivery.

“As infertility professionals, it is of utmost importance to us that we maintain the highest standards in the industry, with the goal of helping these couples finally have a baby of their own,” says Medical Liaison, Sunday Crider, PH.D., HCLD/ELD (ABB). Dr. Crider is a trained embryologist, having previously served as a Laboratory Director for three fertility programs. She continues to act as a consultant for fertility clinics, and has extensive scientific knowledge and medical background allowing her to effectively counsel families and gestational carriers on the complex world of IVF and Third Party Parenting.

Celebrating the opening of the new office, 3 Sisters Surrogacy has also launched a new website –http://www.3sisterssurrogacy.com, which offers comprehensive information about the surrogacy process, costs, and access to a list of available surrogates.

Gestational surrogacy is a treatment option for those couples not able to become pregnant and maintain that pregnancy. The surrogate, or gestational carrier, has an embryo inserted into her uterus created from the father’s sperm and mother’s egg (or the “Intended Parents”), or in some cases, a donor egg. With this type of surrogacy, the gestational carrier is not biologically related to the baby. It is believed that 10-15 % of the US population experiences infertility, with 1000 – 1500 babies being born through advanced reproductive techniques and surrogacy.

Those needing gestational surrogacy for family building or those interested in becoming a gestational surrogate can find more information about the 3 Sisters Surrogacy program on their website or by calling (877) 976-9483.

About 3 Sisters Surrogacy, LLC: 3 Sisters Surrogacy (http://www.3sisterssurrogacy.com) is a concierge surrogacy firm with offices in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. With a large number of industry connections, the staff of 3 Sisters Surrogacy has a comprehensive referral network of fertility programs, attorneys, mental health and insurance professionals.

 

From:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/01/prweb12442039.htm

10 Steps to Becoming a Surrogate – The Surrogacy Process

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Has the thought of being a surrogate ever crossed your mind?  Perhaps you loved being pregnant and want to experience it again, or maybe the idea of helping an infertile couple sounds like a wonderful thing to do.  The path to becoming a surrogate may seem like a complicated one, but a reputable agency like 3 Sisters Surrogacy is there to help.  In general the steps are:

1.  Be sure you meet the minimum criteria for being a surrogate.  This includes:

*Have had previous uncomplicated pregnancies
*Normal weight for height (BMI less than 30)
*Healthy lifestyle (no smoking, drugs, clean living)
*Be willing to travel, if necessary (expenses covered)
*Ages 22-38
*A great desire to help another couple have a baby

2.  Visit our application site  http://www.3sistersapplication.com/ and click on the link.  Complete the initial application.  If you meet the criteria, a full-length one will be sent to you.  When completing your application, be sure you put your best self forward!  This is the document that the future (or “intended”) parents will read.  You’ll also upload pictures to our database.  Again, it is important to look presentable – no selfies!

3.  We will schedule a telephone interview with you and review your application.  This is a great time to ask questions about the process too!

4.  You will need to collect all your medical records for previous pregnancies and deliveries.  There will also be a background check on everyone over the age of 18 in the household.  Once these have been reviewed, we will add you to the surrogate database so that Intended Parents (IPs) can review your profile. It may take up to 6 months to be selected.

5.  IPs will select a profile and we will set up a 3 way call between you, 3 Sisters Surrogacy and them.  This interview is a “getting to know you” type call.  Afterwards, an in person meeting may be set up.

6.  Once the surrogate and IPs decide that they are a good match with each other, we will schedule an initial medical appointment with the infertility doctor.  Typically bloodwork will be done at this time.  There may be additional appointments scheduled for further testing.

7.  After the medical appointment, you will have a psychological evaluation is performed.   This involves an interview with a psychologist, as well as a personality assessment.

8.  Finally, the contracts will be negotiated.  Each party (intended parents and surrogate) will have their own attorney to help navigate the contractual part of the surrogacy – how much compensation will be paid, who will make certain medical decisions, etc.   This part of the process may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.

9.  After the medical, psychological, and legal portions are completed, the embryo transfer is scheduled.   There are two ways the transfer may take place – (1) a “fresh” embryo transfer, in which the intended mother (or egg donor) undergo IVF just prior to the transfer, or (2) a “frozen” embryo transfer, in which the IVF process may have happened months or even years ago.  The embryo will have been in deep cryostorage until time of the transfer, as is thawed just before.  The embryo is placed into a tiny catheter and inserted in to the surrogate’s uterus.  There is no genetic connection between embryo and surrogate.

10.  Take the pregnancy test.  This is such an exciting time!  We let the surrogates come up with fun ways to tell their matched family that they are expecting.

Compensation for surrogates starts at $20-25,000, depending on whether you have insurance that covers surrogate pregnancy, if you have been a surrogate before, etc., plus many benefits.  Contact us today if you are interested in giving “The Greatest Gift”!

 

10 steps to become a surrogate

A New Year Brings New Beginnings!

 

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In reality, January 1 is just another day on the calendar. But there is something about the year changing that allows us to put things behind us, creating an opportunity for change.

3 Sisters Surrogacy is definitely doing something different this year, including our brand new website! We are also so pleased to announce that, in addition to our offices in Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles, we are opening of our FOURTH office in Phoenix, AZ. This expansion will allow us to serve even more families all across the country.

Additionally, we are excited to share that we will now offer financing through America Healthcare Lending. American HealthCare Lending is the premier financing company in the fertility industry. With over $5 Billion funded and over 300,000 loan inquiries serviced through their lenders, this is a name and a program you can trust. Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive with a loan from American HealthCare Lending:
• Immediate decisions for loans under $35,000
• Term options out to 84 months (affordable monthly payments)
• No collateral required
• No prepayment penalties
• Fast & easy loan inquiry process
• 100% Confidential

To celebrate the new website, new location, and new financing options, we are offering these specials to both Intended Parents and Surrogates:

1. Any Intended Parent(s) that contracts with 3 Sisters Surrogacy in the month of January will receive $1500 off their agency fee.*
2. Any gestational surrogate that applies in January and is matched by June 1 will receive a $500 sign-on bonus to assist in surrogacy-related expenses

To apply with 3 Sisters Surrogacy as an Intended Parent or a Gestational Surrogate, please visit our website at www.3sisterssurrogacy.com and register.  One of our Case Managers will be in contact with you shortly.

Happy New Year!!!

Dr. Crider

*Agency Agreement must be completed and signed by January 31, 2015. Embryo transfer to gestational surrogate must be completed by December 31, 2015. The January bonus will be deducted off the final installment of the Agency Fee, which is billed at the time of confirmed heartbeat. Should no pregnancy result from that transfer, the January bonus will be deducted from the final installment after subsequent embryo transfer and confirmed heartbeat.
**Gestational Surrogate must have cleared background checks, medical, and psychological evaluation. Bonus is to be paid at the time of embryo transfer.