Fertility lawyer breaks down surrogacy in Arizona
How does surrogacy work in Arizona? Are there specific fertility laws in Arizona? Attorney Christina Miller of Reproductive Family Law Center spoke with us to break it down.
If you have begun to research the surrogacy process, you are well aware of the complexities that come with family building via gestational carrier. Our team is expert matching our clients with qualified surrogates, but having a fertility attorney on board will be necessary as you move into contracts and legal considerations. With laws around fertility and third party reproduction constantly evolving, and different legal considerations for surrogacy in each state, it is important to work with a specialized fertility attorney who deeply understands the legal considerations involved in conception, pregnancy, birth and parentage when using a gestational carrier. Donor Concierge has a network of expert attorney partners who can help walk you through this process.
In states like Arizona, the legal landscape for fertility is constantly evolving. If you are looking to find a surrogate in Arizona, we can help – but first, you may want to review common questions and legal considerations. Attorney Christina Miller of Reproductive Family Law Center is sharing the most important considerations for parents pursuing surrogacy in Arizona, below.
Enforcement of Agreements
Generally, most provisions of a surrogacy or ART contract will be enforced in Arizona. Arizona courts have support for enforcing agreements which provide support of the agreement and birth of an unborn child. In 1989, the Arizona civil statute A.R.S. §25-218 prohibits the formation of surrogacy contract. However, this statute was held unconstitutional by the Arizona Court of Appeals in1994. The legislative history shows that this statute is not the Arizona law any more. However, certain specific provisions, such as those governing termination of the pregnancy may not be consistent with Arizona’s public policy and may not be enforceable.
Establishment of Legal Parentage
Under Arizona law, any agreement of a parent to acknowledge a child as his/her child, to take responsibility for, and to care for a child makes that parent entitled to become the legal parent of the child. The surrogacy contract and medical consent forms are used as evidence of the Intended Parents intent and typically accepted by Arizona courts.
Arizona permits the entry of a parentage order prior to the birth of the child. The surrogate and her husband are presumed to be the parents of the child born. However, any intended parent can rebut this presumption to establish the legal parentage. The process of obtaining this order is typically starts at week 16 of a confirmed pregnancy, because if a baby is born at 20 weeks, 6 days or there after the state will issue a birth certificate, stillborn birth certificate, or birth then death certificate as appropriate for the situation. Parentage orders are typically uncontested proceedings in which affidavits are filed with the Court and only the attorneys for each party attend a brief court hearing with the Judge. Arizona permits the court file to be sealed with anonymous names, so that the privacy of the parties and the child are protected.
Birth Certificates, Social Security Number and Passports
The Arizona Vital Records office honors Arizona court parentage orders and will prepare an amended birth certificate. Reproductive Family Law Center handles obtaining copies of the birth certificate and will prepare the paperwork necessary for families to obtain social security numbers and passports for the child.
The foregoing constitutes general information provided to prospective clients and may not apply in all situations. All prospective participants should consult with a lawyer about their individual factual circumstances. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Receipt of this document from any source does not, by itself constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Reproductive Family Law Center exclusively focuses on serving clients having babies outside the bedroom. The team provides comprehensive individualized legal solutions by working with health care providers, fertility banks, clinics, as well as agencies to provide seamless services for our clients. They are dedicated to helping each client navigate third party parenthood. You can learn more about their team and services here.
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