Surrogacy in Arkansas
The laws in the State of Arkansas are very favorable for Surrogacy. Most people turn to surrogacy because of a medical or biological inability to have a child of their own. There are a number of steps to a surrogacy journey and a lot of things to consider. There are two kinds of surrogacy agreements, gestational and traditional. A gestational agreement is where a woman carries the embryo of the intended parent or parents and the embryo is not genetically linked to the carrier. A traditional agreement is where the carrier is donating her egg and carrying for the Intended Parent or Parents.
There is the financial aspect of surrogacy because it is not a cheap process. There are medical and insurance costs involved, reimbursements to the carrier, possibly agency costs, and there are legal costs. These costs vary from case to case depending on the clinic, the terms of the contract, the agency used, if any, and legal counsel used.
Choosing the Carrier
Another aspect of the journey is the carrier herself. Who do you choose and how do you choose a carrier? The easiest and quickest path to a carrier is generally through an agency. An agency will generally have a pool of carriers to pick from that have been thoroughly checked out. However, this is not always the most economical choice. You can also find a carrier through a reputable website. The problem with using a website is that the carrier has not gone through a background check generally. You can use a friend or a family member as a carrier. There are a number of options to consider. I always try to tell people whether they are using an agency or an individual that has been matched through our firm or privately, “don’t let your desire for a baby override your good sense.” This person will be carrying your baby around, so make sure you can trust them and make sure you can get along with them long term.
After you have selected a carrier that you are comfortable with that has been cleared medically to proceed, the next step is contract negotiations. This is a critical stage of your journey. This sets the stage for the entire journey. This sets out every understanding and every agreement that the parties have for one another into a binding contract. This is essential to a surrogacy journey. You will want the carrier and her spouse if she has one to have legal representation in this negotiation.
Once everyone has come to terms on the contract and has signed the contract the lawyers will issue what is known as a letter of legal clearance to the clinic that is doing the embryo transfer in a gestational agreement or to the doctor’s office that is handling the artificial insemination if this is a traditional surrogacy agreement.
Hopefully, there is a successful pregnancy at this point. In Arkansas we can do pre or post birth orders to establish parentage. It is very typical to do them pre birth that way as soon as the baby or babies are born the surrogacy process can be finalized and the Intended Parents can be on their way home with their new bundle of joy.
This is a short summary on surrogacy here in Arkansas, my next article will deal with some of the do’s and don’ts in this area.
Considering Surrogacy in Arkansas?
If you are contemplating surrogacy in the State of Arkansas, please feel free to contact our office at (501) 296-9999 to schedule a free consultation with Heather May if you have any questions about surrogacy, or any other legal issue you may wish to discuss. We have years of experience in Arkansas surrogacy issues and can help you navigate the path.
Get some peace of mind with Tripcony, May & Associates on your side. Little Rock divorce attorneys and expert in family law since 1980, we also have an office in Hot Springs. Whether providing legal services in Pulaski County or other parts of the state, our divorce and family law attorneys know Arkansas law and have the experience and knowledge to help you in your time of need.