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Monday, 23 October 2017 07:49

How Hurricane Irma Creates Legal Chaos For Surrogates in Florida and other issues of state control of surrogacy in the US

It's already legally complicated to be a surrogate, and a natural disaster compounds the complexity.

Much of Florida is presently under a mandatory evacuation order. Hurricane Irma — originally classified as a Category 5 hurricane (that’s really bad), now a Category 4 storm (still really bad) — threatens the state with imminent devastation.

But in addition to the expected toll that the storm will have on Florida, there are also lesser-known consequences. These include the fact that some Floridian surrogates are facing challenging legal questions as a result of the evacuation. It’s already legally complicated to be a surrogate, but those complications become compounded in the face of a natural disaster.

Worst-Case Scenarios. When a woman agrees to carry a baby as a surrogate for another, all parties enter a long and detailed legal contract that imagines many terrible worst-case scenarios. These involve scenarios like the surrogate being put on life support while carrying the child, or one party wanting to terminate the pregnancy and the other not wanting to, or one (or both!) of the intended parents dying during the pregnancy, and so on. The legal contract specifies the agreed-upon next steps if one of the terrible scenarios comes to pass.

Don’t Flee to Michigan! Also standard in a surrogacy contract is a provision not to leave the surrogate’s state of residence during the pregnancy, or at least not to leave toward the end of the pregnancy. This restriction is common for multiple legal reasons, but the most important of those reasons is that in a surrogacy situation, the parentage of the child is determined by the laws of the state where the child is born. And since the United States has not enacted a uniform “model surrogacy code,” the laws of the surrogate’s home state are critical. For example, if a Florida surrogate were to flee Florida and go stay with relatives in Michigan, and give birth there, the surrogate would suddenly be the legal mother of the child (despite having no genetic connection to the child, and no desire to be the child’s parent). And the intended parents would have no legal rights to their own child (despite the fact that they would receive that legal recognition if the birth happened in Florida).

Diane Hinson, owner of Creative Family Connections, has spent this week fielding calls from Florida and nearby Georgia surrogates fleeing the hurricane, concerned about the legal ramifications of crossing into neighboring states and possibly giving birth there. Hinson carefully tracks all states surrogacy laws and regularly updates her website (now a necessary resource for all surrogates fleeing natural disasters). Hinson emphasizes that although the law of each state is important, “the highest priority is the surrogate’s safety, as well as the safety of the baby.”

Life, Legal, And Money. Florida assisted reproductive technology (ART) law attorney Robert Terenzio notes that in addition to the legal complications, there can be a serious financial impact for a surrogate to give birth in an unintended state. In addition to the legal fees to secure the parental rights of the intended parents in a different state, “insurance is important.” Terenzio notes that a surrogate forced to evacuate her home town will likely need to seek medical care outside of her insurance network, causing a significant increase in medical costs. “And if she is on physician-prescribed bedrest at the time of the emergency, the situation becomes even more complicated.”

Not The First Natural Disaster to Affect Surrogacy. This is not the first time we have seen surrogates significantly affected by a natural disaster. In April 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal. At that time, Nepal had become a popular destination for surrogacy arrangements, especially for gay Israeli intended parents. After the earthquake, emergency flights carried the surrogate-born babies out of Nepal to safety in Israel, leaving the surrogates behind and surrounded by devastation. Reports on the situation resulted in an outcry over the ethics of international surrogacy, and contributed to the unfortunate subsequent ban on surrogacy in Nepal.

Be Prepared. In light of recent spate of emergency situations in Florida, such as the Zika virus and hurricane activity, Florida ART attorney Marla Neufeld says she has made natural disaster contingency planning provisions standard in all her gestational carrier contracts. That’s smart, even if a surrogate doesn’t live in Florida. As natural disasters become the norm, all ART attorneys (and probably all contract attorneys in general) should consider adding natural disaster provisions to their contracts.

And perhaps nuclear-war-with-North-Korea provisions. But let’s take this one disaster at a time.

For a more affordable surrogacy with legal protections for the intended parents from inception, contact us at Delivering Dreams. Learn if we can help you grow your family. Financing is also available. 908-386-3864 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The communication with surrogate is easy and better than what we expected. The updates are provided as scheduled with occasional surprises
S
The support was great. It was easy on us that the coordination was done by the delivering dreams team while being completely transparent with us on the progress. The communication with the delivering dreams team was always fast, responsive, and easy.
E and K
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Sonny
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Doyles
I loved working with Susan and her team and highly recommend them to anyone considering her services. She's is great at every aspect of a process and knows how to handle delicate matters.
Diana Lyakhovetska
Susan truly understands the needs of parents using surrogacy, and offers comprehensive emotional support to parents as they experience the journey!
Christine Hughes Pontier
The team at Delivering Dreams is amazing! Their attention to detail and ability to put your mind at ease while growing your family is like none other. They handled everything for us, and I never once doubted they would help us accomplish our dreams.
Margaret Jones
I’ve known Susan for several years now, and I’ve always been impressed by her attention to her clients’ needs. I’ve known her to work ardently and diligently to solve whatever challenges, no matter how unique, that prevent her clients from completing their families. She is a problem-solver, and she earnestly believes in providing the best options and in making surrogacy opportunities realities: this is not merely a business for Susan. She will help customize the process for your needs and to ...
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Mary Woods
Susan has a keen sense of business and goes to the max to solve her clients’ problems. She is super knowledgeable on business, laws and how things work in surrogacy in general, and specifically on Ukrainian surrogacy. She is an advocate for transparency in a market that’s often opaque and full of hidden risks. I really enjoyed working with Susan. She really pays attention to detail and was always looking out for my best interest above all. Highly recommend!
Laurie Tham
Delivering Dreams goes above and beyond what other surrogacy agencies offer. After speaking with Susan, I see how they anticipate every part of the process, down to details that I had never even considered. I didn’t know what I didn’t know! Surrogacy can be really complicated and confusing. What an amazing sense of relief to have a company so dedicated to managing the WHOLE process and taking away as much of the stress as possible.
Kate Varness
I have gotten to know Susan through a group where we are members. I have found her to be a genuine and caring person. Her consideration for others and love of her work with Ukrainian surrogates and parents-to-be are evident in all her decision making. She is passionate about being a force for the greater good and helping where she can. I have been amazed at the way she is able to smoothly navigate the complicated maze of requirements in the surrogacy process. I am happy to give her my highest...
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Rose Anne Barbour Huck
Susan Kibler is kind.  She clearly loves those she works with and loves what she does.  Susan listens deeply and compassionately and can make you laugh all in the space of one conversation.  She is wonderful!  If you are feeling worried, she'll hear you.  If you have questions, she will find answers for you. If you need help, she does her very best to support you.  I feel so fortunate to have found her and imagine you will too.
Frances Russell
Susan has the ability to really connect on a personal level quickly.  I have found her easy to talk to and have been so grateful for her guidance.  She is one of those people who offers so much to her clients.  She sees the big picture and has a heart for the most intimate concerns.  She is highly skilled and able to manage what can certainly be challenging and uncomfortable experiences, making them feel easier.  She will take charge at the perfect times and guide you when you really need her...
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Susan Seare
The international surrogacy world is complicated. Susan Kibler knows its ins-and-outs. She knows the people and outfits you can trust and the ones to avoid. She insists on the best for her clients and handles the details so they don't have to worry about them. If you want to take the international surrogacy journey, you can trust Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency to guide you on that path.
Nancy Linnerooth
My friend and I had a positive experience working with Susan. Susan is always super responsive and caring. She is very professional, helpful and reliable. My friend has soo much troubles trying having a baby for many years. My friend and her husband were about to give up their dream of having a baby. Susan Kersch Kibler found the way to help. She has unlimited energy, attentive to detail and super efficient. Great to work with!
Polina Clend
Susan is passionate about helping people become families. She is a trustworthy confidant to have on your side.
Kristen Ancker
Our experience with Delivering Dreams has been overwhelmingly positive. The team seems to be genuinely dedicated to helping us to realize our dream of having a child. The constant communication leading up to the trip and the numerous touch points made us feel comforted in what has been a very challenging and uncomfortable situation. We always had streamlined communication through the group chat and was frequently checked on during our stay.
Marilyn

Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.

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Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.