The love you have for your spouse is infinite, and now you want to share that love with a person that both of you can raise and take care of. Although the possibility of adoption is open, you may want a child with your or your loved one’s genetics. Fortunately, you can make your dreams of parenthood a reality with a surrogacy agreement in Illinois. However, there are important requirements you must comply with if you want to expand your family this way.
How surrogacy works
Good news: Illinois is one of the most surrogate-friendly states. If you decide to become a surrogate parent in Illinois, you can establish paternity before birth, set the terms of the pregnancy and get legal protection when the child is born. Same-sex couples and different-sex couples must follow the same steps to welcome a new child through surrogacy. The only difference is that same-sex couples must decide who will be genetically related to the child. However, that does not mean that everyone can become a surrogate parent.
The people who want to become surrogate parents must comply with certain requirements to set up the agreement. The woman who will bear the child has other requirements they also have to satisfy. A surrogacy agreement would be valid and enforceable only if those involved are eligible, which means that:
- The surrogate woman is over 21 years old, has given birth before, has a health insurance policy for the pregnancy and has gotten a medical and mental health evaluation.
- The surrogate parents have a medical need for the surrogacy, completed a mental health evaluation, and at least one of them contributes their sperm sample.
It is also an obligation that all the parties involved must attend legal counsel regarding the contract terms. That way, all of those involved in the process know their rights and responsibilities. This also prevents disputes during and after the pregnancy of the surrogate.
The legal contract
You must know that the agreement must be made before the commencement of any medical procedures. It must also be in writing, and two adults must be witnesses when the parties sign it. However, that is not all. The contract that you sign must also include some terms to be enforceable by law. You must make sure the contract includes the following specifications:
- The surrogate must undergo the pre-embryo transfer and attempt to carry and give birth to the child.
- The surrogate must surrender custody of their child to you immediately after birth
- If the surrogate is married, their spouse must also surrender custody of the child.
- The surrogate has the right to choose their doctor
You will also have to sign that you and your spouse promise to accept custody of the child after their birth. If you wish, you may also include terms like monetary compensation or prohibitions as to what the surrogate mother can and cannot do. You may or not pay the surrogate, but you must include the quantity and term of payment in the contract if you decide to do this.
Expanding your family
You deserve to have what you’ve always wanted most, and you can get it if you and your spouse are eligible under the law. If you decide to do it, remember to double-check the contract and ensure it has its requirements. That way, there won’t be anything holding you back from becoming a legal parent the moment your child comes into the world.