A surrogate is someone who carries a baby to term for another couple.
Both Federal law and Minnesota law are silent on surrogacy agreements. In other words, there is no specific surrogacy law and other family laws do not mention surrogacy. This leaves a ‘blind spot’ in the law for people entering into surrogacy arrangements. Thus, both the intended parents and the surrogate may choose to enter into a private contract in order to protect their rights under the agreement.
The Minnesota Legislature proposed a bill to regulate surrogacy in 2008. This proposed bill outlined eligibility requirements for someone to be a surrogate, including, that they must be at least 21 years of age, have given birth to at least one child, complete a physical and mental health evaluation, consult with an attorney prior to entering into the agreement, and provide evidence of health insurance.
The proposed bill outlined similar eligibility requirements for the intended parents under the surrogacy agreement. The bill was not passed into law and Minnesota law remains silent on the issue of surrogacy. However, before you enter into a surrogacy agreement you must be sure to check the status of the law to ensure you are protected.
After the child is born, the intended parents will need to be legally established as the child’s parents either through a paternity/maternity action or an adoption, simply having a private agreement with the surrogate is not sufficient to establish legal parental rights. All parties involved in the surrogacy agreement should consult with an attorney before signing the private contract.
This will help ensure that all involved parties understand the intentions, legal rights and duties, and the scope of the agreement before it is made binding. Consulting with an attorney will also help ensure that the contract will be legally binding.
Because of the silence of both Minnesota and federal law on the issue of surrogacy, it is essential that you consult an attorney in advance of working out any agreement. Our Minnesota family law attorneys are experienced in protecting the rights of both surrogates and intended parents. At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.