While some regard Florida as the Sunshine State, for those struggling to start a family, it may be seen as the Surrogacy State. Florida is one of only two states in the U.S. that makes the surrogacy process simple for both intended parents and surrogates, and it is the only state on the East Coast that offers this perk.
A Bounty of Benefits
Surrogates in Florida receive generous base compensation as well as additional benefits, including coverage of medical co-pays, maternity clothing, medication, legal fees, travel expenses, and even lost wages and childcare. That’s aside from the emotional reward of gifting a hopeful parent with a child and enabling them to begin, or add to, their family.
Florida law recognizes contracts for intended parents (both single and coupled), gestational surrogates, and egg donors as both legal and enforceable. These legal agreements protect the safety and interests of all parties with regard to parental rights and responsibilities, reasonable compensation, and legal custody of the child after the birth.
What is required for Gestational Surrogacy in Florida?
For a Gestational Surrogacy agreement to be enforceable in Florida, the contract must be in written form. In addition, all parties must be over 18, and the egg/sperm donor and surrogate must prove to be in good health, as confirmed with a physician’s diagnosis. Once health screening is complete, a pregnancy is created through in vitro fertilization and the gestational surrogate is not genetically related to the baby she is carrying. Potential combinations include egg and sperm from the intended parents; the egg from the intended mother and sperm from a separate donor; sperm from an intended father and an egg from a separate donor; or egg and sperm from separate donors.
A Simplified Birth Certificate Process
With the exception of the state of California, Florida is the only other state with a codified birth certificate process, enabling couples to establish parental status of their child without requiring a paternity or adoption process. The new parents can petition for a birth certificate establishing them as biological parents of the child within three days of the baby’s birth.
Florida uses two legal tracks for confirming parentage via surrogacy – one track for married couples and a different track for single parents, unmarried couples or intended parents having no genetic connection to the child. In either instance, all parties are protected as the gestational surrogate is barred from making a claim for the child unless she is, in fact, a biological parent.
Advantages for Same-Sex Couples
Florida is a wonderful choice for same-sex couples who wish to begin or add to their family through Surrogacy. Under Florida surrogacy laws, the parentage rights of a same sex couple are equal to that of heterosexual couples. The state recognizes same-sex marriage and gay couples can utilize the state’s expedited and simplified process asserting them as legal parents of the child born via a surrogate.
Home to the World’s Best Clinics
Florida is home to more than 70 fertility clinics, with 11 in the Miami and South Florida area. Family Source Consultants, LLC, with an office in Miami, has facilitated about 1,000 successful surrogacy matches and continues in its mission of “Bringing Miracles & Dreams Together.”
Surrogates with Family Source Consultants have access to great support groups, both online and in-person, which can help to create connections that last a lifetime.
For more information about Gestational Surrogacy in Florida, call our Miami office at 786-209-2325 or submit an online request for a no-cost consultation.