Georgia couples who are experiencing problems conceiving have more options than ever before to help them grow their families. Among those options are adoption and the utilization of assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination. Surrogacy is another option.
Like in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination, surrogacy is also a form of assisted reproductive technology. Specifically, surrogacy is considered a form of third party assisted reproductive technology. Practically speaking, surrogacy refers to a paid legal arrangement where a woman agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child on behalf of another person or a couple. A surrogate may either be a woman the couple knows well or a woman matched to the couple by an agency. Regardless of the relationship, it is important for couples considering surrogacy to ensure that much consideration is put into selecting a surrogate and that the relationship is clearly defined by a surrogacy agreement drafted by an experienced Georgia family law attorney.
Types of Surrogacy
There are two types of surrogacy that prospective parents may choose from when deciding to grow their family via surrogacy: Gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy.
Traditional surrogacy involves the surrogate mother (or the woman who will be carrying the child) being inseminated with sperm from the couple's male partner or from a third party donor. Because the child born as a result of this type of surrogacy will be biologically related to the surrogate, these types of surrogacies often involve greater legal and emotional consequences. The potential difficulties involving traditional surrogacy lead many couples to choose gestational surrogacy instead.
Gestational surrogacy involves the surrogate mother becoming pregnant through the process of in vitro fertilization, using eggs and sperm donated by the intended parents or donors the intended parents have selected. This type of surrogacy is often preferred because it does not involve a genetic link between the surrogate and the child and because it allows the child to be genetically related to both the intended parents.
Surrogacy in Georgia
As opposed to other states, Georgia domestic relations law is relatively expansive and exhaustive. With this being said, it is surprising that the issue of surrogacy receives very little attention in Georgia statutory or case law. Georgia has no statutes specifically addressing surrogacy, and no published legal opinions appear to address surrogacy in depth. Fortunately for those considering surrogacy in the state, Georgia does not have any laws that prohibit surrogacy outright. Because the law is unsettled, it is vital for any couple contemplating surrogacy to consult a Georgia domestic relations attorney regarding surrogacy agreements and the paternity and parentage concerns often attendant to surrogacy to avoid any potential legal pitfalls.