Gestational agreements used to be called “surrogacy agreements”. The difference between the two terms can be understood by the following:
A “Surrogate mother” is a woman who bears a child for another woman, whether or not the surrogate mother contributes her own eggs.
A“Gestational mother” is a woman who bears a child for another woman who does not contribute her own eggs and is not genetically linked to the child.
There is a specific procedure under Texas Family Law for having gestational agreements recognized and validated by a court. The Texas law must be followed, with the proper legal procedures done in the right order, so that the intended parents are the full and final legal parents of the child, and the other parties involved do not retain any parental rights and responsibilities relating to the child.
The Kalish Law Office has been serving families since 1984. If you are talking with your spouse about available options to have your family grow, we can guide you. We will explain the legal requirements and practical legal differences between a gestational arrangement vs. an adoption, explain the legal requirements for a valid gestational agreement, draft or review a gestational agreement for you, and file the proper petition and other documents in Texas family court. We will be with you throughout the entire procedure, from the beginning until the time when you receive your Texas birth certificate for your child.
If you are a gestational mother or donor and require legal advice and contract review, we can assist you.
It is not recommended that parties enter into “Informal” gestational agreements which do not follow the Texas law. Texas courts will not validate these and there are risks that one or more of the parties may change their mind, that a party who didn’t want to may be held liable for child support, or that a conflict may arise about who actually has the right to custody of the child. The risks of a child being in “legal limbo” or a subject of a multi-party custody battle are simply not worth taking a chance!
Not all states recognize gestational agreements, and even among those states which do, there are differences in the law. This is a somewhat controversial area, and definitely one in which we will see further legal development in the years to come. Kalish Law Office will keep up with the changes in this interesting and rewarding area of law.
If you would like to have a consultation with one of our family law attorneys to discuss your interest about a gestational agreement, adoption, or have another family law issue, please call us at 281-363-3700, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org