Surrogacy friendly states such as Illinois are evolving into centers for for those willing to carry babies for those unable to get pregnant. However, many surrogacy arrangements are often informal agreements, which can sometimes lead to problems. It may be that the surrogate wants to back out or that the parents do not want to move forward after the process is underway. It may be that unforeseen and potentially costly medical complications arise for the surrogate mother or the baby. In response to the growing number of surrogacy arrangements, and in hopes of addressing some of these concerns, carefully crafted contracts are emerging to offer protection to the parties involved.
The process of obtaining a surrogate child can be expensive. Prospective parents may be looking at over $100,000 in costs in some states: roughly $25K for a successful delivery; $25k to a surrogacy center; 50K in doctors fees; and some monetary compensation for medical complications – one contract in Oregon stipulates a $2500 payment for the loss of the surrogate’s uterus, which hints at how things can go wrong. Given the substantial investment in terms of money on the part of the intended parents and the medical or other issues that a surrogate may face, a well thought out contract makes sense.
When considering surrogacy in the state of Illinois, intended parents and surrogate mothers should be aware of important areas of the state surrogacy law. Illinois law only pertains to gestational surrogacy agreements and, although neither party has to be a resident of Illinois, the birth itself must take place in the state to be recognized by state law. The law requires that the surrogate have insurance and be 21 or older. Both the intended parents and the surrogate mother must complete medical & mental evaluations AND consult legal consul regarding the conditions and legal ramifications of the arrangement. Ideally, at this stage, parties will draw up a thorough contract to address the multitude of eventualities. If the state requirements are met, the surrogate, intended parents and attending physicians need only sign certified statements of consent regarding the rights of parentage of the newborn, thereby granting parental rights immediately upon birth.
If you or a family member is considering adoption or surrogacy, contact the Illinois family law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss, LLC for help. We serve communities of Lake County, Illinois, including the cities of Libertyville, Waukegan, Lake Forest, Bannockburn, Highland Park, Deerfield, Gurnee, Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Wauconda, Lake Zurich, Killdeer, Lincolnshire and more. Call us today!