Legal support of surrogacy programmes is a complicated and complex matter. Before implementing the programme, remember to consult a qualified legal counsellor to draw up correctly all the necessary documents for your programme to go fine and safely.
Sometimes intended parents face serious problems due to incompetence of legal counsellors they have turned to: they might have problems when leaving the country or obtaining the necessary documents for their baby. Every country has its own legislation, and one can’t predict how the consulate of this or that country would treat a particular case, but your legal counsellor is to assist you in sorting out of the complicated situation you have found yourselves into.
The gravity of the situation varies from one case to another: sometimes the legal conflict is not so difficult to settle it, but it also happens that the whole matter becomes really complicated and can lead to serious unpleasant consequences up to relinquishing all the parental rights to the surrogate mother of your baby.
Most commonly, these are foreigners who fall victims to legal swindlers. It happens because foreign clients are appealed by ‘hot prices’ that incompetent agencies charge for their dubious services.
Imagine a certain American, let us call him Mark, arranged the whole affair with a surrogate mother from a deep provincial Russian town on his own, by paying her $ 12, 000, he also consulted some ‘specialists’ and drew up the whole package of documents for 25, 000 rubles to insure the programme. These lawyers advised him to marry the Russian surrogate mother instead of marrying his American fiancee, then, after the registration of the baby, he would divorce his Russian wife, pay her $ 1000 and go back home to marry his American fiancee.
The punctual American did everything he had been told to do. As a result of this, the surrogate mother who did not expect such a scenario became the official mother of the child, her name was put onto the Birth Certificate, and Mark made a nice husband for a provincial woman who was proud of changing her simple Russian last name to a sophisticated foreign one, and in no way did she have an intention to divorce her lovely husband. The surrogate mother who was to sign a pile of papers that would allow her child to go abroad thought twice and eventually decided to double her fee to $35,000 (for extra family duties).
Divorce compensation of $10,000 would not do either, after the surrogate mother had seen the Mariotte room in which the American was staying when in Russia. On top of all, it turned out that the child needed a Russian exit visa to leave the country. The matter was settled by real competent lawyers who had been paid a huge sum of money. So, instead of $14,000 the pragmatic American had to pay $75,000.
So, what is it “legal support of surrogacy”?
It is a set of legal documents and services that surely protect both the biological parents and the surrogate mother:
- The major document that stipulates the relationship between you and the surrogate mother is an agreement about carrying a child concluded by the biological parents and the surrogate mother. This agreement should be made up on the basis of your requirements and the surrogate mother’s wishes. It would be nice if the legal company that got down to business gave you some recommendations basing on the experience it has in this field. These are the legal experts you’ve turned to who are in charge of holding the talks between you and the surrogate mother. The agreement is to determine the surrogate mother’s liabilities and the order of payment. As a rule, this document makes up from 5 to 10 sheets of paper.
- The biological parents’ written consent for the surrogate mother to carry the embryo conceived by IVF. This document is required by the IVF clinic and the Russian registry office (ZAGS);
- The surrogate mother’s consent for carrying the biological parents’ embryo. This document is required by the clinic, and it might become indispensable in case if the surrogate mother has some health disturbances and lays any claims.
- The surrogate mother’s consent for giving no claims for the child after it is born. That document is crucial because she could file a suit in court soon after the delivery.
- The surrogate mother’s consent on putting the intended parents’ names onto the birth registrar in accordance with Paragraph 4, Article 51 of The Family Code of the Russian Federation. The Birth Certificate is the document that makes you the legal parents of the child, thus it is of vital importance for you. The representative of the law agency shall not only make up the draft of the contract but also be present at the moment when the surrogate mother signs it. The surrogate mother’s consent is to be witnessed be some other legal parties, and these signatures are to be obtained by your legal representative.
- The package of documents required by the Registry office (ZAGS). The officials might require various documents from you to register your baby, up to the license of the clinic where the IVF treatment was carried out and copies of the order designating this or that particular doctor as the responsible for your programme. All the documents necessary for the registration of your baby are to be piled up by your legal representative, too.
- Assistance in obtaining the official Birth Certificate at the registry office is also in charge of the professionals. You shall come to the office only once – to obtain the document for your baby.
- If the surrogate mother or her relatives have any questions concerning the documents she has signed. it’s is in charge of your legal counselor to answer them as they arise and even prevent them. Your legal interests are to be represented by a qualified lawyer.
- The legal package of the programme shall include unlimited number of legal sessions on all the legal matters concerning your programme. You should be sure to have an answer to any of you questions at any time.