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The importance of establishing parentage during surrogacy in Ohio

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Fertility |

The birth of a child is an exciting moment for any family. The reality is that family dynamics and relationships change over time, as do physical and financial capacity.

Any adjustments that alter the family, such as a separation or a death, can present painful difficulties when parents or guardians do not establish the parentage of a child.

Gestational carrier agreements and parentage

Neither state nor federal law defines a unified system for determining parentage. Many states traditionally assign maternity to the individual who births the child and gives parentage to the spouse.

For surrogacy, Ohio county courts establish legal parenthood in various manners. In some locations, a family must file a complaint in juvenile court. In other counties, a probate court may require an action for declaratory judgment to create a birth certificate in the intended parents’ names.

The intended parents and the gestational carrier can avoid disputes or complications by entering a gestational carrier contract, which may include compensation for gestating the child. Parties can outline contingencies to prevent future problems.

Timing and other considerations

If a fertility physician provides a professional opinion regarding the genetic relationship of the child, the gestational carrier and the intended parents, DNA tests and hearings are usually unnecessary. A family can start preparing birth orders at about halfway through the pregnancy and obtain a court order.

Individuals from international locations must ensure they have the appropriate documents to return home with the child. Apostilles, additional birth certificate copies and a post-birth parentage order may be necessary to avoid complications during travel. Some locales do not acknowledge pre-birth or post-birth orders and require the parents to proceed through an adoption process.

Parenthood raises fresh possibilities and unique challenges for families. Diligent preparation helps surrogacy proceed without unnecessary struggles.