BY JAMES J. BIANCO, JR., ESQUIRE
For over 30 years, members of the Avenues to Surrogacy team have helped clients build families, primarily through adoption. In working with these couples and individuals, we’ve become aware of the desire to grow a family through surrogacy as well. We also understand that there are many options in which to grow a family. Surrogacy is a unique opportunity for families who may not be able to carry a biological child but would like to raise a baby with their genetic components. Families who have struggled with infertility, single individuals, and same sex couples may find that surrogacy is an ideal path to parenthood.
With these individuals and families in mind, the Avenues to Surrogacy team decided to expand our scope of practice to include surrogacy. Unlike adoption, surrogacy is often a more secure and less risky route to creating a family. Once a gestational carrier is pregnant, the carrier and intended parents are bound to a surrogate agreement by contract. This eliminates much of the anxiety and uncertainty that may be present with an anticipated adoption. Essentially, a baby born via surrogate is the child of the intended parents throughout the process, and there is no risk of a surrogate opting to parent the child either during pregnancy or after birth. Gestational carriers don’t have to go through an emotional process in which they surrender their rights to a child, as they would with an adoption. The surrogacy process is outlined ahead of pregnancy and birth so all parties are in agreement. Parents and carriers can focus on developing a special relationship and enjoying the unique experience.
To create Avenues to Surrogacy, we began by talking with individuals, families, and recent surrogates to understand how the process should ideally work. After much research, we became the primary attorney tasked with re-drafting, passing, and enacting the revised New Hampshire surrogacy statute. The new legislation provides protections to intended parents and gives benefits to those who serve as surrogates. The result is a progressive law that is fair to both intended parents and gestational carriers, and it ultimately helps to achieve our primary goal at Avenues to Surrogacy: connecting lives and growing families.