[NOTE: Surrogate Mothers, Inc. does not provide legal advice. You should consult with an attorney if you have questions about the legal aspect of surrogacy in Indiana]
When engaging in a surrogacy arrangement, you need to consider the two distinct parts of a legal process. These are known as the enforceability of the contract and the parentage establishment with the court.
Although both of these issues are tied to the same surrogacy agreement, courts in Indiana will handle these two procedures quite differently. One statute governs surrogacy contracts and another has to do with the establishment of parentage.
Surrogacy contracts could be considered unenforceable because Article 20 of Title 31 of the Indiana Code declares them to be void against public policy. If the surrogate is required to do any of the following issues, a surrogacy contract can be considered void and unenforceable. These include;
- Waiving parental rights to a child
- Providing a gamete to conceive the child
- Becoming pregnant
- Consenting to an abortion
- Undergoing medical examination or treatment
- Using a substance or engaging in any activity that could demand another person
- Consent to a stepparent adoption
However, certain parts of a surrogacy contract can still be enforceable. Indiana does not forbid the act of surrogacy and is favorable in establishing parentage with the courts, and surrogacy is becoming increasingly common in Indiana. Properly drafted contracts that work well for both the intended parents and the gestational surrogate can lay out the expectations for each individual involved and make everyone feel more confident in the management of this case. Any Indiana fertility clinic will probably require that an agreement is drafted prior to any medical interventions.
For this reason, you should consult with an experienced Indiana surrogate lawyer sooner rather than later. There are so many unique aspects to consider in this kind of relationship, but you can always benefit from doing research ahead of time by talking directly with an attorney who knows how it works and who can walk you through the full aspect of your concerns.
When you want to go the route of surrogacy, it’s up to you to become familiar with the laws at play and to choose a lawyer who is on hand to help you as you go along.