Florida Laws on Artificial Insemination (AI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Under Florida law, except in cases where the commissioning couple has contracted with a gestational surrogate, any child born during the marriage who has been conceived through artificial insemination or IVF is irrefutably presumed to be the child of the married couple provided that the married couple has consented in writing to the artificial insemination or IVF. The Florida statutes further provide that except in gestational surrogacy cases, any child born during the marriage of a couple who has been conceived with donated eggs or pre-embryo is irrefutably presumed to the child of the recipient gestating woman and her husband provided that the married couple have executed a written document agreeing to the use of the donated eggs or pre-embryo.
Florida statutory law also addresses issues concerning the rights of sperm, egg, and pre-embryo donors. Section 742.14 of the Florida statutes provide that the donor of any egg, sperm, or pre-embryo other than the commissioning couple or a father who has executed a preplanned adoption agreement shall relinquish all maternal or paternal rights and obligations with respect to the donation of the resulting children. However, Florida case law provides that where impregnation occurs through sexual intercourse the biological father of the child can be held responsible for child support and be entitled to custody rights even if there was an agreement between the parties that he would merely act as a sperm donor.
FL Gestational Surrogacy Laws
Gestational surrogacy is defined as a state that results from the process in which a commissioning couple's eggs or sperm, or both, are mixed in vitro and the resulting pre-embryo is implanted within another woman's body. Florida law contains specific statutes addressing gestational surrogacy cases. Florida Statutes section 742.16 provides that after notice is given to the gestational surrogate (the woman who contracts to become pregnant by means of assisted reproduction technology without the use of an egg from her body), the treating physician of the program and the person or persons claiming paternity, the Florida family court shall schedule a hearing to determine if there is a binding and enforceable Florida Gestational Surrogacy Contract. If the family court finds that there is a binding Gestational Surrogacy Contract in accordance with Florida law and also finds that at least one member of the commissioning couple is the genetic parent of the child, the Florida family court shall enter an order finding that the commissioning couple are the legal parents of the child.
Requirements for a Valid Gestational Surrogacy Contract in Florida
Florida law provides that the following elements must be met in order to have a valid and enforceable Gestational Surrogacy Contract:
- The gestational surrogate must be 18 years of age or older.
- The commissioning couple are married and both 18 years of age or older.
- A physician has determined that the couple cannot physically gestate a pregnancy to term or that the gestation would cause a risk to the commissioning mother or the gestation would cause a risk to the health of the fetus.
- The commissioning couple agrees that the surrogate will be the sole source of consent with respect to the management and clinical intervention of the pregnancy.
- The surrogate agreed to reasonable medical evaluation and treatment and to adhere to reasonable prenatal medical instruction.
- The surrogate agreed to relinquish all parental rights upon birth and to cooperate with the judicial proceedings.
- The couple agreed to accept custody and full parental rights and responsibilities of the child upon birth regardless of any physical impairment.
- The surrogate agreed to assume parental rights and responsibilities of the child if neither member of the commissioning couple were the genetic parent of the child.
- The commissioning couple has agreed to pay only the reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological and psychiatric expenses of the surrogate that are directly related to the prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum periods.
Contact our Dade County Assisted Reproduction Lawyers
Our Miami assisted reproduction attorneys have helped many couples with the legal issues associated with assisted reproduction, artificial insemination and surrogacy. Contact our FL surrogacy lawyers to learn how we can help you. Or, telephone our office at 305-329-2560 to schedule an appointment to discuss your Dade County, Broward County, or Monroe County artificial insemination, in vitro insemination, or surrogacy issue.
Our Miami assisted reproduction lawyers accept family law cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Monroe County. Our Miami family law office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm and weekends and evenings by appointment.
Consultations are available in person at our downtown Miami law office and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Galiano Street in Coral Gables, West Country Club Drive in Aventura, Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood and in the Homestead area. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat.