Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Surrogacy Arrangements
Phelps, John Y
Reproductive biomedicine online 2010 Dec; 21(7): 862-7
The goal of this article is to discuss the legal pitfalls that reproductive endocrinologists face when participating in gestational surrogacy contracts. This paper was composed using Westlaw and LexisNexis commercial legal search engines to perform a review of statutes and cases pertaining to gestational surrogacy. The search results demonstrated that in the absence of suitable preparation, there is significant potential for litigation while participating in gestational agreements. Providers caring for gestational carriers have been named as parties in lawsuits for failure to provide psychological screening, failure to screen for infectious disease and participation in gestational contracts that are not compliant with state law. There is great disparity in state laws and court rulings pertaining to gestational agreements. When legal disputes arise, individual state laws and court rulings are controlling over the Uniform Parentage Act. Likewise, recommendations by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine do not supersede state laws. The failure to abide by individual state laws unnecessarily exposes reproductive endocrinologists and their IVF facilities to potential litigation. In order to lessen exposure to litigation, an understanding of individual state legislation or historical court rulings is advised.
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