12 Sep 2013 Delaware Passes Gestational Carrier Agreement Act
Thanks to my colleague, attorney Suzanne I. Seubert, of Wilmington, Delaware, for her excellent analysis of this important new legislation. For more about Suzanne and her practice, visit http://www.delawareartfamilies.com/.
There is no more important relationship to a child than that of parent. Prior to 2013, Delaware neither prohibited nor authorized gestational carrier agreements. Effective July 3, Delaware law now authorizes such agreements and establishes clear standards and procedures for defining the relationship of parent and child resulting from gestational surrogacy when the carrier has no genetic relationship to the child. The statute permits the payment of reasonable compensation to the carrier to cover the expenses and risks and loss of income that may result from pregnancy.
In addition, the statute allows Family Court to determine parentage prior to a child’s birth for families utilizing assisted reproductive technology (ART) to enable the parents to make medical decisions immediately following the child’s birth.
The statute now ensures that a child has a parent and identifies when the Court will have jurisdiction over a non-resident in conformity with other uniform acts in the Delaware code to establish the child's parentage.
With this new legislation, intended parents can work with gestational carriers in Delaware with much more certainty and, most importantly, legislative protection for all parties involved.