Technology and Parental Rights

Generally there are always legal questions and concerns that arise when there is new technology that may alter the rights and obligations of those who utilize the new technology. Though technology and family are not traditionally seen together, the rise of nontraditional families has led to the use of surrogacy and in-vitro technology in order to create families in new ways. However, when surrogacy and in-vitro technology give rise to the creation of new families and in particular new life, sometimes there is confusion as to who has rights to the new child, when there are several people involved in the baby’s conception. Parental rights should be established as soon as possible; it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to advocate on your behalf to invoke your parents rights.

Preplanned Adoption Arrangement in Florida

In Florida, individuals may execute a preplanned adoption arrangement that will outline the rights and privileges of each of the members involved in the creation of the baby. Generally with pre-planned adoption agreements, the individuals involved are the commissioning parents and the volunteer mother.

What Must be Included in the Arrangement

To be effective, a preplanned adoption arrangement must include, but is not limited to, the following details:

  • The type of fertility technique that both the volunteer mother and the commissioning couple agree to;
  • That the volunteer mother agrees to the fertility technique and to carry the child to term, and then later terminate any parental rights and responsibilities to the child with written consent;
  • That the consent of the volunteer mother to terminate parental rights and responsibilities is subject to rescission. The volunteer mother has up to 48 hours after the birth of the child to rescind the agreement, but only if the mother is genetically related to the child;
  • That the volunteer mother, if genetically related to the child, must assume all the parental rights and responsibilities regarding the child if the intended parents terminate the agreement before child custody has been transferred over to them;
  • That the agreement may be terminated in the event that the biological parent that is specified within the preplanned adoption arrangement is not actually the biological parent of the child conceived;
  • That the volunteer mother must adhere to reasonable medical instructions about her prenatal health and must accept reasonable medical evaluations, interventions, and treatment that will contribute to the well-being of the growing fetus;
  • That the potential parents may agree to pay all reasonable expenses that are legal, medical, psychiatric, or psychological for the volunteer mother as it relates to the preplanned adoption agreement, and may also agree to pay the lost wages and reasonable living expenses incurred by the volunteer mother resulting from her pregnancy and giving birth;
  • That the intended father who is also the biological father will be required to assume parental responsibilities and rights in the event the agreement is terminated by the potential parents;
  • That the potential parents acknowledge and agree that if the child is genetically related to the volunteer mother, that their parental rights may not come to fruition if the volunteer mother rescinds the agreement up to 48 hours after birth of the child; and
  • That the potential parents agreed to take on parental rights, responsibilities, and custody for the child immediately at the child’s birth, regardless of any impairments or defects of the child.
What is Prohibited From Being Inserted into the Agreement

Within the preplanned adoption agreement, there may be no provisions inserted that require the following:

  • The volunteer mother to terminate her pregnancy at any time and/or
  • The amount paid to the volunteer mother that has previously been agreed upon is not reduced in any way or negatively modified in response to the child being born stillborn or born alive but with significant impairments or delays.

The Florida law prohibits that the potential, commissioning parents from sharing an attorney with the potential volunteer mother in the drafting and negotiating of any documents relating to the preplanned adoption agreement. Please contact West Palm Beach family law attorney William Wallshein for a confidential consultation.