As surrogacy becomes a more popular option for couples looking to become parents, legal problems continue to arise. Many couples who seek out surrogate mothers must involve attorneys. On the flip side, women who intend on becoming surrogates should also consult an attorney regarding their rights.
Two recent news stories highlight the necessity of legal counsel when seeking to hire or become a surrogate.
First is the story of Baby Gammy. Gammy’s case sparked international outrage when it emerged that an Australian couple hired a surrogate from Thailand to carry their baby twins, but left one of them behind because he had Down’s syndrome.
The couple returned from Thailand with a baby girl born to the surrogate mother, but left behind her male twin, Gammy, who was born with Down’s syndrome. The surrogate mother claimed that the couple asked her to have an abortion and left Gammy in Thailand because of his disability.
The couple initially denied her statement, telling Australian media that they were not aware Gammy existed. But the surrogate mother claims that the father met the twins, but only took the healthy twin sister.
The second story has roots in Hollywood. According to a report from Fox 411, talk show veteran Sherri Shepherd has come under fire following allegations that she no longer wants to mother the child she is expecting via surrogate after separating from her husband Lamar Sally.
Sally is allegedly preparing to file documents to stop Shepherd from withdrawing from a surrogate contract she signed while the couple was still together.
In both cases, the rights and obligations of all the parties involved are not-so-straightforward. With the complex issues that can arise in surrogacy situations, each party’s situation must be properly evaluated by a legal professional.