In 2003, the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued a set of procedures known as the "Assisted Conception Birth Registration". It is a set of procedures for the issuing of birth certificates for children conceived through assisted reproduction that lists the intended parents as the child's parents (rather than a surrogate). The procedure is an alternate method to adoption that allows the intended parents to establish legal parentage.
Kanye and Kim Kardashian West have announced they will be using a surrogate for the birth of their 3rd child after Kim admitted to suffering from placenta accrete during her last pregnancy, which resulted in an extremely painful birth. The use of a surrogate is not uncommon in Pennsylvania. For medical reasons the Hollywood couple decided it would be safer for both Kim and the baby to use a surrogate for the birth.
There's no right or wrong way to build a family and for many couples in Pennsylvania choosing surrogacy provides the chance to grow your family. However, before you choose to proceed with having a surrogate carry your child there are some things you should know about surrogacy and the law in Pennsylvania.
Late last year, former The View co-host, Sherri Shepard, lost her appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court requesting that the Court hold that she be free from any and obligations as the mother of a child conceived with her ex-husband through a surrogate. Ms. Shepard filed a Petition for Allocatur requesting that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania hear her case. The highest court of Pennsylvania declined to entertain her appeal this week.
Former The View host, Sherri Shepherd may no longer appear on the talk show, yet she remains in the public eye due to her recent appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Ms. Shepherd's case concerns a baby born to Ms. Shepherd and her former husband via surrogacy.
Gestational Surrogacy is becoming more common in Pennsylvania. Recently, there have been more numerous discussions and even depictions of struggles with infertility and conception depicted in pop culture. For example, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, of E! Network fame, have publicly documented their struggles with having children on their hit reality show. They currently have one son, Duke, who was delivered via gestational carrier. Unfortunately, their most recent attempt at having another baby was unsuccessful. The Rancics have always been open to sharing their struggles so they can help people start proactive conversations about fertility. The Rancics are lucky to have found a compatible surrogate who is willing to work with them throughout their attempts at expanding their family. Although gestational surrogates do not have standing to sue for custody of a child in Pennsylvania, it is still a good idea to have a written contract between the parents and the surrogate.