LGBTQ Family Building: How a family formation attorney can help you to grow your family

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Our Pittsburgh based law firm is proud to assist LGBTQ individuals and couples on their journey to building and expanding their families with our experience as family formation attorneys. Maybe you and your partner are already well on your way to growing your family or maybe you’re wondering how to begin this journey.

Our office of experienced Pennsylvania family law and family formation lawyers are able to provide you with the following services to help you on the journey to expanding your family;

● second parent and step-parent adoptions,

● drafting egg, sperm and embryo donation contracts,

● drafting surrogacy contracts and pre-birth orders,

Firm owner and senior attorney Lisa Marie Vari is also the owner and operator of Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc. Baby Steps matches would be intended parents with gestational surrogate mothers who are able to deliver your child into this world and make your dream of parenthood a reality. Both Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. and Baby Steps Surrogacy Center, Inc. proudly work with LGBTQ and heterosexual couples and individuals to assist in the formation of families.

What is a second parent or step-parent adoption?

This is a process through which a married partner (LGBTQ or heterosexual) can adopt his or her partner’s biological or adoptive child without terminating their married partner’s parental rights. The adoption grants the married partner the same rights to the child as any biological parent.

Do you need an egg, sperm or embryo donation contract?

Lesbian, gay, transsexual and heterosexual couples who employ the use of an egg, sperm or embryo donor in order to conceive a child should do so with a donation contract in place. Among other things a donation agreement will clearly state that the donor does not intend to parent any child(ren) resulting from their donation and that they do not have any parental rights to the resulting child(ren). This will prevent a donor from asserting any parental rights in the future.

What is the purpose of a surrogacy contract?

The purpose of a surrogacy contract is to protect the rights of both the intended parents as well as the surrogate in ensuring that future issues such as custody and parental rights are resolved before the conception and birth of the child.

Surrogacy contracts outline how the gestational surrogacy process will commence, what testing and examinations the surrogate must complete, how compensation to the surrogate will occur, and provide other legal protections for both parties.

What is a pre-birth order?

For those couples and/or individuals who employ the use of a surrogate to grow their family, a pre-birth order establishes, before the birth of the child, who the child’s parents are and whose names should be placed on the child’s birth certificate as the child’s parents.

Without a pre-birth order a child who is born to a surrogate will have the surrogate’s name listed as the mother of the child on the birth certificate. If the surrogate herself is married, her husband will be listed on the birth certificate as the child’s father. Failing to obtain a pre-birth order can potentially pose problems for would-be parents, such as difficulty in establishing their parental rights.

Our law firm can review and draft contracts on behalf of intended parents as well as on behalf of potential surrogates. Baby Steps works with intended parents to find a gestational surrogate match as well as working with would be gestational surrogates to find an intended parent match. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our family formation attorneys.