I feel it is important to stay up to date on current topics in the news related to adoption and all related to it. Employees and clients of Adoption STAR often share articles with each other to keep abreast of these topics. I am sure you have seen us blog about many newsworthy topics.
On March 19, I sent the following statement to the staff of Adoption STAR via e-mail. The statement was based on an article published online. Though I did not send the article to the staff, just the following statement:
On Mar 19, 2013, at 4:35 PM, Michele Fried
The Ramat Gan Family Court has ruled that if a baby born to a couple via surrogacy is the man’s biological child, then his wife should be recognized as the child’s mother without having to formally adopt the baby.
An interesting e-mail staff dialogue ensued:
On Mar 19, 2013, at 5:15 PM, Megan Montgomery
I don’t know all the legal details of surrogacy – but my initial feeling is that if the agreement was surrogacy/egg donation and such a detailed agreement signed b/w those involved then I think it makes sense that the mother would not have to go through the formal adoption process. As long as there was a birth certificate with both parents names on it, and the family has what they need legally. Of course, I would hate to think that the family was keeping the surrogacy piece of the child’s story a secret. To Become a Surrogate Mother can be a complicated process for everyone involved so the last thing we want to do is cause a lot of confusion for the child as they grow up. The surrogate and parents require great communication for this whole process to work.
On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 8:00 AM, Zack Fried
This is incredibly interesting! I actually read the line a few times. I can see what the court is saying, as a couple is deciding to have a biological child in the situation described below. It would be easy to argue the opposite side, where the child’s mother should then adopt the baby. I believe Ramat Gan Family Court is proceeding in a great way, with what they’re doing for those pursuing the surrogacy journey!
On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 8:53 AM, Sue Reardon
It’s very similar to if a woman is pregnant with another’s man’s child, her husband has inherent right to the child even if he is not the biological father. I don’t know whether I completely agree or not, but the logic is the same.
On Mar 20, 2013, at 9:21 AM, Michael Hill
Good analogy, Sue… and I agree, while the logic is the same I don’t know if I completely agree either. Given the court’s ruling, I wonder if couples will feel less inclined to discuss the fact that surrogacy is a part of their child’s (and family’s) history.
On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 9:30 AM, Zack Fried
The main difference with what you’re pointing out, Sue, is that in the situation where a woman gets pregnant by another man, it isn’t a mutual parenting decision made by the husband and wife. It’s an infidelity situation, where the Court ruling mentioned below is a decision made by a couple to pursue surrogacy. An agreement would need to be carved out before taking any steps to begin the surrogacy process, indicating who the parents would be (the two partners or who will be parenting the child). This is a very neat topic to discuss!
On Mar 20, 2013, at 9:42 AM, Kristin Ackerman
Talk about complicated…. remember this story?
On Mar 20, 2013, at 1:40 PM, Megan Montgomery
Great point Zack.
I too see this difference and feel that in the surrogacy situation it makes sense not to make the mother go through the adoption process, when the agreement was such that the surrogate and both parents were aware and had an understanding of who the parents of the child would be.
On Mar 20, 2013, at 2:15 PM, Alecia Zimmerman
I hate making things more complicated than it should be… In traditional surrogacy the surrogate mother is genetically related to the child by using her egg. DNA testing (perhaps DNA testing in Chicago) is used to determine this. Does she have the right to change her mind at birth? I can see if the embryo uses only the intended mother and father’s genetics no real concern to make the intended mother go through the adoption process. I don’t know about surrogacy and the laws surrounding it. I’d love to know if the agreement made between the intended parents and the surrogate mother is legally binding. Because if that agreement is a legal thing no matter the genetics, then going through the adoption process might be a little much.
On Mar 20, 2013, at 2:25 PM, Lori Craig
I’m finding all of these “weigh ins” fascinating! Certainly points to how there would be varying positions on this issue. Thanks for sharing!
So these are some thoughts from our staff, now YOU weigh in!