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When a couple wants to have a baby, but can’t naturally conceive a child of their own — or chooses not to — there are options for adoption and surrogacy. But without proper legal agreements, the road to custody can get very messy. A recent case highlighted the value of having proper legal documents in place for any kind of situation involving surrogacy or the custody of a child. It all started with a Facebook post, where a woman was grieving the recent news that she and her partner would be unable to have kids…
A Facebook contact that the woman had never met in person saw her post and sent the woman a direct message through the site. She said that she would conceive a child with her boyfriend, and then give custody to the woman and her partner. Essentially, she was offering to act as a genetic surrogate and give the baby up for adoption after the birth. The woman agreed because she was ready to have a child and start her family. The baby was born in December 2017 and that’s when everything got extremely complicated.
The Facebook “friend” who gave birth, placed the baby with the woman and her partner at the hospital, but after a few months, she decided that she didn’t want to give the baby up after all. Her boyfriend also changed his mind and decided he wanted to parent the child as well. The woman and her partner, who were raising the baby after bringing him home from the hospital, were blindsided and a legal battle ensued, lasting over three years.
Eventually, in July of 2021, a judge ruled that the biological mother and her boyfriend were unfit parents. Custody was given to the woman who had been raising the baby boy since birth and the child will remain with her. A proper surrogacy agreement and/or adoption plan would have stopped the legal battle from ever taking place.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, we work to help intended parents protect their rights as they embark on the surrogacy journey to start or add to their families. Contact us to learn more!