What you need to know about the legal process in Nevada
Attorney Eric Stovall answers common questions about the surrogacy process in the state of Nevada.
Benefits in Nevada
About Eric Stovall
Eric A. Stovall began practicing law in 1987. He has since helped thousands of Nevada families grow through surrogacy and adoption. Since 2013, Nevada surrogacy law has established policies that are among the most progressive in the country. New protections and inclusions have made the state a popular place for family formations of all descriptions. Eric stays current with all of these legal developments. He offers informed and dedicated counsel to prospective parents, surrogates and adoption agencies.
As part of his commitment to families, Eric helped found the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) and is also an active member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA). These organizations are the acknowledged experts in surrogacy and adoption law. Additionally, Eric is the President of AAAA.
Overview of attorney responsibilities in the state of Nevada
A surrogacy attorney will represent their clients and assist them through the surrogacy process as far as the legal aspects are concerned.
For intended parents:
- Draft a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA) between the Intended Parent(s) and the Surrogate.
- Draft a parentage petition to be filed with the court so that the intended parents’ names go onto the birth certificate once the baby is born.
- Review a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA) prepared by another surrogacy attorney with their client.
What happens if a surrogate does not use a surrogacy attorney?
The laws pertaining to surrogacy and parentage can change without notice. Without a qualified surrogacy attorney guiding them through the process, it is possible for surrogates and/or intended parents to miss vital steps to ensure proper protection for all parties as well as legal parentage once the baby arrived. In cases where the Intended Parents are not legally married, a Florida judge will likely require a home visit to be completed. Robert’s office works with a number of social workers to conduct these home visits in accordance with the court’s guidelines.
What is a surrogacy contract and why is it important?
The surrogacy contract is the written device that lets the intended parents and the surrogate know what is expected of them during the surrogacy arrangement. It outlines what each party is expected to do as well as what is required of them during the journey, It also provides remedies and paths to lead the parties through a disagreement in the event that there are complications on the journey.
What are the consequences of a party breaches the contract?
Ideally, all parties will connect. via the agency to talk out and negotiate a situation that is not proceeding as they expected or as the contract requires. If those conversations do not remedy the situation, Eric’s contracts include a requirement for mediation. This is a formal process in which the parties meet with an experienced mediator to explain their situation and try to come up with a resolution that all parties agree to. If the mediation does not work out, then and only then would the parties proceed to litigation to settle the disagreement.
In Nevada, do intended parents or surrogates have to be married to start a surrogacy journey?
Nevada law does not specify whether or not the intended parents or the surrogate are married. Nevada laws also allows for same-sex couples to engage in a surrogacy arrengement on either side.
Whose names go onto the birth certificate?
The intended parents’ names will be placed on the birth certificate once the child is born.
Legal Costs (as of 2020)
Eric’s office itemizes the legal fees for establishing parentage as follows:
When representing Intended Parents:
- Drafting Surrogacy Contract (when representing: $2,500
- Pre Birth Orders (parentage petition); hospital coordination; birth certificate: $2,800
- Miscellaneous court/shipping fees: Approximately $400
When representing Surrogate:
- Reviewing Surrogacy Contract: $1,500
What are the benefits of starting a surrogacy journey in Nevada?
The updated surrogacy laws currently in place in Nevada are cutting edge and extremely friendly.
Traditional surrogacy (in which a surrogate uses her own eggs in the process) is not allowed in Nevada.
In order for the contract to be completed under Nevada law, any one of the following conditions must be met:
- The intended parents reside in Nevada
- The gestational surrogate resides in Nevada
- The medical (IVF) procedure is performed in Nevada
- The birth is expected (or occurs) in Nevada
What happens if the intended parents’ or the surrogates’ marital status changes during the surrogacy journey?
If any party within the surrogacy contract has a change in marital status (either newly married or recently divorced) it is not an issue in Nevada provided that the contract is drafted by an experienced surrogacy attorney. and all eventualities are addressed. Any changes in marital status are then addressed in a contract addendum which must be agreed to signed by all parties.
Why is a surrogacy agency important to the process?
Surrogacy agencies have expertise that the intended parents and the surrogate just don’t have. They are used to dealing with surrogacy contracts and they know how the process works. Many surrogacy employees have also been surrogates themselves and they have firsthand experience with the process. A good agency will also do a throrough vetting fo the surrogate prior to matching them with intended parents to ensure there are no issues or red flags in their past.
Additionally, a surrogacy agency is a buffer between the parties in the arrangement. Surrogates and intended parents can speak directly about milestones during the journey. If there are more serious issues related to compensation or expectations of the arrangement, the surrogacy agency can get involved to fix the disagreement and preserve the relationship between the surrogate and intended parents.
How are medical costs paid during a surrogacy journey?
Ultimately, the intended parents are responsible for all medical costs incurred by the surrogate during pregnancy and birth.
A gestational surrogate with GSHC Surrogacy Agency is required to have a medical insurance plan in place for the pregnancy so that the out-of-pocket costs are minimized for the journey. Intended parents are responsible for all premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums for the policy.
Can a surrogate decide to keep the baby?
No. Legally, the surrogate cannot decide to keep the baby. At no point during the process is the child recognized as the parent of the child since no genetic material has contributed to the child.
What are the next steps after the surrogacy contract is signed?
After the surrogacy contract is signed by all parties, the intended parents’ attorney will submit a letter of legal clearance to the IVF clinic. Once this is received, the IVF clinic is legally allowed to begin the medication protocol and embryo transfer calendar schedule for the surrogate.
What is. pre-Birth Order (PBO) and when is that established.
At around month 4 or 5 of the pregnancy, the intended parents’ attorney will draft a parentage petition which asks the court to look at the surrogacy contract and recognize that the intended parents are the legal parent so of the child. The court will make a judgment to notify Nevada public records that the intended parents are the legal parents of the child and not the surrogate so that they can issue the appropriate birth certificate upon the birth of the child.
Whose name goes onto the birth certificate?
The intended parents’ names will be placed on the birth certificate when the child is born.
Can a surrogate select her own attorney?
Yes. Surrogates are encouraged to select a qualified surrogacy attorney that they feel most comfortable working with during the process.
Does your office work with international intended parents?
To learn more about the parentage process in the state of Nevada, please contact Eric Stovall and his team via their website: https://www.nevadaadoptionlawyer.com/