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Adoption Q&A #3

What Are Gestational Surrogacies, and Do They Occur in Wisconsin?

Gestational surrogacy begins when a couple can produce viable sperm and egg, which are combined in a laboratory to form an embryo, but the intended mother cannot carry the embryo to term. The intended parents (the biological parents) rely on a third party to receive an embryo (or embryos), become pregnant and carry the embryo to birth. Legal parenthood is then established by court procedures resulting in either a determination of parentage or an adoption by the intended parents. Wisconsin does not have a set of procedures governing gestational surrogacy; however, there are numerous excellent clinics in Wisconsin that provide medical assistance in gestational surrogacy cases. It is important to have an agreement signed by the parties to a gestational surrogacy arrangement entered into before medical procedures are initiated so that the parties have a clear understanding of the rights and obligations of each.

Once an agreement is entered into, the medical procedures resulting in the embryo creation and transfer are completed. The final step in establishing parenthood will employ either a parentage determination or adoption procedure. Legal counsel should be consulted to assist with the preparation of a parentage agreement, as well as for establishment of legal parenthood. Wisconsin statutes do provide for the issuance of a birth certificate to the intended parents in a surrogacy situation.


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