If you are considering using gestational surrogacy, or becoming a surrogate mother yourself, the decision-making process should always begin with thorough research to make sure that it is the right option for you. In doing your research, you will likely see the term “pre-birth order” come up often. You may find yourself asking, “What is a pre-birth order?” This is a perfectly normal and reasonable question. Pre-birth order is a legal document that establishes the intended parent(s) as the legal parent(s) of the child are before the surrogate gives birth. And understanding how this works and why it is important is a crucial step in the surrogacy process.
Understanding Surrogacy & the Law
Historically, the legal ramifications of surrogacy have been rather messy. Traditional surrogacy required the surrogate mother to become artificially inseminated with the sperm of the intended father or a sperm donor, and that surrogate would become biologically related to the child. Today, gestational surrogacy is the most popular type of surrogacy, and it is the only type that we offer here at California Surrogacy Center. Gestational surrogacy works hand-in-hand with the pre-birth order to protect the rights of the intended parent(s).
Gestational surrogacy uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) to insert the egg of the intended mother, or of an egg donor, into the surrogate. The surrogate is, therefore, in no way biologically related to the child. This makes it more difficult for the surrogate mother to claim parentage of the child.
A pre-birth order is an agreement signed by the surrogate and the intended parent(s) before the child is born, declaring the intended parent(s) as the legal parent(s) of the child. In the state of California, once this agreement is signed, the hospital where the child is delivered will become required to put the names of the intended parent(s) on the child’s birth certificate.
With both gestational surrogacy and a pre-birth order in place, the intended parent(s) can rest assured that their parentage is settled in the eyes of the law. That said, it is important to note that both gestational surrogacy and pre-birth order is not yet legal in all 50 states. California is known for being at the forefront of surrogacy law so, if you work with California Surrogacy Center, this should not be a concern. If you are considering surrogacy elsewhere, we advise reviewing a list of the surrogacy laws in your state.
The Benefits of Using a Pre-Birth Order vs. a Post-Birth Order
Using a pre-birth order instead of a post-birth order (signed after the child is born) is better in that it alleviates confusion regarding who the true parent(s) of the child are at a time when tensions are already high, a time that should really be about celebrating the new life you’ve just brought into the world!
You may have heard horror stories about surrogate mothers changing their mind after they give birth and deciding to keep the child. As an intended parent, this can be a terrifying idea: you invest all this time and money into the surrogacy process, only to have your child taken away from you. With a pre-birth order already in place, the surrogate mother has no legal jurisdiction over the child; therefore, this should not be a concern after the child is born.
Surrogate mothers will also find a pre-birth order beneficial. Giving birth can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining. It is likely that the last thing you want to deal with after all of that hard work is read and sign legal documents. Taking care of this process ahead of time will better ensure that the birth is an exciting, not stressful, time.
Contact Us with Your Questions About Pre-Birth Order
At California Surrogacy Center, we understand that the surrogacy process can be overwhelming for all parties involved. If you found this information helpful but would like to know more about pre-birth order and why it is important, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below.