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New California Surrogacy Law Passes; Agency Holds Informational Session in Los Angeles, October 19, 2012

Oct 05, 2012

Circle Surrogacy’s informational group meeting and individual consultations will give prospective parents a chance to hear about recent developments in assisted reproductive technology and law and offer them the opportunity to learn about becoming parents through surrogacy.

For infertile couples, gay couples, and single individuals, gestational surrogacy is life-changing. It helps realize dreams of parenthood for those intended parents who need some assistance getting there. Legislation signed by California Governor Jerry Brown on September 23, 2012 recognizes this reality. The new law continues the state’s leadership in the field of surrogacy law.

The bill’s enactment adds new language to California’s Family Code, explicitly authorizing “assisted reproduction agreements for gestational carriers” and establishing guidelines. Assem. Bill No. 1217 (2011-2012 Reg. Sess.).The legislation solidifies surrogacy agreements and the outlines the process for establishing parentage in a surrogacy arrangement.

According to the law, valid surrogacy agreements will require separate legal representation for surrogates and intended parents. The agreements must include the date of signing, the origin of gametes, and the identity of the intended parents, among other requirements. The parties can petition the appropriate court, which shall issue “a judgment or order establishing a parent-child relationship” Judgments or orders establishing parent-child relationships can be issued before or after the child’s birth.

Previous California case law on surrogacy agreements had established the precedent that the parties’ procreative intent should determine the parent-child relationship in a surrogacy arrangement. See Johnson v. Calvert, 5 Cal.4th 84, 851 P.2d 776 (1993).

“The new Family Code language is an important step to ensure that surrogacy journeys are safe, secure and private,” says Scott Buckley, Esq., Director of Legal Services at Circle Surrogacy. “The new regulations also provide intended parents with greater flexibility in terms of how and when they can complete their parental rights and ensure that the court documents remain private. While the language only sets forth minimum requirements for a surrogacy journey, it is still an important step in protecting and legitimizing surrogacy.”

Buckley and Circle Surrogacy Chief Executive Officer, Doug Danzey, will speak at an informational group meeting on October 19, 2012 in Los Angeles. Joined by Dr. Vicken Sahakian, IVF Physician and Medical Director of Pacific Fertility Center- Los Angeles, the panelists will answer questions about the new law, and offer intended parents the opportunity to learn about the surrogacy process and its medical, legal, and financial aspects. Prospective parents will have an opportunity to hear advice, listen to personal stories from parents, and ask questions.

Over the years, as Circle Surrogacy has seen interest in surrogacy grow, the agency has worked to develop financial options to expand the availability of becoming a parent through surrogacy. Its exclusive Unlimited In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program with Pacific Fertility – Los Angeles offers a fixed cost for those looking to start a family through surrogacy. The comprehensive program covers screenings for egg donors, surrogates and intended parents, medications and monitoring. Intended parents will have unlimited attempts to have a child without additional costs. “We created this new IVF program to be a more financially viable option for couples and individuals who are exploring starting a family through surrogacy,” said John Weltman, President of Circle Surrogacy. “With so many variables in the surrogacy process, we hope this program provides parents with a cap to their costs, something most parents are looking for.” The plan will be one of the options available during the consultations while in California this October.

In addition to the informational session on October 19, prospective parents will have the opportunity to schedule individual consultations with Circle’s representatives in Los Angeles on October 20 and in San Diego on October 21.

“There is a fundamental need for reproduction alternatives like surrogacy and egg donation;” says Weltman, “these options allow a couple who remain childless try after try to be able to share their love with a child of their own. And we can make that happen.”

Circle’s staff regularly meets with prospective parents for free consultations in the United States and across the world, although many still conduct them by Skype, or in Boston and/or New York. The agency leads all intended parents through the logistical, legal and administrative processes involved from day one until they arrive home and gain full custody of their newborns. “Circle prides itself as a place that focuses on the long term best interests of the child, the surrogate and the intended parent(s),’” says Weltman. Prospective parents, surrogates and egg donors are thoroughly screened to ensure that all parties share the same values and commitment. Circle firmly believes that an open and honest approach results in a more rewarding journey.

About Circle Surrogacy

Circle Surrogacy is the oldest American surrogate and egg donor parenting agency serving clients worldwide. Since 1995, Circle Surrogacy has facilitated the birth of more than 600 babies and boasts unequaled success rates in helping clients becoming parents through egg donation and gestational surrogacy. Circle Surrogacy provides a choice of specialized clinics at locations throughout the United States as well as a large selection of egg donors, timely matching with carefully screened surrogates and a variety of flexible programs and financial options.