The state of Texas is what’s known as a “surrogacy- friendly state.” Because of its Texas location, Simple Surrogacy can offer surrogate mothers and intended parents many advantages when they choose it over a surrogacy agency from another state. Here is what you, as a prospective surrogate mother, need to know about surrogacy in Texas.
Gestational Surrogacy Contracts Are Enforceable by Law in Texas
Under the Texas Family Code, signed into law in 2003, surrogacy contracts between a gestational surrogate mother and intended parents are legal and can be enforced by law. When a contract for gestational surrogacy is approved, a judicial order is triggered that says only the intended parents’ names will be listed on the child’s birth certificate once he or she is born. There are some important points to note about gestational surrogacy contracts in Texas:
Gestational surrogacy contracts only apply in Texas when the intended parents are a married couple (single persons may still arrange surrogacy in Texas, but their legal process differs slightly)
Gestational surrogacy contracts in Texas are enforceable only if they are entered into at least 14 days before an embryo is implanted into the surrogate mother.
The gestational surrogacy contract only covers gestational surrogacy, not traditional surrogacy (traditional surrogacy being when the surrogate mother is the biological mother of the embryo).
Intended parents may use their own sperm and/or egg and/or that of donor(s) under a gestational surrogacy contract.
A surrogate mother cannot use her own eggs under a gestational surrogacy contract (as this would make it a traditional surrogacy).
A surrogate mother may be compensated for financial expenses under a gestational surrogacy contract (we will discuss this further below).
The gestational surrogacy contract applies if either the intended parents or the surrogate mother lives in Texas – both parties do not have to reside in the state.
The surrogate mother must have already had at least one successful live birth.
The surrogate mother has control of her and the baby’s health and all medical decisions and issues during the pregnancy.
Intended Parents must have a medical reason for needing surrogacy or be a same-sex couple who cannot have a child on their own.
Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mother in Texas
If you are thinking of becoming a surrogate mother in Texas, you should know that there are some requirements you must fulfill. These include:
You must pass a medical screening process. Depending upon the agency, this involves being in a healthy BMI range (your BMI must be under 33), being smoke- and drug-free, agreeing not to drink alcohol during the pregnancy, and having a previous successful live birth.
You must pass a psychological exam to ensure that you can withstand the emotional and mental stresses involved in the surrogacy process. At Simple Surrogacy, this includes not having a psychiatric diagnosis and not taking medication for anxiety or depression.
You must pass a background screening.
You must meet all legal requirements, including being a permanent legal resident of the United States.
You must meet certain age requirements. At Simple Surrogacy, Texas surrogate mothers must be between the ages of 21 and 40.
You must not be receiving public assistance.
You must not have traveled to a country affected by Zika virus for the past 12 months.
You must not have any Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or communicable diseases.
Compensation for Surrogate Mothers in Texas
One of the advantages you, a prospective surrogate mother, have if you choose to work in Texas is that your compensation is protected under a contract. All surrogacy agencies handle this differently. At Simple Surrogacy, for example, your compensation will be held in a bonded escrow account. This agency pays first-time surrogate mothers $35,000 if they have health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance, the agency pays you $30,000 and the intended parents must pay for your health insurance policy. Experienced surrogate mothers receive from $45,000 and up as compensation, and may receive even more than that if you have had at least two successful surrogacies.
In addition to your compensation, all of your expenses will be paid. At Simple Surrogacy, these include (but are not limited to) a monthly allowance, embryo transfer fee, maternal clothing allowance, invasive procedure fee, life insurance, estate planning documents, and an annual Surrogate Retreat. You may also be reimbursed for lost wages, meal and travel allowances, bed rest compensation, housekeeping if you are carrying multiples, and child care for your existing children. There are many other contingencies for which you may be compensated at Simple Surrogacy, and some of them are listed here.
Texas Offers High-Quality Medical Care
Another reason to consider becoming a surrogate mother in Texas is the state’s well-known and high-quality medical care facilities. There are renowned in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics across the state, including (but not limited to):
Fertility Specialists of Texas
Texas Fertility Center, in Austin, Round Rock, New Braunfels and San Antonio
Legal Process is Easier for Surrogate Mothers in Texas
Because of the Texas Family Code, most surrogate mothers never have to appear in court at all when finalizing a gestational surrogacy contract. You will review the contracts with lawyers and have much input into drafting the contract. As soon as you agree to and sign the gestational surrogacy contract in Texas, you are acknowledging that you have no parental or legal rights to the child, and that the intended parents will be the child’s legal parents upon its birth. This negates the need for any pre-birth orders or post-birth adoption orders, and is one of the reasons why the gestational surrogacy process tends to run so smoothly in Texas.
For intended parents and/or surrogate mothers living in Texas, Simple Surrogacy offers the Legal Included Program. This program covers the fees of the drafting of the legal Surrogacy Contract.
If you are considering becoming a surrogate mother in Texas, don’t hesitate to contact Simple Surrogacy with your questions or concerns today!
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