Houston Assisted Reproduction Lawyers
Decades of Experience Helping Texans in Assisted Reproduction and Surrogacy Cases
Parents who wish to have children but lack the ability to do so often turn to assisted reproduction or surrogacy. These methods enable parents to welcome a child into their life and have a family. If you're considering assisted reproduction or surrogacy, understanding how these processes work in Texas can help you choose the right method for your family. Our Houston surrogacy attorneys can help defend your rights and work with you to expand your family.
How Does Assisted Reproduction Work?
There are several different popular methods of assisted reproduction that prospective parents can use in Texas:
- In-vitro fertilization (IVF). One of the most commonly known methods of assisted reproduction, in IVF, a woman undergoes hormone treatment to produce multiple eggs, which are then transferred to a laboratory for fertilization. If an embryo forms, it is then placed in the woman's uterus, hopefully instigating a successful pregnancy.
- Artificial insemination (IUI). During artificial insemination, a male partner's or donor's sperm is placed into a woman's uterus before ovulation, hopefully stimulating a pregnancy.
- Ovulation induction (OI). OI treatments can help a woman who does not ovulate or ovulates irregularly have a better chance at pregnancy.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI is used like IVF, but focuses on injecting a male partner's sperm into each egg to eliminate sperm issues.
- Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI). Assisted reproduction professionals use IMSI to select ideal sperm for injection during the IVF process, overcoming sperm-related issues.
Prospective parents may also wish to use donor sperm, eggs, or embryos to overcome more serious issues related to one individual's sperm or eggs.
If an unmarried woman uses assisted reproduction to achieve conception, the child has no legal father unless parentage can be established. However, if a woman uses assisted reproduction to achieve conception with her husband, the husband will be the child's legal father.
Understanding Surrogacy Laws in Texas
Although surrogacy is technically a form of assisted reproduction, many people separate it since the surrogacy process often differs drastically from other forms of assisted reproduction.
The most common type of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy, in which an embryo created using IVF is then implanted in a surrogate mother who carries the pregnancy to term. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother does not have any biological connection to the child.
Under Texas Family Code, gestational surrogacy is legal if the gestational mother, her husband (if she's married), and the intended parents and donors all consent to the gestational surrogacy.
To engage in gestational surrogacy, a Texas family law court must validate a gestational agreement drafted by the parties involved in the surrogacy. If a court fails to validate the agreement, the gestational surrogate (and her partner, if she has one) will have parental rights over the resulting child.
Sometimes, parents want to use traditional surrogacy. In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother's eggs are used to achieve conception, often with the sperm of a male donor.
Texas does not have statutes governing traditional surrogacy. Suppose a child's genetic father and his partner wish to obtain parental rights of a child conceived through traditional surrogacy. In that case, the surrogate mother (and her partner, if married) must execute an affidavit acknowledging paternity. They can then relinquish their parental rights, allowing the genetic father and his partner to file for the termination of the surrogate's rights and legally adopt the child.
At Diggs & Sadler, our Houston assisted reproduction and surrogacy attorneys can help you bring your family together.
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