Technology, dads and fathers’ rights: surrogacy arrangements

In the area of family law, both in Georgia and nationally, issues often center around various parties’ rights in a number of contexts. Regarding children, their rights and needs are often a central consideration, with courts being guided by a “best interests” standard.

Of course, mom has rights. Increasingly, too, the rights of grandparents are coming into play, with some variations existing among the states concerning grandparent prerogatives in the family law arena, especially concerning custody and visitation matters.

And then there is of course the father, with the commonality of shared custody in recent years providing dads with a great deal more say and autonomy in many matters than was the case in bygone years.

One area in which some men — admittedly, not many, but with numbers slowly growing — are flexing their fathers’ rights muscles is in surrogacy. That is a process through which they can become single fathers through the paid participation of an egg donor and surrogate mother who will carry an implanted embryo to full term.

Commercial surrogacy, says a psychologist who does surrogacy-related counseling, has appeal for some men in cases where “they haven’t found a partner that they want to start a family with, they’re getting older and just don’t want to wait.”

Most people would likely know intuitively that commercial surrogacy isn’t something that should be entertained without a good deal of soul searching, advance research and understanding of what laws might apply.

Surrogacy laws, unsurprisingly, vary among states.

Although no law bars surrogacy in Georgia, any party contemplating such an avenue for pregnancy and parenthood might want to first speak candidly and confidentially with an experienced family law attorney and other relevant professionals.

Source: The Journal Times, “Via surrogacy, some men opt to become single dads,” Sept. 1, 2013

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