New Jersey’s famous Baby M case involving a paid surrogate who refused to relinquish rights to the child after birth has profoundly impacted how surrogacy operates in New Jersey. For same-sex male couples in which one man is genetically related to the child, the non-genetically related partner must pursue second-parent adoption to ensure legal parent status.
If neither partner is genetically related to the child, if the couple used both donor sperm and a donor egg, for example, then generally both parents will need to go through the adoption process.
Careful consideration to legal planning is vital for a successful surrogacy relationship. Above all, be sure that both you and your intended surrogate have adequate and separate legal counsel to ensure contracts are fair and enforceable.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.