Pre-Birth Order: Dropping the ‘intended’ and becoming ‘PARENTS’

25 weeks… 

In all of my posts thus far, I have referred to the folks receiving this gestational surrogate baby as ‘intended parents‘. Welllllll….Last week we started the motion- the pre-birth order- to assign them as the official legal parents once this baby is born!!

Another one of the most common questions I am asked is do I ever want to keep the baby (absolutely not), or what happens if the intended parents decide they don’t want to keep the baby (even less likely than me wanting to keep it). This is also discussed during the initial interview process when selecting/matching potential carriers to intended parents. And I know it is consistently a niggling thought in the back of the intended parents’ minds through the process, which is completely understandable.

As with any other legal step in this process, the necessity, timing, and parameters of the pre-birth order are dependent on the laws of your county and state (specifically the county in which you opt to file, which subsequently does not have to be your own). The ultimate goal (for me, anyway) is to avoid court once the baby is born. In my mind, these families have already been through so much emotionally, physically, and legally. The only thing they should be worried about after the baby is born is who is going to take the night feedings.

But to give the intended parents some piece of mind, the pre-birth order is filed by their attorney (remember, each party has their own) after month 4. They are essentially asking the gestational carrier to surrender all legal rights and claims to the baby. The carrier and IPs sign each of the documents and have them notarized. There are additional forms signed by the doctor at the fertility clinic. Then the attorney petitions the county/state chosen for the filing. This gets a little tricky because, as I mentioned, the laws vary based on location. For folks who don’t mind attending court after birth, it is less important to choose a specific county, or one outside your own at all. In our case it is critical because, again, we do not want to go to court; I waived my right to a hearing altogether. So although the pre-birth order isn’t legally in effect until birth, because of it, when the baby is born, the first faces she will see after the doctor and nurses are those of her legal PARENTS.

This process is a huge box checked off on their journey to becoming parents. On this week of giving Thanks, we are one week and one major step closer to the magical end of this leg of journey, so stay tuned while my family grows another…

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