If someone approached you about being a surrogate for their child, you might have mixed feelings. On one hand, it could be a tremendous act of selfless love to provide a child for a couple who cannot have one on their own. On the other hand, you might be worried about the legal consequences of surrogacy. You might be wondering whether there’s a possibility that you could be on the hook for child support down the road.
California surrogacy law
There is a clear procedure that California courts follow in surrogacy cases. If you agree to be a surrogate, you will not be responsible for child support in the future.
Once you and the child’s future parents properly execute an assisted reproduction agreement for gestational carriers, the court will file an order establishing legal parentage of the child in favor of the couple for whom you are a surrogate. Once that happens, then you as the surrogate – as well as your spouse, if you have one – will be released of all parental rights and duties.
Parental rights and duties
Parental rights and duties go together. The court revokes your parental rights and duties in order to protect you as the surrogate, as well as the intended parents.
When the court releases you from parental rights, it means that you will not be able to bring a legal action for custody of the child, and you won’t be able to get joint custody or visitation either.
When the court releases you from parental duties, it means that the child’s legal parents won’t be able to bring an action to force you to pay child support. In other words, the court forever releases you from all of the benefits and responsibilities of parentage to the child.
There are many considerations you must take into account when deciding whether to become a surrogate for someone else. You may rest assured that being responsible for child support won’t be an issue for you.