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Five Tips to Prepare for Your Parentage Action


Five Tips to Prepare for Your Parentage Action:

Congratulations on signing a contract with a surrogate! What are the next steps in your journey to becoming parents? The advice on what PS you will take will vary depending on where your child will be born and what State you will pursue your parentage in. However, the following five steps should help you in any journey in all States:
  1. Use Your Legal Name: Ensure your attorney knows your full legal name. It's common for people to use nicknames without informing their attorney that their legal name, as stated on their driver's license and passport, differs from the one they use daily. Ensuring your Court order matches the name on your government-issued identification when you arrive at the hospital is crucial. Subsequently, use your full legal name on any documents for your child's birth certificate
  2. Understand What a Parentage Action is Meant to Do:  A Parentage action establishes your status as the parent of a child born through surrogacy. The Court requires help connecting the "dots" between your surrogacy contract and the child being born. Typically, your attorney will obtain a letter from the fertility clinic confirming that the embryo transfer aligns with the expected due date for this child. Additionally, you must provide evidence to the Court that a surrogacy contract was signed by the parties involved and filed with the Court."
  3. Prove Your Identity:  It's crucial to verify that the individuals who signed the contract are real people and are the same individuals appearing before the Court. While not all Courts mandate notarizing agreements, it's advisable to have contracts notarized. We understand that obtaining notarization may take work. Still, a notary is the quickest means to confirm the signatory's identity.
  4. Keep Track of Your Original Contract:  While not all Courts insist on receiving the original contract, some do. Even if the Court you're dealing with doesn't require the original signed contract, it's wise to keep it indefinitely. This document played a crucial role in enabling you to have a child. Determining the best time to dispose of it in the future is something other than what I, as an attorney, can accurately predict. We can adhere to appeal deadlines, statutes of limitations, and other time constraints. Still, the safest advice is to retain it for your child's minority. If the Court maintains the original, keep copies of the contract and all court documents.
  5. Be Available and Timely:  Your attorney will provide a timeline for your parentage action tailored to the specific State and Court you're dealing with. It's crucial not to overlook these deadlines—they're not suggestions but necessities. Sufficient time is required to process your case; in some jurisdictions, Court proceedings can be slow. Remember, the Judge handling your case is also handling numerous other matters. If your matter is not contested, it may not be at the top of their priority list. Avoid making things more challenging for your attorney. Your attorney is there to assist you. You are the best asset they have in achieving that goal.
In conclusion, navigating the legal intricacies of parentage actions and surrogacy contracts requires diligence and attention to detail. Ensuring your attorney is aware of your full legal name, verifying identities, notarizing agreements where possible, and preserving important documents are all crucial steps in this process. Additionally, adhering to timelines and deadlines set by the Court is essential for a smooth resolution. By actively participating in the process and being available to assist your attorney, you can help facilitate a successful outcome and confidently secure your parental rights.