When Are Surrogacy Contracts Unenforceable?

Family Law Attorney

The legal processes of drafting and enforcing a surrogacy contract can be uniquely challenging for a few practical reasons. First, the surrogacy process in general is a deeply personal and inherently sensitive one. When parents enter into a binding legal agreement with a surrogate mother, the intimacy of this act can become overwhelming for all involved. A law firm understands exactly how challenging it can be to balance the emotional nature of surrogacy agreements with the practicalities tied to their legally binding realities.

Second, the area of surrogacy law is still evolving all over the country and all over the world. No two jurisdictions handle the legal side of surrogacy in exactly the same way. It is partially for this reason that it benefits every party directly affected by a surrogacy contract to speak with an attorney whenever they have questions or concerns. Because each legal system treats surrogacy contracts in nuanced ways, it is not generally a good idea to make assumptions regarding their construction, terms and enforcement without seeking experienced legal guidance.  

General Enforceability Concerns

While no two jurisdictions approach surrogacy contracts in the same way, all formal surrogacy agreements remain subject to the fundamental rules that govern contract law. For example, any contract may not be enforceable if it is drafted fraudulently, under threat or coercion, signed by parties lacking the capacity to legally enter into such an agreement or is otherwise illegal in nature. The same general rules of contract law that apply to all contracts apply to surrogacy contracts as well.

It is also worth noting that some jurisdictions have either no streamlined law related to the enforceability of surrogacy contracts or have declared all surrogacy contracts initiated in that state to be unenforceable under the law. This does not necessarily mean that parties to these contracts have no avenues for recourse in these states. But it does mean that enforcing surrogacy agreement terms can become particularly tricky in some jurisdictions.

Legal Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about surrogacy contracts, please consider scheduling a consultation with our firm today. Different states handle matters of surrogacy in various ways, so it is important not to assume that any “general rules” apply across the board. Similarly, if any individual involved in a surrogacy agreement is a citizen of a different country, a host of nuanced legal rules may apply to this scenario. In general, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced family law attorney before committing to any specific terms of a surrogacy contract. Similarly, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced family law attorney trusts before assuming that any existing agreement is or is not enforceable. If you have surrogacy-related concerns, please do not hesitate to connect with a law firm in order to receive the legal guidance and support you need right now.