Advances in modern science have made it possible for parents to have children despite medical or biological obstacles. However, the parentage of a child who is conceived through artificial insemination or with the assistance of a gestational surrogate can be somewhat complicated. This article takes a look into the relevant laws regarding parental rights of children conceived through assisted reproduction techniques.
Definition of Assisted Reproduction in Illinois
Under the Illinois Parentage Act (IPA), “assisted reproduction” is defined as “a method of achieving pregnancy through artificial insemination or an embryo transfer and includes gamete and embryo donation.” The definition of assisted reproduction explicitly excludes conception through sexual intercourse.
Who Is the Legal Parent of a Surrogate Child?
Section 703 of the IPA provides that “any individual who is an intended parent... is the legal parent of any resulting child.”
The IPA defines “intended parent” to mean “a person who enters into an assisted reproductive technology arrangement…under which he or she will be the legal parent of the resulting child.”
A “donor” is legally defined as “an individual who participates in an assisted reproductive technology arrangement by providing gametes and relinquishes all rights and responsibilities to the gametes so that another individual or individuals may become the legal parent or parents of any resulting child.”
This means that legal parentage is determined through the agreement of the participants of an assisted reproduction procedure: the person donating the biological means of reproduction, and the persons to whom the resulting child is assigned.
However, an intended parent or donor may withdraw their consent to participate in an assisted reproductive technology arrangement at any time before the artificial insemination or embryo transfer process begins. An effective withdrawal of consent results prevents an intended parent from becoming the resulting child’s legal parent.
Simply put, the parties providing the reproductive elements required to perform an assisted reproduction of a child can back out of the arrangement.
Parental Rights Under the Gestational Surrogacy Act
Assisted reproduction may also involve using the genetic material of parents to conceive a child who is carried through surrogate pregnancy.
Under Illinois’ Gestational Surrogacy Act, parentage can automatically result if the following criteria are satisfied:
- The gestational surrogate certifies that she did not provide a reproductive cell
- The surrogate affirms that she is carrying the child for the intended parents
- The spouse of the surrogate acknowledges that he or she did not provide a reproductive cell for the child
- The intended parents certify that at least one of them provided a reproductive cell to be carried by the surrogate
- A doctor certifies that the child was conceived from the biological material of one of the intended parents
- The attorneys for the intended parents and the surrogate affirm that the parties executed a surrogacy agreement
Comprehensive Legal Advice from the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C.
Under the leadership of Attorney Jonathan Merel, our team of legal professionals is prepared to advocate for you and your family’s rights when it comes to challenging family law issues in Illinois, including parental rights regarding children of assisted reproduction.
Are you serious about starting a family of your own through assisted reproduction techniques? You deserve a legal representative who can champion your legal rights when it comes to assisted born from assisted reproduction. We offer legal advice and advocacy based on compassion and a deep respect for your individual needs and the specific circumstances of your case.
Call us at (312) 487-2795 for more information about how the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. can help you.