The April 28-May 11, 2010 issue of Indiana Lawyer includes a FOCUS section on Family Law. One of the featured articles is titled “Surrogacy Law at a Crossroads” and discusses the evolving area of surrogacy law in Indiana. The article focuses on the recent Indiana Court of Appeals ruling in In the Matter of the Paternity and Maternity of Infant R., No. 64A03-0908-JV-367. The case came about as a result of a trial court’s denial of an agreed petition to establish paternity and maternity in a case where a couple’s biological child was born to a surrogate, who was a carrier only. Indiana law presumes that the mother delivering the child is the biological mother, and the state’s current statutes do not provide a remedy for biological mothers to assert maternity in cases where their biological children are born to surrogates. The case highlights the antiquated nature of the state’s current paternity laws, which were crafted prior to in vitro fertilization and medical advances which have made surrogacy a growing practice. In her interview, Michele stated ‘”The case clearly identifies the rights of biological mothers that use a gestational surrogate to establish their maternity in a child…consistent with a father’s rights in establishing paternity.”‘ To read the article in its entirety and more of Michele’s interview, visit the Indiana Lawyer website Indiana Lawyer.
While the state statutes still do not allow for enforceability of surrogacy contracts, the recent COA decision is a leap forward in acknowledging the demand for surrogacy services in Indiana and will hopefully lead to legislative changes to establish clear procedures and protect parties who wish to pursue surrogacy.
Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson offers legal services for individuals and couples exploring egg donation and gestational surrogacy agreements. Contact our office at 317-569-0770 for more information.