On June 20, 2003, Governor Perry signed House Bill 729 relating to gestational agreements. HB 729 amends the Texas Family Code by authorizing agreements between a gestational mother, her husband if she is married, and intended parents. These gestational agreements permit a gestational mother to relinquish all rights as a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction and provides for the intended parents to become the legal parents of the child. The following steps are typical in handling a Gestational Arrangement:
• Following the execution of the Gestational Agreement, entered into by the Intended Parents, the Gestational Mother and the Gestational Mother’s Husband, if she is married, the Court will validate the Gestational Agreement if all necessary documents, including a copy of the executed Gestational Agreement are filed with the Court. • Prior to the delivery of the child/ren, the Certified Order Validating the Gestational Agreement is mailed to the hospital where delivery will occur. The Certified Order Validating the Gestational Agreement declares that the Intended Parents are the parents of the child/ren born to the Gestational Mother. The Order also declares that the Intended Parents are to give medical consent for the child/ren, are to make any and all medical decisions in regards to the child/ren, and shall receive all medical records in regards to their child/ren.
• The hospital shall confirm with the Intended Parents and the Gestational Mother for which party is responsible for medical bills regarding the labor and delivery, post delivery and medical care for the child/ren. The hospital shall also confirm medical insurance coverage with the Intended Parents as well as the Gestational Mother.
• The delivering hospital will typically provide the Intended Parents with wrist bands, which allow them access to the delivery room, post delivery and to their child/ren after birth.
• The Gestational Arrangements are not typically on the same emotional level as an Adoption Plan. Therefore, the Intended Parents are, often times, given more accessibility to their child/ren.
• The child/ren will discharge with the Intended Parents separate from the Gestational Mother. Most hospitals will not require a Third Party Release. Although, there are a few that we have worked with in the past that require the Third Party Release to be signed before discharge.