IPs will ask about this particular issue from time to time : What if the GC wants to keep the baby?
We talk with them about how rare it is, especially when it concerns gestational (and not traditional) surrogacy, and that the agreements are written to prevent this from happening. They still worry about it, despite our assurances that this has never happened with our agency, and that the attorneys we refer our clients to are all exceptionally knowledgeable about surrogacy laws pertaining to the states in which they practice.
Emotions in the surrogacy community were quickly rattled when an Iowa surrogate brought her case to the state Supreme Court a couple of years ago to keep the baby she was carrying for her IPs, the legally and contractually recognized parents of the offspring. In February, the Court agreed with the IPs and said that the parties entered into the surrogacy agreement voluntarily, and the gestational carrier did not allege she signed it under economic duress.
In May of this year, she appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Sates, who just declined to hear the case. This is great news for not only our Iowa IPs and GCs, but sets a precedent for possible future appeals to SCOTUS challenging the enforceability of surrogacy agreements. Thankfully the Iowa Supreme Court ruling stands, rendering surrogacy contracts as legal and enforceable.
Advances in state laws pertaining to surrogacy have been remarkably positive in recent months, and we hope the trend continues. It should be up to the willing participants who wish to build their families – and those who wish to help them do so – to enter into an enforceable agreement that cannot be challenged or nullified by outside sources.