Nevada law makes the Silver State a great place to be a gestational carrier. Amended in 2012, N.R.S §126 provides strong statutory protections for both carriers and intended parents.
Nevada law now not only explicitly recognizes the validity of a gestational carrier agreement but requires a written agreement between the parties. Under the amended law, all gestational carrier agreements must include clear information to the carrier regarding her legal, financial and contractual rights including agreeing to the embryo transfer as well as surrendering legal and physical custody to the intended parents upon birth. Intended parents must now pay for all reasonable expenses, including, without limitation, medical, legal or other professional expenses, related to the gestational carrier arrangement and the gestational carrier agreement. Cost is now not a barrier to carriers receiving the legal and medical advice they need to make informed choices.
Gestational carrier agreements can be entered into between residents of and/or visitors to Nevada. Intended parents do not need to be Nevada residents — they can come from anywhere in the world. The amended law is neutral as to the marital status and/or sexual orientation of the intended parents. Additionally, parties to a gestational carrier arraignment can now petition family court for a pre-birth order establishing parentage — doing away with the trouble and additional expense of a post-birth adoption. A pre-birth order is especially important for intended parents from places where surrogacy is illegal or severely restricted.
Nevada law recognizes (and Nevada courts will enforce) that intended parents are the legally recognized parents of any resulting child the moment they entered into a gestational carrier arrangement. Intended parents cannot walk away or be excused from their legal and/or financial commitments to any resulting child should the pregnancy fail to go according to plan and/or the carrier violates certain terms of the agreement. Also, the amended law makes it clear that a gestational carrier will never be considered the legal parent of any resulting child simply by virtue of her participation in the arraignment.
These changes in the law are important and can benefit carriers greatly. Carriers are always encouraged to consult with a Nevada lawyer specializing in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in order to ensure that all their rights and interests are protected.
by Robert M. Tzall, Esq.
Robert would be happy to answer any questions if you email him at firstname.lastname@example.org