Surrogacy can be a life-changing gift. It is a beautiful way to help others enjoy the blessings of parenthood. It can be a great solution for those struggling to become parents.

The Law Center has been handling surrogacies for over 20 years. One of the firm’s founders, Lynn J. Bodi, is a national leader in this area of law, having co-founded and operated a surrogacy coordinating program for 15 years before selling it in 2017. She has also helped to draft proposed legislation for surrogacy in Wisconsin and a national ethics code for surrogacy and adoption lawyers. She has also acted as an expert witness in a Wisconsin Supreme Court case addressing health insurance coverage for surrogates. We are very proud of Lynn’s leadership in this area of law. Her work as a surrogacy lawyer has been instrumental for many couples as they begin their surrogacy journey. 

Surrogacy law can be complex, but is critical to understand for a surrogate in Wisconsin. Our surrogacy team, led by Lynn, has the qualifications and experience to handle these cases. The surrogacy process can vary from state to state, and our team is exceptional via their specific understanding of Wisconsin surrogacy laws. We have been involved in hundreds of surrogacy cases, representing and advising intended parents, surrogates, coordinating programs, hospitals, and fertility clinics. Surrogacy may occur via an egg donor, or sperm donor, especially in cases where the intended parents are a same sex couple. Sometimes this planned host pregnancy may occur via embryo transfer as well. With lots of moving parts at play here, we understand the importance of timeliness, precision, and compassion in these cases. To meet the medical deadlines in these cases, we have multiple attorneys backing up Lynn, including Emily Dudak Leiter.

We offer free and timely initial consultations in this area of law and can help answer the following questions about surrogacy in Wisconsin:

  • Is surrogacy legal in Wisconsin?
  • I would like to help another family have a child through surrogacy. How do I get started?
  • Do the intended parents have to be the genetic parents?
  • Can an unmarried person become a parent through surrogacy?
  • We think we have matched with a surrogate. What is next?
  • What should we plan for in the Surrogacy Agreement?
  • Is the Surrogacy Agreement enforceable?
  • What if the intended parents live in another state or country?
  • How are the insurance issues handled?
  • How do we make sure that the baby has the intended parents on his or her birth certificate?
  • How do we make sure that the surrogate is not responsible for child support?
  • What if the surrogate changes her mind and wants to keep the baby?

The following is a basic timeline for a gestational surrogacy case:

  • Carrier and intended parent or parents are matched (either on their own or through a coordinating program)
  • Medical clearance of carrier
  • Psychological evaluations and counseling
  • All parties retain attorneys
  • Review of carrier’s health insurance policy to determine whether maternity care provisions attempt to exclude surrogate pregnancies
  • Surrogacy Agreement is drafted, revised, and signed
  • Legal clearance is sent to fertility clinic
  • Embryo transfer(s)
  • Conception/confirmation of pregnancy
  • Parentage pleadings are filed with the Wisconsin court pre-birth
  • Hearing date is scheduled pre- or post-birth, depending on the facts
  • Parentage hearing is held in-person or by video (may also occur after the child is born)
  • Interim parentage order may be issued, in addition to pre-birth orders
  • Child is born
  • If successful, the final parentage order is signed (without another hearing) and a revised birth certificate with the intended parent’s or parents’ names is obtained from Wisconsin Vital Records
  • International clients – apostille requests sent to Wisconsin Secretary of State

When working with a gestational carrier who is not from the United States of America, you will need an international surrogacy attorney. Foreign gestational surrogates may have to navigate case laws in their home country that require special attention. That being said, our team at the Law Center of Wisconsin has substantial experience in international surrogacy arrangements, as well.  For more information, click here.

Photos on this page are copyrighted by Natural Intuition Photography, Madison, WI, All Rights Reserved, 2020.