A gestational carrier arrangement has replaced surrogacy as an effective way to grow a family. Because this is a cutting edge method, legislators and courts are still catching up. In Iowa, these arrangements are governed by the traditional statutes and case law. Gestational carriers and intended parents can utilize a gestational carrier agreement to make this happen. We help them navigate the law in Iowa to help families grow.
Gestational Carrier Agreement- A gestational carrier agreement in Iowa is the first step in the process. This lays out the terms between the gestational carrier, her husband, and the intended parent(s). When the birth is expected to be in Iowa, Iowa law should be considered and applied to the agreement. Once the agreement is signed, the gestational carrier can begin medical treatments.
Pre-Birth Order- Once the gestational carrier is pregnant, it may be helpful to petition the court for a pre-birth order. Because in Iowa there is no statute on point, the likelihood of being granted the pre-birth order depends on the judge.
Post-Birth Order- If a pre-birth order was obtained, a post-birth order may also pave the way with the Iowa Department of Public Health to name the Intended Mother as the “mother” on the birth certificate. The Goosmann Law Firm coordinates with the hospital and Department of Public Health to determine whether or not this will be needed.
Adoption Process- Whether or not a pre-birth order is obtained, we recommend completing the adoption process to cut off the rights and obligations between the gestational carrier and the child(ren). This applies even when there is no biological connection between the gestational carrier and the child(ren) due to the Iowa statute.
Summary- A birth mother is presumed to be a child’s legal mother in Iowa, regardless of a lack of biological link between her and the child. In addition, her spouse is presumed to be the father. Therefore, there are certain filings that need to be prepared in order for the Intended Mother to adopt the child.
- Gestational Carrier Agreement
- Pre-birth order
- Post-birth order
- Petition for adoption & termination of parental rights
- Consents to adoption
- Consents to jurisdiction and waiver of hearing
- Original notice and petition for termination
- Order appointing guardian ad litem for termination of parental rights
- Guardian ad litem’s consent to adoption
- Final decree of adoption