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The problem of parental rights over a baby born via surrogacy

Surrogacy is becoming an increasingly common way to have children for couples and single people in the Atlanta area, yet surrogacy also raises considerable questions about who has rights over the child. Still a very small minority of individuals using surrogacy, single men hoping to become fathers need to both understand their parental rights, and how to protect them in case a birth mother or egg donor tries to fight for child custody. While it is not likely that they would do so, single fathers relying on surrogacy must do whatever they can to minimize those risks in order to preserve their families and the immense investment they have made to have children.

According to one for-profit surrogacy agency, the cost for a single child is between $125,000 and $150,000. For twins it is even higher. Not only do fathers have to pay for an egg donor, but they must also cover the surrogate mother's costs while she carries the baby. The cost is high, but for many fathers, it is worth it.

More than the cost of bringing a child into the world, the cost of losing the child in a custody battle would be too much for many single fathers in Georgia to bear. If a father doesn't work with a family law lawyer, he could risk losing the family he has worked hard to create.

There are a number of men in Atlanta and all over the country who know they want to be fathers but do not have a partner with which to raise a child. For some, adoption may not be an option, and so surrogacy may be the only option, but potential custody problems by poor legal planning is a huge risk to take.

Source: The Pioneer Press, “Via surrogacy, some men opt to become single dads,” David Crary, AP, Aug. 31, 2013

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