Top 10 Tips for Finding an LGBT Friendly Surrogacy Attorney
We were inspired by this great blog post over at Creating A Family’s Blog, Ten Tips for Finding a LGBTQ Friendly Adoption Agency or Attorney, so we decided to do our own surrogacy-based version. Here’s what you need to know when selecting an LGBTQ friendly surrogacy attorney:
Look over the attorney’s website. You will want to see an LGBTQ friendly website. Do they have a specific reference to providing services to the LGBTQ community? Do they have photos of same-sex couples? Do they display the Pride flag? All of these are good signals of an LGBTQ friendly legal team.
In your first conversation with any prospective attorney, state that you are a member of the LGBTQ community and gauge their reaction.
Ask to see their intake forms. Do they use LGBTQ friendly language, such as “Parent”,
“Spouse”, or “Mother A” and “Mother B”? Or does their terminology assume that every client is a cis-gendered straight couple?
Ask if they have previously worked with families that look like yours. Ask them to explain how the legal process is different for a family like yours.
Network with other LGBTQ couples, in-person or on the internet, and seek recommendations on surrogacy lawyers they used. Facebook and Reddit both have online support groups that are friendly to same-sex and transgender intended parents.
Has the attorney formally agreed to support LGBTQ families? For example, GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders) offers the Pledge to Uphold the Standards for LGBT Families? The attorney on Colorado Surrogacy’s staff has signed this pledge.
Ask the attorney to mail you some information. Similar to the website, does the printed material show inclusivity toward LGBTQ parents and their children?
Talk to others who have used this surrogacy attorney. Was the attorney knowledgeable about the special needs of other LGBTQ clients?
Ask if there are any additional hoops that LGBTQ intended parents need to jump through. If yes, are these requirements based on actual legal concerns or does the attorney selectively impose these hoops only on LGBTQ families. There are in fact legitimate extra steps that same-sex couples may have to take, but these should always be based on actual legal requirements.
Trust your gut. As a member of the LGBTQ community, you probably have faced discrimination in your own life and know how to sense underlying negative feelings toward your community. If your conversations with a particular attorney just don’t feel right, then go with your gut feelings.