"The minute we had a conference call, I knew she was the one to help me with my assisted reproduction legal issues. She has explained the process of how the court system works, initial contracts, revised contracts, final drafts, pre-birth orders and continued to be there when needed. She has been trustworthy, honest and responsible in handling our paperwork and guiding our path towards parenthood. There are no words to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation. Thank you for everything you have done."
"My husband and I had the pleasure of working with Ellen on our contract so that I could become a carrier for our family friends. We felt so fortunate to have a thorough, respectful, and available attorney looking out for our best interests. Thanks to Ellen, we were able to enter the agreement and this amazing process with much less anxiety."
Expanding your family through assisted reproductive technology is always an exciting experience, but it can also be very emotional and exhausting. It is imperative that you choose an attorney who will listen carefully to you and who is sensitive to the experience you and your family are going through. It is important to choose an attorney with experience in assisted reproduction issues. Ellen has represented hundreds donors, intended parents, and gestational carriers. Ellen listens to your concerns and ensures that your contract reflects them.
Legal Procedure in Gestational Carrier Cases
Texas is considered one of the statutorily "surrogacy-friendly" states in the United States. It is important to use an attorney who is familiar with the legal process, which generally consists of:
The parties must negotiate and enter into a written agreement (each represented by their own independent legal counsel). This written agreement must be executed 14 days prior to transfer.
Following a confirmed pregnancy, one of the parties (typically the intended parents) files a Petition to Validate a Gestational Agreement with the Court. The agreed upon Agreement should be attached to this Petition.**
Once the Court deems the Agreement to be valid, the judge signs what is commonly known in practice as the "Pre-Birth Order" validating the Agreement. This Pre-Birth Order accomplishes a number of things. It establishes the intended parents as the legal parents of any child or children born pursuant to the Gestational Agreement and orders the hospital and the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to name the intended parents on the birth certificate.
The intended parents must file a Notice of Birth within 300 days of the procedure.
At the same time the intended parents file the Notice of Birth, they also obtain a Final Order confirming the parentage of the intended parents.
**Pursuant to Section 160.754 of the Texas Family Code, surrogacy agreements may be validated by Courts provided that:
1. If there are two intended parents, they are legally married.
2. The intended parents can show that they have a medical need to use a gestational surrogate.
3. A donor egg or the egg of the intended mother is used, not the gestational surrogate's egg.
4. The gestational surrogate must have previously successfully given birth and giving birth again would not pose a risk to her health.
The Law Office of Ellen Rubenstein, PLLC drafts and negotiates gestational carrier agreements; obtains pre-birth orders and validates gestational carrier agreements by Texas Courts; drafts and files the required birth notice, and obtains the final order.
Egg or Embryo Donation Agreement
Whether you already have a known donor, are looking for an agency or lawyer with whom to work, or simply do not know where to begin, Ellen may be able to help you through the process of drafting and reviewing your egg or embryo donation agreement. She has experience drafting, negotiating, and reviewing egg and embryo donation contracts.
Furthermore, it is crucial for the donors to have their own independent legal counsel to review their agreement. Ellen understands that each situation is different and each agreement needs to be tailored to fit both the donor's and intended parents' needs. She is here to listen to your individual concerns and make sure your agreement reflects them.
Birth Record Amendments
Ellen Rubenstein also has experience amending birth records for intended parents. In many cases, children born abroad are issued Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) with only one intended parent's name listed. These CRBAs may be amended to include both parents' names. However, it is important to note that adding a parent's name to this birth record does not create parental rights. A full adoption is typically advised in addition to amending the birth record.
Main Office (Mailing):
10497 Town & Country Way
Houston, Texas 77024
(by appointment only):
9442 Capital of Texas Highway North
Arboretum Plaza One Suite 500
Austin, Texas 78759
Phone / Fax:
512.988.7119 / 866.657.8605
Legal Disclaimer: This website contains general information about legal matters. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from an attorney or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult an attorney or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website. Reading the content of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.