On November 23, 2015 the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the first Appellate level before a matter goes to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, issued an opinion confirming the lower Court’s decision and finding that a Gestational Carrier Agreement is enforceable in Pennsylvania.
This opinion came from a case which I have discussed in an earlier blog and which has been all over the news involving a TV personality. In that case she and her husband had obtained an egg from an anonymous donor which was then fertilized by the sperm of her husband. The embryo was transferred to a gestational carrier pursuant to a very detailed and specific Gestational Carrier Agreement. Mid way through the pregnancy the intended parents separated with the intention of divorcing. The intended mother at that point decided that since she had no genetic relationship with the child she should not be required to serve as the child’s mother, but rather the gestational carrier would be responsible.
After a trial the Court determined that but for the Agreement by and between the intended parents and the carrier, the child would never have been created. Additionally, based upon the statements and activities of the intended mother the Court found that she should be responsible for this child. The intended mother appealed this to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania which issued an opinion affirming the trial judge’s decision.
At this time we do not know if the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will be asked to review this. In the meantime, this now becomes the settled law in Pennsylvania.