Parentage Orders

In Ohio, parties to Gestational Carrier Agreements must seek an order from a court in one of our 88 counties to establish legal parentage.

Establishing The Parentage Of Your Child

The process for securing a birth order in a timely fashion relies upon a good relationship with the court and its personnel. With decades of experience, we are familiar with the process and understand the various court systems. The courts want to help people. They also want to uphold the law. Our lawyers know how to find solutions that work for everyone, even in the most unusual situations.

In Ohio, there are no statutes regarding surrogacy specifically, so every county must determine the process they will use to determine parentage. These cases are generally approached in one of two ways:

  • Probate court: In some counties, surrogacy is treated as an action for declaratory judgment that results in the creation of the initial birth certificate in the names of the intended parents.
  • Juvenile court: In some counties, surrogacy is treated as a parentage action using a complaint to establish maternity and/or paternity. Again, the initial birth certificate is created in the names of the intended parents.

Pleadings And Timing

We generally begin working on birth orders around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy. We draft the pleadings, working with the intended parent(s), gestational carrier or her attorney, and the fertility doctor. For international clients, we also coordinate with local counsel to make sure you obtain the documents necessary for your return home. This may include an additional post-birth order, apostilles, and multiple birth certificates.

In most Ohio courts, hearings and DNA testing are generally not required so long as there is an affidavit from the fertility physician who gives a professional opinion as to the genetic relationship of the child and the intended parent(s) and the gestational carrier. Court orders can generally be obtained prior to birth.

In Illinois, a birth order establishing a parent-child relationship is not required so long as the Illinois statutory requirements have been satisfied.