Surrogacy & Assisted Reproduction

New Family-Building Options: Gestational Surrogacy and Sperm or Egg Donation
Having a family is one of the special joys afforded to many people in life. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that one in five couples is unable to experience this joy due to problems beyond their control and the control of medical professionals.

Adoption is one option for prospective parents to consider, but many people prefer to consider options that could allow them to have a child through surrogacy or assisted reproduction. Having a child with the help of a surrogate can help fulfill your dreams of having a family. Unlike other methods of creating a family, the process of using a gestational surrogate can allow your child to have biological ties to one or possibly both parents (depending on whether in vitro fertilization is used).

When considering surrogacy or another assisted reproduction technique, however, it is essential to understand that there are legal consequences to your choices. It is unwise to handle this through an informal agreement – or no agreement.

Without legal advice, your child’s legal parentage could be in question. Donors or surrogate carriers could have parental rights and responsibilities, or you could lack parental rights to your child. In order to protect yourself, your child and your family, contact a lawyer experienced in assisted reproduction and surrogacy law for advice.

Attorney Mary Catherine Barrett is knowledgeable and competent in the field of surrogacy law. She represents both prospective parents and women who are interested in becoming gestational surrogates in Ohio, across the United States, and worldwide:


  • Arranging surrogacies

  • Writing and reviewing ovum (egg) donation contracts

  • Handling egg donation issues, including donor consent, parental rights and of use egg donation in surrogacy

  • Sperm donation issues, including donor consent and parental rights

  • Embryo donation and “snowflake adoption”

  • Surrogacy for single parents

  • Surrogacy for same-sex parents, including obtaining legal rights for both parents

  • Birth orders and obtaining legally valid birth certificates


An Attorney with 17 Years of Experience in Surrogacy and Complex Reproductive Law

As a lawyer involved in reproductive technology and surrogacy law, Mary Catherine Barrett has been developing and revising surrogacy contracts for more than 15 years, incorporating changes as the law has changed.

Mary Catherine’s background in surrogacy law began in California in 1992, working with Noel Keane, “the father of surrogate parenting.” She handled a precedent-setting case in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in which an intended was named the legal mother in a relationship that involved an ovum donor and a gestational surrogate.

Our firm has never had a surrogacy relationship become contested. For the welfare of both the adoptive parents and the surrogate mother, we carefully screen all prospective mothers to ensure they meet our criteria and follow our process.

If you are considering growing your family with the help of a gestational surrogate, or if you are interested in becoming a surrogate, we invite you to contact our law office for an informational meeting to review all of the options to grow your family or become a gestational surrogacy or ovum donor. We would be happy to discuss surrogate parenting or other assisted reproduction options with you.

Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central time (U.S.), with additional hours available by appointment. We can also accommodate home meetings for local clients or others whose situation requires it.