Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan Attorneys At Law
Call 618-207-4137
888-628-8977 Toll Free

Surrogate keeps visitation rights, according to high court

In the state of Illinois and beyond, countless families face various family law issues every single day. Some are fairly straight forward and others are complex, while others still test the boundaries of the law completely. One child custody and visitation dispute that recently climbed the ranks of its state's court system exposed weakness in legislation around the country, and illustrates how a growing number of families may face similar legal issues.

The case in question involves two couples that were friends. One couple agreed to help the other have a baby, arranging for the wife to serve as the surrogate by being impregnated with the biological father's sperm. A contract noting the surrogate mother's forfeit of any custody or parental rights was agreed to by both parties and the woman was artificially inseminated.

However, the child custody dispute came about when the surrogate decided she wanted to retain rights to the child. The first judge to rule on the case found that, indeed, the surrogate mother’s parental rights could not be subject to such an agreement, and that the contract was null and void as a result. Later, another judge ruled that the biological father would have sole custody of the child, but that the surrogate should have regular visitation rights as well.

The biological father appealed that judgment, sending the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The validity of the original contract stands once more, as the state’s highest court found that it must be included for consideration in the case when it returns to trial in a lower court. The Supreme Court also ruled, however, that the surrogate’s parental rights may still be in place. 

Given the inconsistency on state surrogacy policies, this case may set precedence across the country.

Source:, “Supreme Court says surrogate birth contract enforceable,” Bruce Vielmetti, July 11, 2013

When you are ready to discuss your legal issue with an experienced Illinois lawyer, we will be here for you.

Email Us For A Response

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Johnson, Johnson, & NolanAttorneys At Law

Johnson, Johnson, & Nolan
11 South High Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Toll Free: 888-628-8977
Phone: 618-207-4137
Fax: 618-277-1184
Belleville Law Office Map