Iowa Supreme Court Rules to Enforce Gestational Surrogacy Contract

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Chantele and Paul Montover

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Linn County couple that used a surrogate to carry their child and sued after the surrogate refused to hand over the baby.

In a decision issued Friday morning, the court ruled to enforce the gestational surrogacy contract Paul and Chantele Montover signed in 2016 with a surrogate and her husband. It specified, “the surrogate mother and her husband, who, in exchange for future payments of up to $13,000 and medical expenses, agreed to have the surrogate mother impregnated with embryos fertilized with the plaintiff-father’s sperm and the ova (eggs) of an anonymous donor. The defendants agreed to deliver the baby at birth to the intended parents.”

The surrogate became pregnant with twins and during the pregnancy demanded additional payments. The Montovers say the relationship broke down and the surrogate cut off communication, even giving birth prematurely to twins without notifying the Montovers. One child passed away.

The Montovers sued to enforce the contract and gain custody of the child. A district court ruled in their favor, and established Paul Montover’s paternity. He was awarded permanent legal custody.

The gestational surrogate and her husband then appealed the ruling, which the Iowa Supreme Court has now affirmed.

Read the entire ruling here.

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