As a gestational surrogate or intended parent, one of the first issues that will be discussed is surrogacy agreements. These agreements are put into place to protect the interests of the gestational carrier and the intended parents throughout the surrogacy process and afterward. The difficulty is that laws vary from state to state, so there is no one consistent agreement that covers the parties nationwide. It’s up to your legal advisor, surrogacy agency and you to ensure all relevant contingencies are covered.
The main components of surrogacy agreements are the initial contract and the birth order. These two documents, along with the counsel of an attorney who specializes in surrogacy law will help to protect the legal interests of both the intended parents and gestational surrogate.
Surrogacy Contract should cover:
Medical decisions. State who will have final say in issues such as prenatal care, medical complications, selective reduction and anything else of a medical nature that may arise over the course of the pregnancy from conception through birth.
Parental rights. Include custody issues, future contact between the parties, who will be attending prenatal appointments and the delivery.
Health and life insurance coverage. Address everything that is covered by the IPs and surrogates’ insurance in this document so that nothing unexpected comes up later.
Financial considerations. Spell out the particulars of the gestational carrier’s compensation and expense reimbursement. Make sure lost wages, legal fees, child care and maternity clothes are also addressed in the contract.
This document allows for intended parents to have full parental rights by having their names listed on the child’s birth certificate. The ability to do this varies from state to state – sometimes county to county. Some county courts do grant prebirth parentage orders, but others only give post-parentage orders. Some will require a hearing to do so.
Legal factors to include:
- Informing the hospital staff the IPs are the parents of the infant.
- How the parents’ names will appear on the birth certificate.
- Note who will make decisions regarding the baby’s health.
- HIPAA waiver so the IPs can be kept abreast of your condition and the baby’s.
If you have questions about becoming a surrogate or working with a surrogate to create your family, or if you have concerns anywhere along your surrogacy journey, contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions today.