Written by: Stefan Beuge, Esq
Florida, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Nevada (to name a few) all law requires a legal contract between a surrogate and a Commissioning Intended Parent(s). Like any other contract, a surrogacy contract describes each party’s rights and obligations and governs the relationship of the parties. An attorney for the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) will generally draft the surrogacy contract.
While it is not legally required for the Surrogate to have her own attorney, it is in all parties’ best interest for the Surrogate to have independent counsel. Even though the surrogacy journey is a joint effort that requires trust and cooperation, it is important to remember that an attorney for the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) represents the best interests of the Intended Parent(s). A Surrogate should therefore have her own attorney who will solely advocate for her interests. Industry standard dictates that the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) pay for the Surrogate’s lawyer of her choosing. Individual representation for the Surrogate and Commissioning Intended Parent(s) ensures that all parties are equally advised and protected and helps avoid future miscommunication, uncertainties, and disputes.
Surrogacy contracts outline all known aspects of the journey and account for unanticipated events. Some important factors addressed by the contract include how the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) will pay the Surrogate’s living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses that are directly related to the pregnancy. It also details how the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) will cover the Surrogate’s medical insurance. The agreement further describes how and when the transfer of the embryo will occur. The location of delivery and the Commissioning Intended Parent(s)’s presence during doctor’s visits and delivery are also identified in the contract.
Importantly, the surrogacy contract formalizes how the Surrogate relinquishes her rights and how the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) will assume the parental rights and responsibilities for the child, in addition to establishing the post-childbirth relationship between the Commissioning Intended Parent(s) and the Surrogate. These can be sensitive topics and may require further discussions, information, and explanations. An experienced surrogacy attorney will thoroughly review the contract with the Surrogate and clarify any questions that she may have to ensure a complete understanding of the contract. Certain terms of the agreement may be particularly important to a Surrogate. A surrogacy attorney will advocate on behalf of the Surrogate and negotiate the terms of the contract with her best interests in mind.
Once the parties are in agreement, then the journey can begin with comfort and confidence.
When choosing to work with Surrogate Solutions, they will always ensure a Surrogate has legal counsel that is knowledgeable of the industry and their rights and someone who will also be there to advocate for the Surrogate and her needs and wants. Surrogate Solutions refers each Surrogate to an Attorney who practices law in their State. Each contract is drafted in the state where a child will be born and we never recommend a Surrogate go through surrogacy without the legal documents in place. Reach out to our team, we are happy to share more with you.