The surrogacy contract is one of the most important pieces of every surrogacy process. The contract guides the entire surrogacy journey, clearly outlining each party’s rights, roles, and responsibilities before, during, and after the pregnancy.
A surrogacy contract can be overwhelming to consider and understand, but is designed to protect everyone involved equally.
Here’s a look at what the contract should include, and how to ensure that you receive a good one.
What Should be Included in your Surrogacy Contract?
The basic principle of the contract is to prevent conflict in the event of potential circumstances that could arise from a surrogate situation. It is critical that your contract includes:
- Mutual agreement to number of embryos to be carried by the surrogate
- What should happen to the baby in event of injury or death of the intended parents
- Who will be present at the prenatal appointments and birth
- Lifestyle choices of the surrogate, typically including an agreement to avoid alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs during the course of the agreement
- Financial responsibility for medical bills earned as a direct result of the pregnancy
These are just a few of the common points that should be a part of the contract. It is important to remember that your contract can, and should, be catered to you. If something is very important to you, it should be noted in the agreement.
Who to Work with?
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to work not only with a lawyer for the drafting of your contract, but to work with a lawyer who specializes in fertility and reproductive laws. Reproductive law is managed on a state level, not a federal one, meaning the laws vary from state to state and are constantly changing. That’s why it is crucial to find a lawyer who is aware of these laws, in additional to having background in writing surrogacy contracts.
Understanding your Contract
Make sure you read over every page of your contract before signing it, and ask questions if you have any. This may be the first contract you’ve ever signed in your life. It is therefore completely normal to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by it, so asking questions is encouraged!
Don’t risk complicating this exciting time for you. The surrogacy contract is intended to protect both parties, and is the first step to a successful journey. Work hard on getting together a secure agreement with your lawyer or surrogacy agency.