Important Considerations for Your Gestational Surrogacy Contract as a Surrogate
If you’re on your way to becoming a surrogate, you already know there’s a lot involved in the process. Surrogacy requires a team of support, medical experts, and legal counsel to make everything go smoothly. The legal side of surrogacy may get overlooked among the excitement but making sure you are safe and legally taken care of is a critical part of the process. Back in the early history of surrogacy, surrogates were not protected and not compensated. Even if your motivations are entirely altruistic, a standard practice of respect needs to be set for all surrogates. You’re giving up a large part of your life, usually up to two years, and going through emotional and physical trials; you deserve to be valued appropriately. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate in Colorado and need some guidance, Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado is here for you. Surrogacy is never a journey you have to face alone, and even when working with a surrogacy agency, some surrogates feel on their own. We work hard to take complete care of our surrogates and ensure they are safe, comfortable, and advocated for. We’re here for you from the very beginning and through postpartum. The legal aspects of the surrogacy process can be overwhelming, but we’ll walk you through the entire process, assuring you have proper legal counsel to represent you. A Surrogacy contract is the best way to legally protect the surrogate and the baby and the intended parents. The idea of signing a contract can feel overwhelming, but we make it easy on you.
What is a Surrogacy Contract?
Surrogacy contracts are agreements made between the surrogate and the intended parents. The point of the contract is to have a written and signed agreement that lays out the needs, wants, expectations, and obligations of everyone involved. As a failsafe, the contract should be finished and signed before any medical procedures take place. The contract should be collaborative, ensuring everyone is comfortable and happy with the final contract before finalizing and signing.
What Should a Surrogate Include in a Surrogacy Contract?
It comes down to what you want out of surrogacy. Your counselor and legal counsel will help you determine what makes sense for you, as well as what is appropriate, depending on your state. Here are just a few things to consider including in your contract:
Compensation for the Surrogate
Pregnancy isn’t cheap, and surrogates deserve to be reasonably compensated for the time and effort put into carrying a baby and nine months. No surrogate should be paying for necessary expenses out of their own pocket. The surrogacy contract should clearly outline surrogacy base pay, along with covered expenses, fees, etc. Doctor appointments, maternity clothes, living costs, and travel expenses for IVF appointments are just a few examples of what should be covered under the contract.
The Risks of Pregnancy and Contingency Plan
Every pregnancy comes with risks. You should come to an agreement on a plan of action in the event of complications during pregnancy. In the event that there ends up being twins, a miscarriage, or other complication, you should have an agreed-upon plan.
Your Responsibilities as a Surrogate
There are some other obligations of the surrogate other than just being pregnant. In order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, the surrogate needs to be healthy too. A surrogate may be asked to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding certain things and lifestyle changes.
What you want during the labor and delivery should be addressed and carried out. Decide who you do and don’t want in the room with you, which hospital you’ll go to, etc. These things tend to be left to chance at the last minute and can lead to a lot of drama and panic at the moment. You don’t want to have to make big decisions between contractions while under heavy pain meds. You can also make decisions about who can be present during prenatal doctor appointments.
Other Surrogacy Contract Items
These are just a few key things that should be included, but the surrogate and intended parents will come up with several negotiated and agreed-upon items. There’s no set template, and contracts will vary case-by-case. Other things might be the intended parent’s parental custody, emergency events, selective reduction situations, etc.
Creating a Legal Agreement With Your Surrogacy Agency
When you work with Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado, you can be assured that you’re completely supported and advocated for. When legality comes into the mix, it can be scary that something will be missed or handled incorrectly and impact you directly. We make sure everything is done correctly, and no gray area is left. You should be completely clear, comfortable, and informed. Surrogacy is a beautiful journey and should be enjoyed by everyone involved. The legal stuff doesn’t have to be scary and confusing; it’s there to create a clear guide for everyone to confidently move through the surrogacy process.
If you are interested in learning more about your gestational surrogacy options, contact Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: Michelle Brugioni is a practiced, well-versed college-educated writer and avid coffee drinker. She has ten years of experience as a freelance writer and has written for an alarmingly wide range of clients and publications. She has written on topics like: life science, biopharmaceutical company acquisitions, dealing with anxiety, and creative drinking games. As a fearless writer and masterful researcher, each time Michelle is approached with the question, “Can you write this?” she responds confidently with, “When do you need it?”