Legal issues surrogate mother. A comprehensive checklist to ensure that you have remembered (with help from your attorney) to put all the important items in your surrogacy agreement.
The surrogacy agreements phase can be very uncomfortable, and extremely personal. A surrogate mother and her intended parents will need to discuss legal issues surrogate mother with one another that perhaps they have only discussed with their spouse or significant other.
There will be disagreements. There will be compromise. This is often the most difficult part of a surrogate journey, and many journeys end on the contract negotiation table. (Happened to me three times now.)
The following legal issues surrogate mother should be discussed between the intended parents and the surrogate. As they apply to your situation, they should be included or excluded in surrogacy agreements.
This contract checklist is by no means suggesting that you include every single issue in your contract, but it is more of a list of topics to think about, and to have all parties discuss with their attorney.
It is very important to consider the “what if’s” of this process, and to make sure that all parties are on the same page. Not every issue will apply to every situation.
- Who will pay for the surrogate mother’s health care insurance?
- What will happen if she loses her health insurance?
- Will life insurance be supplied?
- What will happen if the surrogate needs to be placed on life support?
- What will happen if the intended parents pass away before the birth of their child?
- How will taxes be handled in this surrogacy?
- How many embryos will be transferred during each cycle? (if gestational surrogacy)
- How many cycles will be attempted?
- Who gets the ability to decide or veto the choice of doctors for this surrogate arrangement?
- What will happen if either the surrogate mother or the intended parents are unhappy with the doctor?
- Will a HIPPA release be signed?
- Will DNA testing be completed?
- Do the parties agree or disagree about selectively reducing multiple fetuses down to twins?
- What about the possibility of abortion for birth defects?
- Are there foreseeable reasons why genetic testing or amniocentesis will be required?
- What procedures will be termed invasive?
Common Sense Items
- What intimacy restrictions will be placed on the surro?
- When, and for how long?
- What about other common sense matters such as restrictions on drinking and smoking?
- Are there special circumstances where it will matter what she eats and what sort of cleaning products she uses in her home?
- Will the delivery be a planned c-section or induction?
- Where will the birth take place?
- Will the surrogate be encouraged to nurse the baby in the hospital, or forbidden from doing so?
- Is it a plan that she pumps and donates breast milk to the baby?
- For how long?
Contact After Birth
- Is there a plan for contact between the surrogate, the intended parents, and the surrogate baby after the birth?
- Are there specific milestones such as photos and updates that are requested?
- Will the birth be videotaped?
- Do the surrogate mother or intended parents feel it is important that their names and photos be withheld from people not directly involved in the surrogacy?
- What is the surrogate fee schedule decided upon?
- Who will make the payments?
- When will the payments be made?
Ending the Contract
- Under what circumstances will the contract be ended?
- What payments need to be made or reimbursed when a contract is breeched?
If you have any further questions about the contract checklist or the contract phase of surrogacy, please Ask a Surrogate.
What other issues can you think about that need to be covered?
Related Surrogacy Contracts Pages
- Surrogate Health and Life Insurance
- Unexpected Circumstances in Surrogacy
- Income Taxes for Surrogate Mothers
- IVF Transfer Issues
- Surrogacy Doctors
- Abortion and Selective Reduction
- Invasive Procedures
- Common Sense Clauses in Contracts
- Planning Delivery of a Surrogate Baby
- Breast Milk in Surrogacy Agreements
- Contact After Birth
- Privacy Issues in Surrogacy
- Surrogate Compensation in Contracts
- Ending the Contract