Legal Issues Surrogate Mother – What to Include in Surrogacy Agreements

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?

More Info on Insurance

Unexpected Circumstances

  • 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?

More Info on Unexpected Circumstances


  • How will taxes be handled in this surrogacy?

More Info on Taxes

The Transfer

  • How many embryos will be transferred during each cycle? (if gestational surrogacy)
  • How many cycles will be attempted?

More Info on the IVF Transfer


  • 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?

More Info on Doctors

Selective Reduction

  • Do the parties agree or disagree about selectively reducing multiple fetuses down to twins?
  • What about the possibility of abortion for birth defects?

More Info on Selective Reduction

Invasive Procedures

  • Are there foreseeable reasons why genetic testing or amniocentesis will be required?
  • What procedures will be termed invasive?

More Info on Invasive Procedures

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?

More Info on Common Sense Surrogacy Items

Planning Delivery

  • Will the delivery be a planned c-section or induction?
  • Where will the birth take place?

More Info on Planning a Delivery

Breast Milk

  • 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?

More Info on Breast Milk

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?

More Info on Surrogate Contact After Birth


  • 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?

More Info on Privacy


  • What is the surrogate fee schedule decided upon?
  • Who will make the payments?
  • When will the payments be made?

More Info on Surrogate Compensation

Ending the Contract

  • Under what circumstances will the contract be ended?
  • What payments need to be made or reimbursed when a contract is breeched?

More Info on Ending the Surrogacy Contract

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

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