Contact during the surrogate journey is one of the big surrogacy issues and needs to be discussed in advance. Some commercial surrogacy contracts include details of contact during and after the surrogate pregnancy.
Please note: This site is not intended to be legal council. No portion of the ideas and concepts represented on this website should be used as a substitute for your surrogacy attorney’s advice. Make sure you consult your lawyer on all issues regarding surrogacy.
Though every surrogate journey is different, some commercial surrogacy contracts have clauses in them pertaining to contact between intended parents and their surrogates during and after birth.
These may be important surrogacy issues to either the surrogate or her intended parents, and might even be “deal-breakers” in some contract negotiations.
Again, just because your contract does not specify what will happen in these situations doesn’t mean that a surrogate will not have any contact with the baby after birth or that the intended parents will not be allowed in the delivery room.
Some parties just wish to put these contact issues down in writing, to sort of express their desires about the surrogate pregnancy.
During the Pregnancy
Contact during the pregnancy can vary depending on several factors, but most often the distance between the surrogate mother and intended parents.
Likewise, a surrogate mother might feel uncomfortable with having her intended parents at some of her more invasive doctor’s appointments, or an intended mother may not wish to be present for emotional reasons.
Each surrogate journey is different.
Ask the following questions concerning contact during the surrogate pregnancy.
- Would the intended parents like to come to all appointments and ultrasounds?
- Would they prefer to come to just ultrasounds?
- Would the surrogate mother prefer to have the intended parents not come to doctor’s appointments?
- Do all parties want the intended parents to be present for the birth?
After the Birth
In many commercial surrogacy arrangements, surrogate mothers wish that a certain level of contact after the birth be arranged in advance. Many surrogates will not proceed with a surrogate journey unless certain promises regarding contact are made, while other surrogate mothers do not need such a promise and prefer that any contact be more natural.
Whatever the case, remember that even though something is mentioned in a contract, the parents of the child have the sole responsibility of carrying out such promises. This is another reason why trust is such an important issue when talking about surrogacy.
As the following questions:
- Will the surrogate be allowed to visit the child, if that is what all parties would like?
- Will pictures be sent to the surrogate mother on a regular basis?
- Will all contact with the surrogate end at the child’s birth?
- Will the surrogate’s family be able to hold the baby in the hospital?
Again, some contracts will not discuss these surrogacy issues at all. It may be that they are simply not issues in the particular situation, or it may be that the surrogate and the intended parents do not want to be contractually obligated to commit to contact when they are unsure of what they will want when the time comes.