5 Facts To Know About Surrogacy Contracts To Win The Room
When you enter into a surrogacy agreement you are entering into a legal contract. This contract is one of the most important aspects of the surrogacy process because it protects the Surrogate Candidate, the Intended Parents, and even the Agency.
Let’s discuss what you can expect from your surrogacy contract and why it's so important.
Fact 1: “The Contract” Has A Name
The Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA) is one of the most important components of every surrogacy process. The GSA guides the entire surrogacy journey, clearly outlining each party's rights, roles, and responsibilities before, during, and after the pregnancy.
For the contract to be completed there has to be a baby transferred to the Intended Parents. Seems obvious, but, in legal matters never be afraid to get down to the details.
Fact 2: Surrogacy is NOT Legal Everywhere
The first thing you should know about surrogacy contracts is that they vary based on the state or where the surrogate resides.
It's important to have a clear understanding of all of the current laws in your state so that there are no surprises later on. In some states, such as Michigan, surrogacy is illegal with steep consequences.
Check our Surrogacy Laws By State to see how your state ranks in terms of your needs.
Fact 3: Some Surrogates Travel To California Because Of Friendly LGBTQ+ Laws
California truly is the Golden State when it comes to surrogacy contracts. Considered to be the most surrogacy-friendly state, there are numerous options for Intended Parents and higher pay for Surrogate Candidates, amongst other niceties. California law
California allows surrogacy contracts regardless of the marital status and sexual orientation of the intended parents as well as surrogacy contracts for both altruistic and commercial surrogacy.
For this contract to be legal, the intended parents and surrogate must be represented by separate independent licensed attorneys of their choosing and be witnessed and notarized under the governing laws of the state.
Embryo transfer and injectable medication in preparation for embryo transfer cannot commence until the agreement has been fully executed.
Fact 4: Know Your Absolute “Yes”s and Hard “No”s BEFORE Negotiation
What the surrogacy contract entail depend entirely on where they are signed and what the requests are of either the Intended Parent or Surrogate.
Doing your due diligence, or researching options, and writing down exactly what you are willing to do…might be ok with…and absolutely will not do is an important step before contract negotiations.
The contract guides the entire surrogacy journey, clearly outlining each party’s rights, roles, and responsibilities before, during, and after the pregnancy.
Some contracts may include:
- The intent, rights, and obligations of the intended parents and Surrogate.
- Agreement on the surrogate’s health conduct (e.g. diet, travel, dangerous activities).
- Specification of the intended parents’ level of involvement in medical decisions.
- What happens during potential risks, liabilities, and conflicts.
- Insurance information for everyone involved including the child.
- Trust or escrow account for compensation/reimbursements to the surrogate.
- Communication guidelines for all parties during pregnancy.
Every case is unique, it is difficult to state the length of each surrogacy journey. But in general, it is safe to say that the surrogacy process can roughly take about 15 to 18 months to complete, from match to delivery.
Fact 5: Agencies In The U.S. Practice Gestational Surrogacy
There are two types of surrogacy in practice nowadays:
- Traditional Surrogacy is typically when the biological mother (egg donor) of the child is the “surrogate”.
- Gestational Surrogacy is where a Gestational Surrogate/Gestational Carrier carries another woman’s egg (the Intended Parent), fertilized with the father’s sperm (the other Intended Parent) or donor sperm.
In simplest terms, through Gestational Surrogacy, a Surrogate Mother carries the child, created by two different people (the Intended Parents) for the woman, or the Intended Parent(s) who cannot.
**The surrogate mother does not share DNA with the child and is not the genetic mother.
You can read more about the differences in our popular blog post: Traditional Surrogacy vs Gestational Surrogacy: How To Choose Which Is Best?
A surrogacy contract is a written agreement between the surrogate and the intended parents. This contract is one of the most important parts of the surrogacy process because it protects all parties involved, including the baby.
If you have any questions about your specific contract, be sure to reach out to your lawyer or surrogacy agency for more information.
This post is not legal advice and is intended to be strictly informational based on our experiences working within this field. Please seek legal counsel for legal issues.
If you are someone who meets the Basic Requirements and loves to help others, you should feel positive that an Intended Parent will accept you.
Get motivated to become a Surrogate Mother, read: top 5 reasons for becoming a surrogate.
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