Intended parents can face a lot of confusion regarding the legal aspects of surrogacy, and one of the biggest sources of confusion in the surrogacy process is the surrogacy contract. The surrogacy contract refers to the legal agreement between the intended parents and the surrogate. The contract lists all legal provisions and agreements related to the process of surrogacy. Having a legal contract between a surrogate and the intended parents is very important to avoid any future legal conflicts. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the surrogacy contract will act as a legal guide for both intended parents and the surrogate.
In order to get a better understanding of surrogacy contracts, here are 3 of the most important things every intended parent should know:
Tip 1. Surrogacy contracts differ from state to state.
Every state recognizes surrogacy as a reproductive option, but while some states have passed laws and statutes defining the surrogacy process, others do not have specific laws addressing surrogacy. In most states where surrogacy is recognized, there are laws and statutes that define the paternity of the child, the financial obligations and the rights of the intended parents and the surrogate. It is very important to know what the local laws and statutes are before getting into any legal contract with a surrogate. Reproductive specialty lawyers who specialize in surrogacy can help intended parents better understand all the different laws and statutes on surrogacy. Surrogate agencies will employ reproductive specialty lawyers for intended parents and surrogates in order to ensure that each party is legally protected.
Tip 2. The surrogacy contract is essential.
The surrogacy contract is very important to avoid any future legal conflicts that may arise during the process of surrogacy. A surrogacy contract is a binding and enforceable legal contract for the intended parents and surrogate. It pre-defines the paternity of the child and both the financial and behavioral responsibilities of each party. The surrogacy contract allows each party (meaning the intended parents and the surrogate) to state their own intentions and responsibilities to one another, and it establishes guidelines for what actions will be taken in the event of medical complications such as the number of embryos to be transferred at one time, if selective reduction is an acceptable option, and which type of delivery method will be used. All of these agreements and conditions are very important to avoid any legal conflicts that may arise during and after the surrogacy process. Surrogate agencies can provide helpful information on the different aspects included in a surrogacy contract.
Tip 3. The surrogacy contract should be reviewed by reproductive specialty lawyers representing each party.
Neither the intended parents nor the surrogate are required by law to use a reproductive specialty lawyer’s services for the surrogacy contract. However, it is highly advisable that the surrogacy contract be reviewed by a reproductive specialty lawyer in order to be certain that the child’s paternity is pre-established, and to properly identify the financial and medical obligations of each party. It is also recommended that both the surrogate and the intended parents have their own reproductive specialty lawyers review the surrogacy contract. Each reproductive specialty lawyer will review the surrogacy contract to ensure that the client’s responsibilities, rights, and paternity are properly identified. In most cases, surrogate agencies will provide both the intended parents and the surrogate with their own reproductive specialty lawyer.
The surrogate process can be confusing for intended parents, and reviewing and understanding the surrogacy contract is one of the best ways to clear up that confusion. The structure and clarity the surrogacy contract provides can help intended parents to feel comfortable and confident throughout the surrogate process.