Surrogacy contracts are vital to developing the understanding between surrogates and intended parents. This brief blog discusses the particulars of these important legal instruments.
What Is Surrogacy?
Sometimes couples cannot conceive a child for a variety of health or personal reasons (a reproductive system disorder or possession of a genetic flaw that could potentially harm the newborn child) However, said individuals still wish to have and raise children. The concept of surrogacy makes this desire possible. Surrogates are women who agree to become pregnant (often either carrying the eggs of the intended mother or after in-vitro insemination from the intended father), carry a fetus full-term and deliver a newborn to be raised by the intended parents. That said, this process often must be established and completed under a legal framework.
The Basics Of A Surrogacy Contract
Since the surrogacy process can be complex and ultimately involves ensuring the well-being of a child, most states require that both the surrogate and intended parents establish a contract setting forth the responsibilities each party will be required to adhere to during and after the pregnancy.
A surrogacy contract might cover subjects such as how much the surrogate will be compensated for her efforts, the potential risks the surrogate could possibly face, the health provisions the surrogate must abide by during the pregnancy, what (if any) role(s) the surrogate will have following the birth and what decisions will be made in the event the pregnancy becomes complicated.
Establishing A Surrogate Contract
Every surrogate pregnancy has the potential to bring a different set of issues to the table. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject, it is strongly recommended that both the surrogate and intended parents hire attorneys before the contract negotiation process begins.
When each party retains the services of a lawyer, said individuals can disclose the specific issues they deem necessary for inclusion of the agreement. The representing attorneys can then negotiate until fair and equitable agreements are reached on all pertinent matters.
Upon reaching an agreement in principle, the contract must be officially ratified. Ratification occurs when surrogate and intended parents sign and date the arrangement. Once officially endorsed, the document becomes a legal instrument and can be filed in a court within the municipality the parties in question reside.