Surrogacy law is changing and advancing as more people embrace the method as a way to expand or start their families. Surrogacy is a wonderful medical procedure that has afforded many people with families who would otherwise not have one.
Parents to be can opt for one of two types of surrogacy:
- Traditional Surrogacy: The surrogate and the baby and are related biologically. The surrogate is also supplying the egg used in the pregnancy.
- Gestational Surrogacy: The surrogate and the baby share no biological connection. The surrogate carries unrelated embryos to term.
Regardless of the type of surrogacy you choose for your family planning, drafting a surrogacy agreement is an important step. Continuing forward with a surrogate pregnancy arrangement without a legal agreement in place can lead to complications and protracted legal problems.
5 Issues You Should Definitely Address in Your Surrogacy Agreement
Once you’ve found a surrogate and created an agreement, you are in a better position to wait out the pregnancy. Gestational surrogacy presents future parents with fewer problems than traditional surrogacy but having a legally binding contract on file can clearly define everyone’s role in the process.
When crafting your surrogacy agreement, here are a few issues to consider:
- Physicals and Required Exams: If you and your spouse want genetic testing or preimplantation physicals, you should include these items in your surrogacy agreement. Most surrogacy agencies require a battery of tests, but if you are using an independent surrogate, make sure to ask for the health test you need. You should consult with your attorney to ensure you are using the right wording to outline the test you’d like to gauge the physical and mental health of your surrogate.
- Assisted Reproductive Technology Usage: Your lawyer can guide you regarding the specifics of the assisted reproductive technology being used and how often it will be attempted to achieve a viable pregnancy. For example, some couples ask their surrogate to agree to 3 attempts in 18 months.
- Set Restrictions: If you have dietary restrictions you’d like your surrogate to abide by, then you need to have your attorney include them in the agreement. The point is not to only mention them but to outline your expectations. You should also make it a condition of signing you’re your surrogate to refrain from illegal and recreational drug use or any behavior you’d consider dangerous to your unborn child.
- Establish Custody Rights: Your attorney will state the custody intentions and rights of each party with regards to the future baby being carried to term. The agreement will state that the surrogate has no custody rights to the child being carried to term.
- Finances: The financial part of the agreement covers how the future parents plan to cover the expenses of the surrogate. Financial reimbursement for expenses will include items you decide to cover, but typically, surrogates are reimbursed for maternity clothing, special dietary requirements, or items related to pregnancy complications.
Warm and Compassionate Guides Through Surrogacy Experience
At Cecil & Cianci, PC, our attorneys can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of surrogacy. With requirements and legal status changing across the country, you need to ensure you have legal representation. Our attorneys can help you develop a surrogacy agreement that meets all your needs. Call us at (916) 675-3866 to schedule a consultation or for more information on how we could assist in your situation.