A surrogacy contract is arguably the most important document for everyone involved in the surrogacy process. Surrogacy contracts play an integral role in protecting the interests and rights of everyone involved, including the intended parent(s), the surrogate, and the baby.
Even more importantly, well-crafted and comprehensive surrogacy contracts act as a roadmap—guiding the journey, defining roles and responsibilities, and providing objective clarity if special circumstances arise. They minimize the risk of disputes and miscommunications, and they ensure everyone shares the same understanding of expectations—before, during, and after the pregnancy.
There are many steps to the surrogacy process. Finalizing these legal documents happens after you’ve had your match meeting, agreed that you’ve finally found the ideal partnership, and have been medically cleared.
The Process of Drafting and Negotiating Surrogacy Contracts
Surrogacy contracts are legally binding agreements. It’s essential that both intended parents and surrogates have their own, separate legal representation. A reputable surrogacy agency, like Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS), will make sure both parties are properly represented—at no cost to the surrogate.
Generally, the intended parent(s) and their attorney will draft the initial contract and send it to the surrogate’s attorney. The surrogate and her attorney will review the contract, making any necessary revisions and additions to ensure her interests and expectations are well-represented. This back and forth will continue until both parties agree on every aspect of the contract.
At SPS, we have three decades of experience with surrogacy (and surrogacy contracts). We have a network of trusted attorneys who specialize in 3rd party reproductive law, and we work alongside our clients to ensure every detail is discussed, defined, and agreed upon.
The Details in a Surrogacy Contract
Your surrogacy contract will be unique to your surrogacy journey. It is not a one-size-fits-all document. You and your attorney will discuss the details of your contract to be sure it covers all relevant details—but here’s a general look at what will be included:
- General risks and liabilities associated with pregnancy.
- Financial agreements, including the surrogate’s base compensation, covered expenses, and any additional compensation that may be included for special circumstances like invasive procedures, carrying multiples, etc.
- Surrogate’s responsibilities for maintaining her health and protecting the wellbeing of the developing fetus.
- Roles of all involved parties before, during, and after the pregnancy, including who will be present at prenatal appointments and the birth.
- How sensitive issues will be navigated, such as selective reduction and termination, should it become necessary.
- And more.
Ultimately, surrogacy contracts work to define all the “knowns” of a surrogacy journey and provide a clear path for navigating all of the “what if” scenarios that could arise.
The Danger of Independent Contracts
Ultimately, if you’re reading this post, you’re doing your due diligence and learning about the importance of working with a professional surrogacy agency. All reputable agencies, including SPS, will require all parties to have their own legal representation—and for good reason.
Independent surrogacy contracts, like templates downloaded from the internet, simply don’t work in addressing the complex details of your unique circumstances. And if there’s any situation in which you want to ensure every detail is clearly defined, understood, and agreed upon, it’s this one.
Learn More About Becoming a Surrogate with Surrogate Parenting Services
Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to celebrate 30 Years of helping to bring dreams to life! Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.