There are many things to worry about when becoming a surrogate and/or an intended parent. The possibility of the relationship souring should not be one of them. It should filled with compassion and teamwork. However, as hard as you try, it is likely that both parties will not agree on everything. That is why a surrogacy contract is so important. A lawyer should be present at all times when handling legal agreements, but here are some of common topics you’ll want to consider before sitting down at the negotiation table:
1. Surrogate Compensation – Of course your surrogate will receive the standard base fee for the pregnancy, but there is also additional expenses to discuss: Invasive procedures, C-sections, maternity clothing, and many more. Your attorney will negotiate a fee for each expense, one that is reasonable and usually always with a capped limit. Before finalizing the contract, you’ll want to discuss when payments are going to be made, who will handle the coordination of the finances, and if fees are to be held securely in an escrow account.
2. Lost Wages For Pregnancy – Intended parents will typically pay for the surrogate’s lost wages if she misses work or has to take a maternal leave of absence. In becoming a surrogate, she must make these financial sacrifices to fulfill the arrangement—which also applies to bed rest.
3. Celibacy – This is to ensure that the surrogate does not become pregnant with her own child, which takes place upon one month before and after each transfer. It is fine to alter this clause to two weeks, especially if she has had a tubal ligation or her partner has had a vasectomy, as long as she has the proper medical documentation.
4. Medical Decisions – This is very important because it adds some stability in the uncertainty of becoming a surrogate. This section will cover the number of embryos transferred, the number of fetuses to be carried, selective reduction, her stance on abortion, and whether or not amniocentesis is to be performed.
5. Post-Birth Relationship – After the child is handed over to you, what kind of a relationship, if any at all, do you want with the surrogate? Is the child going to have future contact with the surrogate, or is any information going to be shared between the child and surrogate? These kinds of questions are very important, and you need to establish concrete answers well before the baby is born.
6. Breast Pumping – If you want the surrogate to pump breast milk, you need to first establish whether she is willing to do so, and for how long. Keep in mind that it is standard practice for the intended parents to financially compensate the surrogate for additional time and effort pumping milk, so compensation will have to be established. These are all questions that need to be answered during the contact stage of the surrogacy program.
7. Privacy – This deals with whether or not to disclose your surrogacy arrangement with the public or news and whether or not to reveal the identifying information of the surrogate or egg donors. Medical information will be exchanged, so the contract should always state that the HIPAA privacy rules are to be honored.
All of this can seem overwhelming, but Surrogate Parenting Services is there with our team of professionals, ready to guide you on every step of your amazing journey to parenthood.