The legal contract of surrogacy is important for both the intended parents and the surrogate mother. It must be outlined in such a fashion that the interests of both the parties are looked on and given equal importance. This document is a guideline of the roles and responsibilities both parties have agreed to take on. It includes clarity on the risks and liabilities involved in the surrogacy process. It also confirms the responsibilities of both the parties even after the pregnancy and child delivery.
Consult A Professional Surrogacy Lawyer
This is the foremost responsibility of both the parties. Poorly worded contracts drafted by an amateur can be the cause of conflicts later. So, it is really very important to have a professional lawyer to draft the contract. There are many qualified assisted reproduction lawyers who can guide you correctly on the legal pitfalls. A correctly drafted surrogacy contract protects the rights of the intended parents and approves the interest of the surrogate mother. So, do not try to save on this, and get the thing done by a professionally qualified lawyer.
Mentioned the Required Exams in The Contract
Mention all the physical and psychological diagnosis that both the parties must go through in the surrogacy plan. State every step involved in the surrogacy program that you have planned. This helps in maintaining clarity amongst both the parties at every stage of the process. This way intended parents can assure the best physical and mental health of their babies growing in the surrogate’s wombs.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Make sure that you use the specific terminology of Assisted Reproductive Technology while getting the contract drafted. You should clearly mention the number of times you wish to attempt for a successful pregnancy. As a thumb rule, people go for 3 trials with each surrogate. You can mention the number as per your discussion with the doctor and the surrogate mother.
Behavioral and Dietary Restrictions
Once you have decided the surrogate mother you are going with, you must discuss the dietary restrictions with her. As a matter of fact, women acting as surrogate mothers are all professionally aware of their responsibilities. However, it is always better to tell her your expectations of her. Mention in the agreement that the surrogate mother must strictly restrict herself from smoking, having alcohol and use of any other drug that can be risky for the fetus.
Apart from all these restrictions, you should mention the number of prenatal checkups she has to go for. Also, mention the type of medical test that is necessary for her during this period. Explain the diet and other restrictions to her as per the doctor’s guidance and instructions. Talk to her about how she should take care of herself and mention this clearly in the contract.
Custody and Rights
One of the very important aspect to finalize on is the custody and rights of the baby. This is a very vital section where you need a lawyer’s help. State clearly in the contract that the surrogate mother will not have any legal or physical custody of the baby she is carrying in her womb after the delivery. She must necessarily agree on handing over the baby to the intended parent soon after the delivery without any condition.
The Financial Issues
Finalize the surrogacy agreement and mention the monetary deal that you have decided for the surrogate. This is usually the amount that is fixed after negotiation between both the parties. This should be a very clear section that would mention the reimbursement of every expense that is included. The reimbursement is compensation should be specifically mentioned in case of miscarriages, c section delivery, hospital charges, maternity clothes, diet, checkups, doctor visit and all other details.
Termination and Selective Reduction
Termination and selective reduction are difficult topics to address. It is important for both the surrogate and the intended parents to mention their mutually agreed takes on this. The contract should clearly mention the steps that would be taken in future in case there is a requirement of an abortion or reduced pregnancy term. All parties must agree on the same view of terminating a pregnancy or reducing its time. This is a major step in the surrogacy contract. If not, these aspects are addressed properly, it can create conflict during sensitive situations. Both the parties should be ready on ethical grounds and all the best interest of the baby and the surrogate mother as well.
All the elements that we have discussed in this article are essential to be included in your surrogacy agreement. Please make sure surrogacy contract risk free and genuine. Communicate with your lawyer regarding your desires and discuss everything with your surrogate before drafting the contract. The contract should ideally protect everyone’s interest and not be one-sided.