Surrogacy is the process in which a woman carries and later gives birth to a child for another couple or individual. If you are considering surrogacy, there are two types: traditional and gestational. It may be worth looking at the differences and getting as much information as possible before making a decision. The focus here is on the legal concerns of surrogacy.
Both these types of surrogacy come with their sets of legal issues especially where the “true” parent of the child is concerned. It is not unheard of for surrogate mothers to change their mind at the last minute and want to keep the baby as their own. It is therefore very important to look at the legal issues concerning surrogacy and surrogate mothers before committing to the process.
Legal considerations regarding surrogacy
It is important to have all legal issues thoroughly reviewed before moving forward with the surrogacy no matter the role you will be playing in the process.
The first important measure to take is to have a contract drawn up and signed by you (the individual or couple) and the surrogate mother. This should be done at the very beginning of the relationship. Depending on your state laws concerning surrogacy, some of the factors you will need to keep in mind include:
Does your state allow surrogacy?Are surrogate contracts recognized by the state?Are there any legal guidelines in regard to advertising for a surrogate?How easy or difficult is it to transfer parental rights and custody of the child from the surrogate to the couple or individual?
These are some of the legal considerations to make at the very beginning of the process. State laws regarding surrogacy may vary, so it is important to talk to your lawyer or expert on these issues.
Next, there are the specifics of your contract that must be in place to make the process is smooth as possible and avoid complications in the long run. Some of the terms and items that should be included are:
Who are the parties that are involved in the agreement?What kind of testing procedures will be undertaken?Where and how will the embryo be implanted?Is the surrogate cooperation guaranteed once the child is born and what guarantees are there?In the event the intended parent(s) pass away when the child is still a minor, who will be responsible for guardianship of the child?What fees and expenses fall on the surrogate and/or the intended parent(s)?Is there compensation for the parent(s) should custody of the child be awarded to the surrogate for whatever reason?
There are many legal (and moral) issues surrounding surrogacy, and it is difficult to capture all of them. The best thing that the intended parent(s) can do is to have as much information as possible regarding surrogacy, including surrogate mother cost and various legal implications.
A solid agreement should include all the responsibilities and rights of the intended parents and surrogate. It is important that all parties are happy with the agreement to avoid legal wrangles in the long-term. Despite all the legalities surrounding surrogacy, the most important thing that intended parents can do is to have a good, solid agreement that encompasses what has been covered here.