What are Surrogacy Contracts

What are Surrogacy Contracts

Surrogacy programs require different documents to be signed. This is done to make all the procedures legal and to get official confirmations form the parties they want to start this program. While most of the documents differ, there is one which is needed in any case —the Surrogacy Contract. Some people decide to avoid this step, the present may be a danger to whole program. In some countries one cannot start a program without having contract signed.

What makes surrogacy contracts important?

Surrogacy contract is a document that outlines the obligations of parties in a surrogacy program — intended parents, on one hand, and their gestational carrier on another. The major importance of the agreement lies in their protection. Contract is a ground for the appropriate execution of the duties and for the establishment of parental rights after the baby birth. This document is prepared by a family law attorney or a lawyer who has the appropriate qualification. As a rule, everyone has their own lawyer in order to negotiate its content.

The contract is commonly drafted by the attorney hired by intended parents who protects their interests. This document is further forwarded to a surrogate for a revision. If a surrogate has her own attorney they revise it together, if not, she reads it on her own. Surrogate comes up with any questions or suggestions as this document cannot be signed without the full agreement in advance.


 

Understanding what should surrogacy contract include

Surrogacy contract needs to cover all the processes and actions for the completion of the program and the registration of a baby after its birth. Let us take a closer look on specific points and start with the regulation of the medical part. Contract must comprise the information about the medical institution where the creation of embryos with the further transfer is planned to take place and what exactly will be done. There should also be a consent from both parties for medical screening, ovarian stimulation with further egg collection, ICSI fertilization, embryo development and ET into the surrogate’s uterus.

What is important here, agreement needs to state that parties understand that pregnancy may not be achieved from the first attempt, that’s why there is also information about the number of attempts they are willing to make. Some contracts include only one attempt, it means that if surrogate doesn’t get pregnant as a result of the first embryo transfer, it parties must to re-sign it if they want to proceed. In the majority of cases patients agree on two or three attempts.

Surrogacy contracts must refer to the legal grounds on the performance of the surrogacy program, which differ in every country. Attorney in charge of the contract drafting has to mention them and to include that both parties realize the requirements to them according to current legislation in their country.

Another significant matter is the finances. It is worth differentiating the expenses for IVF, pregnancy-related services, the amount which will be paid monthly and final compensation. Intended parents cover everything connected with medical help on any stage of the program while compensations depend on each case. It should be also mentioned that any additional medication or medical procedures prescribed by the doctor should be paid by intended parents. In case intended parents choose to make an insurance for a surrogate, it should also be a part of a contract.

Depending on whether surrogacy is altruistic or commercial, the compensation part is either included or not. There are countries where only one type is allowed, some of them accept both types. It means that it would be illegal to mention the compensation in a contract in case of altruistic surrogacy program. On the contrary, for commercial surrogacy it`s among the crucial parts of the document.

Even though parties commence a program with high hopes and strong belief in success, surrogacy contract must bring up the possibility of unfortunate cases such as miscarriage, deterioration of health (either baby`s or surrogate’s), hospitalization necessity and even the possible death. Agreement must outline duties in these terrible cases.


 

The risks of independent contract

Attorneys do not recommend anyone writing a contract independently even though it may seem possible. Such a way puts under the danger the outcome of the program and this agreement has a big chance to be not recognized at court. Its main purpose is to protect and it cannot be achieved by refusing from having a professional help.

Despite there are numerous surrogacy contract samples online that you can download and insert your data, such a decision may cause irreversible damage. These contracts are very general, written in a non-specific form and do not meet the individual needs. There is a high chance they will contain outdated information which does not comply with the current law of your country.

The legal support during any surrogacy journey is its inseparable part and it won’t be wise to put your parental rights under the risk by neglecting it. Moreover, most agencies offer all-inclusive packages that already have help from experienced attorneys. At Parens agency parents have no need to involve a law firm in Ukraine because legal support is provided.

Major points to revise

The last stop before the embryo transfer is signing of the contract and its draft has must be acceptable as well as agreed by parties and their attorneys. They need to study the document closely in advance. The essential points to revise:

  1. Compensation-related points.
  2. Gestational carrier`s obligation to act for the benefit of IPs for them to acquire parental responsibility.
  3. Force majeure and actions in case of pregnancy and delivery complications.

Let us explore them in more detail. The complete information about all compensations is the protection not only for a surrogate, as it may seem from the first sight. It saves from the uncertainty and misunderstandings, especially if there are any complications and something out of order is needed. It is always better to be prepared and do not waste time and energy for clarification of the compensation amount.

The legal registration of baby differs from country to country. There are a lot of people who start their programs abroad which requires additional actions to be made. In some cases, the assistance from a surrogate is needed, it may lie either in the signing of documents or visits to consulates or embassies. Not to put in danger the last step of the program, it is recommended to mention this assistance as an obligation.

Parties must check the information about twin pregnancy, c-section, miscarriage, loss of the reproductive organ and other non-standard situations that do not happen during the normal pregnancy. A chance that something may go wrong always exists and it is easier for IPs and their surrogate to support each other in such event than to start the discussion about the size of the compensation.

In general, surrogacy contracts are as important as any other puzzle of the surrogacy program. Having quality document prepared by the specialized attorneys makes intended parents and their surrogate feel safe and be confident in the legitimacy of their relationship.

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