California and other states are recognizing the increased use of surrogacy agreements for couples who are unable to have children on their own. Also referred to as a gestational carrier contract, these legal agreements help to outline the responsibilities of each party. If you’ve never dealt with this issue before, it’s likely that you’re wondering what you should include in your first surrogacy contract.
Prepping for the contract
Surrogacy and donation agreements are not something that you do overnight. Rather, it’s suggested that you plan for at least four weeks of preparation. This will give you and the other party time to draft, review, discuss, negotiate and sign the agreement. As with any sort of legal contract, you should always consult an attorney to ensure that your best interests are looked after.
The general elements you’ll want to include
The first order of the contract will be to outline the state which laws will govern it. If you want to put any restrictions on disputes, now is the time to do so. For example, you may make it a mandatory provision in your contract that both parties try mediation if a dispute arises before going to court. You’ll also need to make a note that both parties had their own separate legal counsel that they consulted before signing the contract.
Next, you’ll need to address the specifics of how the conception will occur. When it comes to medical instructions such as monthly appointments or restricting travel, they need to be included as well. Custody should also be addressed in this contract. In most cases, you’ll want to have immediate custody over the child upon their birth.
A surrogacy contract is a vital legal document that people can use to obtain custody of a child. While each surrogacy case is going to be different from the next, the above are some key elements that should be included in all contracts. It’s best to get these contracts underway before the conception occurs so that the parties know what their obligations are.