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The basics for drafting a surrogacy agreement

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Surrogacy Law |

The word family is encompassing for most. One does not need to be biologically related to create this bond; however, many parents in California seek to add a biological child to their family. Whether biologically related to one or both parents, many fraught with infertility turn to surrogacy or donation of eggs or sperm to bring a baby into their life.

While this is a beautiful way to create or add to a family, it can be a complex one. There are many legal considerations to consider when entering into an agreement for surrogacy or donation. As such, it is important to consider the importance of a surrogacy agreement and everything it entails.

Legal Issues

Traditionally, when a surrogate arrangement is made, the surrogate is the legal parent until the intended parents obtain a court order after the birth of the child, establishing them as the child’s legal parents. Because these matters can get complex and could incite legal issues, this is no longer the approach.

When the eggs for the surrogacy process do not come from the surrogate, the surrogate is known as a gestational carrier instead of birth mother. Because this helps address the legalities when it comes to parental rights, the terms gestational carrier, gestational surrogacy and intended parents are used.

Surrogacy agreement basics

Because surrogacy arrangements are often detailed and complex, a legal contract is needed to protect all parties involved. These are often lengthy and meticulously include the specific needs and concerns of the parties. Nonetheless, it is important that those considering this arrangement understand the basics that should be included.

Often, surrogacy agreements include the agreement for the surrogate to submit to physical and psychological exams, how medical costs will be covered, to use reproductive technology specific to the parties, the maximum number of attempts to achieve a pregnancy, termination of parental rights upon the birth of the child and the financial terms of the arrangement. These contracts will further detail the situations in which the pregnancy could be terminated, having routine prenatal medical care, the diet of the surrogate and activity restrictions.

While the potential legal issues that could arise are considered when drafting a surrogacy agreement, the reality is that it can’t evade all possible issues. Thus, it is imperative that parties to this agreement understand their rights and what could be done in the event of a legal problem. A legal professional could help you better understand your rights.