Helping Build Families Since 2012

Customized Gestational Surrogacy Agreements For Surrogates And Intended Parents

Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC, focuses on drafting customized, detailed gestational surrogacy agreements that are in full compliance with the law. We have a vast nationwide network of surrogacy law attorneys, which helps to ensure that our agreements are also in full compliance with the laws of the surrogate’s state of residence. We provide guidance for intended parents and surrogates on all aspects of the surrogacy process.

Understanding The Specifics Of Your Role

A typical gestational surrogacy agreement (surrogacy contract) will outline the intentions, obligations, rights and responsibilities of both the intended parents and the surrogate, including:

  • Establishment of parental rights for intended parents
  • Relinquishment of parental rights of surrogate and spouse
  • Health and life insurance coverage for the surrogate
  • Fertility cycle plan
  • Pregnancy plan
  • Medical decisions
  • Confidentiality
  • Childbirth plan
  • Future contact
  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Lost wages
  • Child care
  • Travel
  • Surrogate’s compensation
  • Protects parties with breach procedures and remedies

For the legal process, the intended parents and the gestational carrier or surrogate retain separate legal counsel who drafts and negotiates the contract’s terms on their behalf until a finalized version is mutually agreed upon. Laws regarding surrogacy vary by state, and with Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC’s network and experience, we will ensure your agreement is in compliance with the laws of any applicable state.

What Are The Benefits Of Having An Experienced Attorney Draft Your Gestational Surrogacy Contract?

Advanced reproductive technology and gestational surrogacy offer countless individuals the opportunity to realize their parenthood dreams. However, the process requires a skilled surrogacy attorney’s expertise. Having an attorney draft your gestational surrogacy contract offers several benefits, including:

  • In-depth knowledge of local surrogacy laws for contract compliance
  • Foreseeing potential issues and safeguarding all parties
  • Clearly outlining rights, responsibilities and expectations
  • Negotiating terms to protect everyone’s interests

Ultimately, legal guidance can ensure a legally sound and smooth surrogacy process.

How Can The Lawyers At Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC, Help If There Are Legal Issues After The Baby Is Born?

Our compassionate legal team is dedicated to one mission: Making your parenthood dream a reality. With legal expertise, our skilled surrogacy lawyer can help you solve legal issues after the baby is born in a proper legal approach. We can:

  • Navigate family law disputes, including paternity, custody and visitation
  • Assist with birth certificate amendments and name changes
  • Guide through guardianship, adoption and legal processes
  • Facilitate dispute resolution and provide adept legal representation in court proceedings

Operating nationally and internationally, we leverage all communication channels to connect personally and convey effectively with our clients.

What Are The Dangers Of Trying To Set Up A Surrogacy Agreement Without A Lawyer?

Establishing a surrogacy agreement without legal representation poses significant risks, including:

  • Invalidity: Agreements may be unenforceable due to legal errors or failure to comply with local surrogacy laws
  • Financial vulnerability: Both intended parents and surrogates face financial risks without clear guidelines about expenses, compensation and insurance
  • Parental rights issues: Disputes around parental rights can arise without an agreement outlining parentage establishment and potential termination scenarios
  • Emotional distress: Disputes and legal battles can cause immense emotional stress for all involved, especially when navigating sensitive issues without legal guidance

Our knowledgeable attorneys can ensure the agreement adheres to applicable laws, protecting the rights of both the intended parents and the surrogate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gestational Surrogacy

We invite you to review the information below that addresses common questions about surrogacy.

Why do I need a gestational surrogacy agreement?

A gestational surrogacy agreement (GSA) defines the relationship between a parent and a surrogate in exact legal terms. It outlines all parties’ rights, duties, and obligations to each other and all of the legal protections of each party throughout the process until and after the birth of any child. In most states we work in, a gestational surrogacy agreement is required by statute, with both parties having independent legal counsel.

Intended parents benefit from knowing that they will retain parental rights from the moment the gestational surrogacy agreement has been signed. A surrogate benefits from knowing that she is protected from associated medical costs and will receive full monetary compensation in a timely manner.

The agreement also considers total expenses for the intended parents. In particular, we look at insurance reimbursement costs during pregnancy and, potentially, childbirth. If the surrogate does not have adequate insurance, planned parents must obtain a policy on her behalf. Of course, we help to accomplish this safely and affordably.

Essentially, a gestational surrogacy agreement creates a container in which all parties may rest easy, communicate openly and move forward in harmony toward their shared goal: a successful pregnancy, birth and transition home.

Can we simply sign a medical consent form instead?

No. This is a common misunderstanding: that a medical consent form signed by an intended parent and surrogate constitutes a contract. In fact, it only means the IVF clinic will provide services to the patient. It does not meet minimum contract standards, and there is nothing within the agreement that provides for the medical and administrative elements of a surrogacy relationship. Failure to obtain a legitimate surrogacy agreement could make it difficult to obtain a birth certificate in the correct name.

Will Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC, represent my surrogate as well?

Your surrogate will want to secure her own separate legal counsel to avoid any potential conflicts of interest or impropriety. We can recommend qualified attorneys for her case.

What does the surrogacy agreement usually provide for?

After the reproductive endocrinologist has given the physical and psychological green light for all parties, the drafting of the surrogacy agreement begins. While each family may have differing additional details to discuss, here are some common ones to consider:

  • The plan for reimbursement by the intended parents to the surrogate throughout her pregnancy
  • The handling of personal information
  • The location of the birth
  • What will happen if the pregnancy becomes high-risk
  • If carrying multiples will require higher compensation
  • Perspectives on abortion and selective reduction

The first draft is reviewed in detail with the client, ensuring total accuracy and understanding of all components. We typically move through a second draft, working collaboratively until the document is completely suited to the client’s needs. We then send it off to the surrogate’s lawyer. If the surrogate wants anything changed, her lawyer will bring it forward. The lawyers work back and forth on behalf of the clients until everyone is satisfied with the contract. When the final document has been printed and signed, we give the IVF clinic a legal clearance letter permitting them to initiate services.

In some cases, parents and surrogates might meet to discuss the contract directly in the presence of their lawyers.

How long does it usually take to complete a surrogacy agreement?

Our office usually finishes the first draft of the contract within a matter of days. Personalizing the document depends more on the planned parents; if we work diligently, we can get the approved contract over to the surrogate’s attorney in less than a week.

What is the difference between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy?

In a gestational surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate is not biologically related to any resulting child. Gestational surrogacy involves eggs (either from the intended mother or a donor) that undergo in vitro fertilization with the intended father’s sperm or donated sperm. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the uterus of the surrogate and are carried to term.

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate’s own eggs are used to conceive the child, typically via what is called intrauterine insemination. IVF and an embryo transfer can also be used with a traditional surrogate. In this case, the surrogate is biologically related to the resulting child, but she relinquishes her parental rights.

When do intended parents become the legal parents in gestational surrogacy?

It depends on the state and the terms of the surrogacy agreement. Generally, the intended parents have legal parent rights immediately upon the child’s birth. In some cases – such as traditional surrogacies, where the surrogate is genetically related to the child – the intended parents will need to take additional legal steps after birth to establish their parental rights.

Can you have an out-of-state surrogate?

Yes, provided your surrogate lives in a surrogacy-friendly state. Working with an out-of-state surrogate does come with additional considerations, however.

Is surrogacy legal in all 50 states?

Surrogacy laws vary by state. Unfortunately, a handful of states are currently not surrogacy-friendly:

  • Michigan, which doesn’t allow compensated surrogacy
  • Nebraska, which also expressly prohibits paid surrogacy
  • Louisiana, which prohibits paid surrogacy and those involving donated genetic material (eggs and sperm) and only allows married heterosexual couples to be intended parents

Our attorneys handle surrogacy arrangements in every state besides those three.

What is the process of preparing a surrogacy agreement with the help of your firm?

  • Retain the legal services of Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC.
  • We will prepare the first draft of your surrogacy agreement and review the document with you. Our expert attorneys will negotiate the terms of the agreement with the counsel for the gestational surrogate or carrier until a final is reached.
  • Once we obtain the fully executed and notarized agreements from all parties, we will coordinate with your agency and medical team to inform them that the surrogate is legally cleared to commence medications.
  • We also represent gestational carriers or surrogates in surrogacy agreements; the process is very similar.

How much does a gestational surrogacy agreement cost from Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC?

For the drafting and negotiation of a gestational surrogacy agreement representing the intended parent(s), we charge $2,950 without translation and $3,150 with translation.

When representing the gestational surrogate, we charge $1,350.

I do not live in the San Diego area. Can I still retain your legal services?

Yes! We work with clients from all over the world every day. Most of our work is done by email, phone/video conferencing, WeChat, Skype, WhatsApp and FedEx/UPS/USPS services. You never need to come to our office, although we are always happy to meet our clients.

I may need translation services. Can Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC, help me with that?

Yes, Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC have translators on staff, and our agreements are in templates of the most common languages. We can provide translators in any language needed.

For Helpful Information, Call Our Office Today

Let Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Group, APC, protect you on your exciting surrogacy journey, whether you are hoping to fulfill your dreams of becoming parents or you are helping someone build a family of their own, contact us online today or call our San Diego office at 619-329-4411 for a free consultation!