What Does a Surrogacy Agreement Include?

Dec 12, 2023
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Surrogacy is a joyful experience but requires a strong legal contract to protect the surrogate and the intended parents. Learn more about the importance of the surrogacy agreement and what it should include.

Surrogacy offers a path to parenthood for those unable to bear children on their own. It’s a process filled with hope and joy but requires careful planning and legal agreements.

At Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services (GBSS) in San Diego, California, our team of care coordinators, led by our surrogate expert Dr. Samuel Wood, provides all the guidance and tools surrogates and intended parents (IP) need to ensure a happy outcome for all.

Here, we want to talk about the surrogacy agreement, what it includes, and how it shapes your journey.

About the surrogacy agreement

The surrogacy agreement is the formal, legal document between the surrogate and the IPs. It’s a binding contract that outlines all the details of the surrogacy journey, from the health of the health of the surrogate and IPs to delivery and custody of the baby. 

We know how hard it is to discuss the legal aspects of surrogacy because of the emotions involved, but it’s a vital part of the process. The purpose of the surrogacy agreement is to protect the well-being of the surrogate, the IPs, and the baby to prevent future disputes.

Each state has its own set of laws about surrogacy. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these laws before moving ahead with the surrogacy process. You should also consult with experts who are familiar with the laws in your state. 

What the agreement includes

Surrogacy agreements are personalized, and no contract looks like another. However, the agreement should include:

Financial compensation

Despite what many believe, most surrogates aren’t in it for the money. However, financial compensation is an important part of the surrogacy agreement. The details of the financial part of your contract may depend on state laws but should include total compensation and the payment schedule. 

Role of Surrogate and IP

Your surrogacy agreement should include a detailed outline of the surrogate's expectations and the IPs. Such as communication expectations (how and frequency), the prenatal appointments IPs should attend, and the birth plan. 

The agreement should also have the fertility plan for embryo implantation, including who’s egg, who’s sperm, and the IP’s fertility doctor. The agreement also needs to include prenatal care expectations for the surrogate.

The surrogacy agreement also needs details of the future relationship between the child and the surrogate.

Risks and liabilities

The surrogacy agreement must also include risks and liabilities related to the pregnancy, discussing the potential problems that may arise during the process and the plan to manage them. 

Examples of potential problems include:

  • Medical complications that may affect pregnancy
  • Risks of vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • What if the surrogate fails to get pregnant
  • How to move forward following a miscarriage

Custody of the baby is also a risk and liability and is an integral part of your legal agreement.

Why you need experts

You can find surrogacy agreements online. However, working with experts who understand individual state surrogacy laws is essential to protect all parties. These experts guide you regarding what to include in your surrogacy agreement to minimize stress and strain.

Surrogates and IPs need their own attorneys who specialize in surrogacy. The attorneys work together to create the contract so it benefits all involved. 

Surrogacy agreements are a vital part of the surrogacy process. Working with a surrogacy service like ours is the best place to start the journey. We can help you navigate the personal and legal aspects so you feel confident moving forward. 

People from all over the country consult with us for our expert guidance. Are you considering surrogacy? Call our office today or book a consultation using the online scheduling tool.