Surrogate Mother Pay is Not the Whole Story: How to Prevent Legal Complications of Surrogacy
Your fertility journey has brought you to surrogacy, your best, or possibly only, option for having children genetically related to at least one parent. You want it to work with every fiber of your being so you’re all in, emotionally and financially. However, there’s that little voice in the back of your head that’s saying: “what can you do to make sure there are no legal complications?” That’s a legitimate concern, and one many people considering surrogacy have expressed. After all, there’s a lot more to it than deciding on the surrogate mother pay and what fertility treatment center in California to use. Fortunately, there are steps you can take up-front to minimize the chance of legal complications. Reproductive Services Medical Center, a fertility treatment center in California, outlines your safest route to parenthood through surrogacy.
Your surrogacy should occur in a surrogacy friendly state.
The legal aspects regarding gestational surrogacy are determined by the individual state. For instance, California is a surrogacy friendly state, the state legislature has enacted laws supporting gestational surrogacy. The laws clearly define the intended parents as the sole parents of the child(ren) born through gestational surrogacy [the surrogate’s egg is not used to create the embryo(s)]. Surrogacy friendly states recognize contracts for gestational surrogacy arrangements as well as egg, sperm, and embryo donations. Their laws protect the rights of the surrogate, the intended parents, the baby, and the egg donor. The intended parent’s names are automatically put on the birth certificate. All that is required is for the surrogate and intended parents to have a signed legal agreement covering all eventualities. Each party to the agreement should have their own representation. In most surrogacy friendly states, the laws cover intended parents who are not U.S. citizens as well, making them good choices for international surrogacy.
Use a reputable agency for your surrogacy.
A reputable agency will carefully screen and prepare potential surrogates for the surrogacy process. In addition, it will manage all of the medical, psychological, legal, surrogate mother pay, insurance and administrative details that go along with such an arrangement. While it’s possible to hire a lawyer, and find a surrogate on your own, this can be problematic. The chances of something going wrong are greater simply because you don’t have the resources and step-by-step process in place that an agency does. You also can’t be as objective as the professionals at the agency. One example: that psychological work-up for the surrogate, that you decided to skip because you didn’t want to upset her, can come back to haunt you later. With an agency, there is a delineated series of steps that every surrogate takes, including physical and psychological health screenings. Every one of the steps in the process is there to insure a smooth surrogacy process and needs to be followed. This includes hiring a separate lawyer for the surrogate so she is fully represented during the contract negotiations and protected by the contract. It makes sense to think of the surrogacy agency fee as insurance, it’s there to protect all parties.
Surrogacy is a big investment, both emotionally and financially, so you want to do everything you can to ensure a smooth process. By conducting the surrogacy in a surrogacy friendly state, and using an experienced fertility center and/or surrogacy agency, you are reducing the chances of legal complications considerably. Think about these two steps as a surrogacy insurance policy, they give you peace of mind by covering all the legal bases and protecting all participants in the process.