In my last blog, I discussed that in order to cut costs, some couples seek surrogates outside of the US; specifically, they seek surrogates in India.
Today I have another blog about the dangers of cost-cutting. Open Arms always has a list of preferred Reproductive Attorneys to insure Intended Parents and Surrogates have appropriate contacts in place before the very first transfer is preformed. This also guarantees that an attorney who is well-versed in the matter of surrogacy and all its related subjects (health insurance, parents’ legal rights, etc) will work with the Intended Parents throughout the cycle. (Surrogates always have their own attorney to explain to them their rights and protect their best interests)
This may not seem important at first glance. After all, what is there to discuss? A gestational surrogate is a woman biologically unrelated to the fetus, who is being paid for her services. But issues arise, and when discussing such a sensitive and emotionally volatile subject as surrogacy, it is important to have these issues ironed out before an embryo transfer is made.
Take, for example, an article on a carrier who changed her mind at the last moment and decided to keep for herself the baby she had agreed to carry for others. The hospital where she delivered was unfamiliar with surrogacy, and allowed the apparent-new-mother to leave the premises with the intended parents’ child.
The article, linked below, tells this particular story and explains the importance of having a legal contract written specifically for the intended parents – anything you find online will not be detailed or specific enough to your case.
Obviously the best surrogate/IP relationship is one in which all parties become comfortable and friendly with one another. But as with anything involving payments or services rendered, it is important to get the legal issues out of the way early on. It may seem awkward to request a contract from someone you trust, or even from a family member (as some IPs choose to use family members as surrogates), but it is imperative to do so in order to make sure everything runs smoothly. To be honest, surrogacy (and pregnancy in general) can be stressful and at times unexpected issues can arise. A contract can certainly help to make sure a pregnancy runs smoothly.
Our advice at Open Arms is to get the contract signed and out of the way as soon the surrogate is matched and is medically and psychologically evaluated. This way everyone is covered and everyone’s rights are looked after. Sign the contract, put it aside, and develop a healthy personal relationship between the surrogate and yourself.
The bottom line is that this process can be stressful enough; make sure that the birth of the child is the happiest day it can be, for everyone involved.