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The world’s first
gestational surrogacy was achieved in 1985, and in the past 30 years this
incredible movement of women carrying children for couples unable to conceive
on their own has flourished. Surrogacy is a truly positive and rewarding
experience for the intended parents and the surrogate mother, but the sensitive
nature of a surrogacy calls for careful preparation.

The Importance of a Surrogacy Contract
Before anything else, a
legal contract must be established and fully agreed upon by the surrogate
mother and intended parents. Though the process of writing and reading a
contract may not be nearly as exciting as watching a baby grow and develop,
it’s a vitally important step in ensuring nothing causes unexpected problems in
the future.

A suitable surrogacy
agency will work with both parties to confirm that the surrogate mother and
intended parents are appropriately matched based on priorities and in full
agreement of all terms before a contract is signed. The recent news story of
Brittneyrose Torres highlights the critical nature of a suitable match and
comprehensive contract.
Brittneyrose Torres
recently reported to the New York Post that she is a surrogate mother 17 weeks
pregnant with triplets, and the intended parents are demanding that she abort
the female baby. In fact, the intended parents are withholding all payments
until the baby is aborted, but Torres is insisting that the contract only
specifies terminating the pregnancy in a life-and-death situation. Torres
offered to adopt the baby girl, but the intended parents didn’t accept her
suggestion.  
A surrogacy contract is
legally complex and covers everything from medical attention, expenses, legal
rights and responsibilities of both parties, physical guidelines and
restrictions for the surrogate mother, expected circumstances after the birth,
and so much more. The best surrogacy agencies properly match surrogate mothers
with intended parents that share the same ideals, expectations, and priorities,
and will thus agree on contract terms without dispute. When surrogacy agencies
make matches that don’t successfully align, stories like Brittneyrose Torres’
develop.

The Possible “What Ifs”
When not carefully
planned and protected, surrogacy can breed a host of uncertainties from
conception through birth and even after.
Before conception, the
surrogate mother’s health and habits must be considered to ensure ultimate
safety for the baby, and the level of the intended parents’ involvement should
be established so all parties can rely upon firm expectations. Some intended
parents and surrogate mothers prefer daily involvement, while others like to
keep their distance. There’s no right or wrong, just personal preferences that
must match to achieve a smooth surrogacy process. If any person involved in the
surrogacy has doubts or feels uncertain of his or her ability to follow through
on the terms of the contract, it’s vital to have a discussion before the embryo
transfer.
The most major “what if”
issues hitting the news today are major situations in which one party wants to
terminate the pregnancy, dissolve the surrogacy arrangements, or alter the
financial agreement in place, if there even is one. Just like Brittneyrose Torres
demonstrated with her sad story, poorly established contracts leave the room
for lawsuits and awful decisions when all parties aren’t well matched and in
perfect agreement on all potential outcomes. There have been cases of intended
parents not paying, surrogate mothers changing their mind about waiving rights
to the child, and termination decisions falling into vast disagreement.
A surrogacy agency’s goal
is to ensure the right surrogate mother and intended parents are matched and in
full agreement on a contract that covers every “what if,” even the ones that
may never come to light. With those protections in place, the surrogate mother
and intended parents can feel more confident, relax, and appreciate the beauty
of the surrogacy process.  

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