An incredibly important part of any surrogacy contract are the contracts, sometimes referred to as the surrogacy agreement, signed between IPs and surrogates. This contract can look substantially different based on each journey, jurisdiction, and the personal preferences of everyone involved. What’s important to note is that much of the elements of a surrogacy agreement should be talked out between IPs and surrogates beforehand. It helps to make sure everyone is on the same page. Open communication makes for a very smooth legal process!
What does a surrogacy contract do?
In Canada, a surrogacy agreement is required in order to proceed with an embryo transfer. It outlines the responsibilities of us as intended parents as well as our surrogate and her partner. While the relationship between IPs and surrogates is much deeper than what is outlined in the contract, the contract ensures that everyone feels represented and protected from the get-go.
What kinds of things might a surrogacy contract include?
Surrogacy agreements can include a number of different elements including the IPs wishes on contact after the pregnancy, expectations about diet and exercise, delivery preferences and more. Similarly, the surrogate can include her own wishes, as the document is meant to represent the wishes of both parties.
Can’t I draft the agreement myself?
A surrogacy agreements requires a lawyer – it isn’t something you can write on the back of a napkin. Intended Parents and surrogates both must have separate legal representation. A fertility lawyer provides important added value beyond simply writing/reviewing the contract. They walk their clients through all laws and situations that can arise point by point and ensure everyone is moving forward with eyes wide open and fully aware of their obligations throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
Who needs to sign it?
Surrogacy agreements are signed by a few people; the Intended Parents, the surrogate, her partner (if there is one), witnesses, and the lawyers representing all parties.
Who pays the lawyers?
Much like other costs in surrogacy, the IPs cover the costs for both their own lawyer and the surrogate’s counsel. She is free to choose her own lawyer, however, and payment can either be arranged directly, or through your agency (if you have one).
We’re so excited to have completed this step in our journey, and honestly can’t wait for what’s next! Now that the contract our completed and sent over to our clinic, big things are ahead.
Baden and Zane