Surrogacy contract

Surrogacy Agreements

CFC MarketingSurrogacy in Canada

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When Canadian Fertility Consultants engage with new matches, the intended parents and the gestational carrier must enter into a legal agreement and seek independent legal advice. This requirement is mandated not only by CFC but also by the fertility clinic involved in the process.

What is a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement

A surrogacy contract is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the gestational agreement between the intended parents and the gestational surrogate mother. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries a child to whom they are not biologically related, as the embryo is created using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors. The agreement typically covers various aspects such as the responsibilities and rights of all parties involved, financial arrangements, medical procedures, potential risks, and the surrogate’s commitment to carrying the pregnancy to term. This legally binding contract aims to provide clarity and protection for both the intended parents and the gestational surrogate throughout the surrogacy process. All parties should seek independent legal counsel to ensure their interests are adequately represented and understood when it comes to surrogate laws.

When executed correctly, this legal document plays a pivotal role in mitigating disputes and minimizing miscommunication among all parties involved in the surrogacy process. By clearly outlining the rights, responsibilities, expectations, and financial agreements, the surrogate mother contract serves as a guiding framework. It provides a solid foundation for understanding, cooperation, and respect, thereby safeguarding the interests of both the intended parents and the gestational surrogate. Drawing contracts not only enhances transparency but also contributes to a positive and supportive surrogacy experience for everyone involved.

Why Are Gestational Surrogacy Agreements Important?

  • Legal Protection: A well-drafted surrogacy agreement provides legal protection for all parties involved. It clarifies their rights and responsibilities and helps avoid potential disputes down the road.
  • Clear Expectations: The agreement sets clear expectations, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings between the intended parents and the surrogate.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that the terms of the surrogacy arrangement are legally binding can provide peace of mind to everyone involved.
  • Compliance with the Law: Gestational surrogacy laws vary by location, and adhering to legal requirements is essential. A comprehensive agreement helps ensure compliance.

Key Elements of a Surrogate Contract

  1. Identification of Parties: The agreement should clearly identify the intended parents and the gestational surrogate. In some cases, it may also specify any egg or sperm donors involved.
  2. Compensation and Expenses: It should outline the financial terms of the arrangement, including the surrogate’s compensation, medical expenses, and any additional costs related to the pregnancy.
  3. Rights and Responsibilities: The agreement delineates the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. This includes the surrogate’s commitment to carry the pregnancy to term and the intended parents’ responsibility for supporting the surrogate’s medical and emotional needs.
  4. Medical Procedures: Details about the medical procedures, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer, should be specified. The agreement may also address prenatal care and birthing plans.
  5. Termination and Contingencies: Contingency plans in case of unexpected events or complications should be included. This might involve what happens if the pregnancy needs to be terminated for medical reasons or if the intended parents decide not to proceed with the surrogacy.
  6. Consent and Decision-Making: The agreement should cover issues related to medical decisions during pregnancy, such as the use of certain medical interventions or procedures.
  7. Legal Protections: To ensure the legality of the surrogacy arrangement, the agreement must comply with relevant state or national laws and regulations.

Canadian Fertility Consultants suggests that the following points should be covered:

  1. All parties must agree to undergo Medical/Psychological screening as required by the fertility clinic.
  2. The gestational carrier must agree to a period of abstinence before/post embryo transfer as required by the fertility clinic.
  3. After conception has occurred, the gestational carrier and the gestational carrier’s partner must agree to provide a safe prenatal environment. The carrier should also agree to comply with the medical instructions of the professionals she is working with, including prenatal testing, and dietary restrictions.
  4. During the pregnancy, it is important to outline the expectations of all parties- will the intended parents attend medical appointments, the birth, as well as what type of contact the Gestational carrier is expecting post-birth, if any.
  5. It should be agreed upon in advance as to what prenatal testing should be undertaken including the use of amniocentesis or maternal serum screening.
  6. Provision in the agreement should be made if an abnormal screen is found concerning pregnancy termination or continuation of the pregnancy.
  7. Every parent must accept that there is a risk of having a handicapped child or one with a congenital abnormality. The agreement should reflect the fact that a child who is born with abnormalities must be accepted by the intended parents unless such handicaps or anomalies are the result of deception or lack of care by the gestational carrier or the gestational carrier’s partner.
  8. The gestational carrier and her partner agree that they will not terminate the pregnancy unless deemed medically necessary, and agreed to by the Intended parents.

Dangers of Independent Surrogacy Agreements

Independent surrogacy agreements, while offering flexibility, pose potential dangers if not approached with caution. One significant risk is the lack of legal oversight, leaving both intended parents and surrogates vulnerable to disputes and uncertainties. Without the guidance of legal professionals, important aspects such as financial arrangements, responsibilities, and the handling of unforeseen circumstances may not be adequately addressed. Additionally, the absence of legal expertise can lead to poorly defined terms, increasing the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes that may jeopardize the overall surrogacy process. Engaging legal professionals and utilizing well-structured agreements is essential to mitigate these dangers and ensure a secure and legally sound surrogacy arrangement for all parties involved.

Ready to apply?

The benefits and advantages of properly drafted surrogacy contracts are pivotal in ensuring a smooth and secure journey for everyone. These well-structured agreements provide clarity on rights, responsibilities, and financial arrangements, significantly reducing the risk of disputes and misunderstandings. To safeguard the interests of both intended parents and gestational surrogates, it is highly recommended to seek professional guidance and engage in the surrogacy process through a reputable agency like Canadian Fertility Consultants. When you complete our surrogate application, our expertise in facilitating surrogacy matching fosters a positive and supportive environment for all those embarking on the transformative journey of surrogacy.