Have you ever considered surrogacy? Here’s what’s important to know before entering the surrogacy world….
Surrogacy is a wonderful alternative for intended parent(s) when conceiving or carrying their own child is not an option. If you don’t understood the process completely prior to contracting with a surrogate, it can be a stressful experience, considering surrogacy’s medical, financial, and legal agreements, all of which are essential to the surrogacy process. While you will have a legal team assisting you along the way, it is crucial that anyone considering the process understand it in detail, so that you feel a sense of comfort and involvement during the surrogate’s pregnancy. In addition, a trustworthy surrogacy agency will provide you the guidance you deserve by answering any and all lingering questions you might have during the entire process.
The gestational carrier is a woman who carries a child that was conceived through in vitro fertilization, using the egg and sperm of the intended mother and father. Further, the gestational surrogate has absolutely no biological connection to the baby and is therefore referred to as the baby’s “birth mother,” rather than “biological mother.”
The intended parent is the person(s) who will be the baby’s parent when the baby is born, regardless of the genetic connection. Whether the child was conceived using the intended parent’s egg and/or sperm or that of a donor, there is a mutual agreement that the surrogate makes with the intended parent.
A domestic surrogacy is arranged between a surrogate and the intended parent(s), both of whom reside in the United States.
Compensation is the money a surrogate receives from the intended parent(s) for her time and effort during her pregnancy. These costs are not bound to medical or legal laws and can therefore vary, depending on the agreement made between the two parties.
Informed consent is your authorization to proceed with any medical tasks, with the understanding that there could be possible health consequences. Usually, the patient has to inform the doctor that they have perfect knowledge of any risks and or benefits. In a surrogacy, this includes the IVF clinic, the legal team, and surrogacy agency.
- Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)
This test is a comprehensive assessment of a person’s psychopathology, which may be relevant to any medical process. This very thorough test lists 344 items, each ranked on a 4-point scale, and takes 50-60 minutes to complete. This assessment is significant for any potential surrogate in order to evaluate her mental health before she carries someone else’s child.
The monitoring clinic is an IVF clinic that does blood work and performs ultrasounds and other examinations of a surrogate prior to the embryo transfer. A monitoring clinic will determine her suitability for a transfer before she goes to a transfer clinic.
- Selective Reduction and Termination
Selective reduction is the process of reducing the number of fetuses in a multiple pregnancy, usually to prevent any serious risks to the surrogate during her pregnancy. If one of the fetuses has an incurable disease or is outside of the uterus, then the process of termination will take place so a baby is not born with serious health problems. This process is different from abortion, because its underlying reason is a serious health issue. This two-day procedure was accepted in the 1980s when doctors became more aware of the health consequences that come with pregnancy.
This is the health insurance given to intended parent(s) for infertility and IVF treatments. Only 15 states currently provide insurance for these treatments, and it has remained the same since the 1980s.
- Surrogate Health Insurance
This is the surrogacy insurance granted to the surrogate during her pregnancy, in case any problems occur.
- Comprehensive Surrogacy Insurance
This surrogacy insurance is given to the surrogate and is purchased by the intended parent(s). It will give the surrogate the ability to see any doctor and give birth at any hospital.
This is the health insurance purchased by the intended parent(s) to protect their new-born child. The coverage will be effective as long as the intended parent(s) enroll their child within the first 30 days of birth. If not enrolled within the first 30 days, the child risks being subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion.
This is an agreement between the legal teams for both the surrogate and intended parent(s). The contract covers parentage, state laws, and financial and medical terms in order to protect all parties involved in the process. It is required by the surrogacy agency before there is any direct communication between the surrogate and intended parent(s) to prevent any legal issues between the two parties.
These accounts help you plan for future payments by ensuring money is set aside. In a surrogacy agreement, an escrow account is required in order to make sure the surrogate will receive her proper amount of compensation at an appropriate time.
This page is signed by the intended parents and the egg donor during the surrogacy process to ensure anonymity after the Direct Agreement between the two parties has been signed. It will be signed as “Intended Parent” and “Egg Donor,” and both parties will receive a copy of this page for their files.
- Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA)
This agreement describes the surrogacy law of direct agreement between the gestational carrier and the intended parent(s). The contract covers medical decisions during the pregnancy, medical bills, medical complications, medical history, financial considerations, and the involvement that the intended parent(s) will have during the surrogate’s pregnancy. This is one of the few documents that involves direct communication between the intended parent(s) and the surrogate.
This document covers the legal process of the intended parent(s) to obtain full rights over the baby once he/she is born and for the surrogate to be relieved from legal responsibility over the child she is carrying. This process begins after the pregnancy commences and is handled by the in-state attorney. The process of parentage involves many legal documents in order to give full rights to the intended parent(s) and varies depending on the state surrogacy laws.
This is one of the legal documents involved in assigning parentage to a child. These documents are usually started in the fourth month and completed by the seventh month of the surrogate’s pregnancy but may vary depending on which state in which the surrogate resides.
This is a legal document that assigns you as the legal parent(s) of the child and is required by some states, depending on their surrogacy laws. The state court will sign off on the document once the baby is born as a final step in the parentage process.
As it may now appear to you, the surrogacy process is not to be taken lightly, and it is important to understand the different surrogacy definitions and surrogacy’s legal aspects if you are considering the process. However, it is an amazing option for intended parent(s) who aren’t able to conceive their own children. Our goal is to bring all families who are considering surrogacy a sense of comfort and knowledge about the process. This blog gives you everything you need to know about surrogacy.
Joy of Life is a California-based surrogacy agency that has helped many couples build families. If you have any other questions, please contact us.