You are about to embark on a spectacular journey of joy and sharing, a deep heartfelt gift of yourself to some lucky couple. You are about to become a surrogate mother. So what’s with the contract? Why do you need a contract to experience the joy of giving?
Surrogacy is a major and complex situation. It involves many facets, including your own home life, your emotional and psychological reactions and your family’s reactions. It also involves emotional and psychological reactions of the intended couple. And it involves genetic material of the intended parents and parenting rights. It involves medical procedures and sensitive information and privacy.
A contract is needed to make sure that everybody agrees to all points and nobody feels upset by the other party’s wavering or possible change of heart. A contract ensures that both you and the intended parents can count on each other, and that you have it down in writing, legally signed and accepted.
It will be a tough ride, carrying the baby. You already know that, of course. You might want to share the joy, but you still need to know that you can count on the support, both financial and emotional of the intended parents.
The contract ensures first that they acknowledge your rights and their responsibilities, and it’s in writing, not just a verbal agreement.
Second, the contract ensures that you have legal protection in case something goes wrong. Once it is signed, nobody can back out on you and leave you with a mess to deal with.
It is critical also that the contract cover every possible situation. For instance, what happens if there is a premature death of the child? What happens if you suffer a condition as a result of the pregnancy? What happens if the child poses a health risk to you? There are so many possibly situations, and on any one of them you and the intended parents might disagree. It is important to iron all of them out in advance prior to starting the process.
In any agreement that involves a transfer or a sharing of either money or rights, a contract is an absolute necessity.
And almost as important, a contract is legally required by the State of Florida. If you want to be a surrogate in Florida, you must first sign a contract with the intended parents. Florida is ahead of most jurisdictions when it comes to providing the opportunity for parents to seek surrogates, which also means that the laws in the State of Florida are advanced and progressive. Having a contract is a chief requirement.
A surrogacy situation can be fraught with emotional ambiguity, which is why it is critical to have a carefully considered contract in place, specifically laying out each party’s rights and their responsibilities. It is in your interest as a surrogate to make sure that all the legalities are neatly tied up, so that you can go about creating that joy without any nagging doubts or worries to bring you down.