Variations in Gestational Surrogate Agreements
Part of the process to becoming a gestational carrier involves creating a legal agreement between you (and your partner) and the intended parents, commonly called a gestational carrier agreement (GCA). This document states the expectations, obligations and rights of both parties. This agreement can take significant time to complete and will cover many different topics. There are many things to consider when drawing up this document. This is the perfect time to consider many different scenarios that may come up during the surrogacy journey and how both parties would handle them. It’s a time to be open and honest with each other; the more you communicate your desires honestly during this time, the smoother your surrogacy journey should go!
There will be many parts to your agreement but one of the biggest that can lead to conflict is the topic of money. What is the base compensation that you, the surrogate, are asking for? The compensation varies widely among surrogates depending on location of the surrogate, personal preference and experience. Second time surrogates generally have a higher base compensation as they have more experience. The financial part of the agreement will also spell out how much the intended parents will cover for things such as maternity clothes, travel expenses, child care, housekeeping, lost wages for the surrogate and her partner, life insurance, health insurance costs and medical bills. The surrogate may also be paid additional amounts for each invasive procedure she might have to undergo…the list can go on and on. These expenses differ greatly from contract to contract, and can depend on what the surrogate and her partner do for a living, what life and health insurance they already have, where the surrogate lives in relation to the intended parents fertility clinic, and if the surrogate ends up on bed rest or with a C-section and needs to take more time off of work. No two gestational carrier agreements are exactly alike!
Another part of the agreement discusses what termination boundaries have been decided and how many embryos have been agreed to be transferred. These are all topics that should be discussed before matching, so if you are with an agency they can match you with someone who had similar views on these things. It’s a good idea to also discuss these topics further during and after the matching phase so all parties are on the same page.
Other parts of the contract are statements that both parties certify as true, such as that the surrogate has had a prior birth, no health issues that could be a problem during pregnancy, that she agrees she will relinquish parental rights and the list goes on. If the surrogate has a partner, they will have to agree and sign the agreement as well.
Contracts can be seen as a tedious part of the process and can take quite some time to complete, but they are extremely important to take the time to do thoroughly and with the assistance of experienced professionals. There are a lot of decisions to make during the legal process and everyone should be on the same page!
If you are interested in becoming a surrogate or just have a few questions, fill out the intake form at New Mexico Surrogacy and we will reach out and answer.