What to Expect During the Legal Process of Surrogacy – Made in the USA Surrogacy in Roseville, CA
If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate, one question that likely lingers in your head is what the legal processes involve for surrogates. You may think to yourself, are you protected in the legal process and what is involved?
To help you gain a better understanding of this topic, here’s what you can expect during the legal process of surrogacy.
Steps Before Legal Process
Before you can worry about the legal part of surrogacy, you first have to be medically cleared. This means that you have to submit all of your medical records to the surrogate agency for review. They’ll look over them and send them to a fertility clinic to ensure that you are healthy enough to become a surrogate. Then, after you are cleared to become a surrogate, you will be matched with a family who is hopeful and excited.
They will have a fertility clinic they are using to produce their embryos, which will also have a medical process that you will go through to be “medically cleared” for surrogacy. Once you are medically cleared, you will be moved to the legal process to review and sign a document called the “GSA” or Gestational Surrogate Agreement between you and the parents.
Medical Clearance & Genetic Testing
Besides being in the right age group in order to become a surrogate, part of the medical screening provided by the fertility clinic will be tested to make sure that you are free of any infections or diseases.
At the fertility clinic, you’ll be tested lining issues or obstructions, and the ultrasound will tell the clinic more about what is going on with your uterus. They’ll order numerous labs that you’ll need to have performed before you can officially sign a gestational surrogacy agreement with your intended parents.
After the GSA is signed, the clinic will be cleared to give you the fertility medications needed to prepare your body for pregnancy. This is to see if your body can even respond to the fertility treatments that it needs to before the actual treatments begin. This person is known as a poor responder.
The surrogate agency may also deem you unable to be a surrogate mother simply because it may be too expensive or take too long to prepare you for a healthy pregnancy.
After all of the tests are done, you’ll either be given medical clearance or not. If you are not medically cleared, then you won’t be able to become a surrogate with our California surrogate agency and we will have to re-match the parents with a different surrogate mother.
If you are given medical clearance, then you’re able to move onto the next step of the process. This is when the legal process starts.
The Legal Process and Surrogacy Law
After you have been medically and legally cleared, you’ll be able to find a surrogate lawyer. Because surrogacy law is still relatively new, it’s important that you have a surrogate lawyer rather than a traditional attorney. Surrogate lawyers have dedicated themselves to understanding the particulars of surrogacy law. This is opposed to traditional lawyers who may only have a base understanding of the law surrounding surrogacy. Made in the USA Surrogacy has a network of trusted surrogacy lawyers that will help with the process.
Because California is a surrogate-friendly state, you’ll find that the laws there are a bit more in favor of the surrogate. However, understanding them can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to go over the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA) with your lawyer. This agreement is originally drafted by the intended parents and their lawyer.
The GSA will typically cover some of these aspects:
One part of the agreement will likely indicate in what state the governing body law will be. Whatever state the baby will be born in is what law will dictate the surrogacy laws that are in place for the contract.
There will also be a section that indicates that both parties have their own separate legal counsel. This is important because having the same lawyer can make it difficult for the attorney to represent both sides equally. This section will likely also indicate that both sides were given the time they needed to review the contract as well as that they understand the contract.
Depending on how the parents feel about it, there might also be a section about group counseling. If the parents or the surrogate feel that they may need counseling during the process, then they might add it into the contract that they expect the surrogate mother to join them. Besides psychological counseling, they might also add health or mental counseling. This means that the parents are able to attend the surrogate’s appointments if they so wish.
Another section is devoted to conception. Most often, pregnancy is performed through in-vitro fertilization or IVF. In some cases, however, an egg donor or a sperm donor may need to be used. If the parents want the surrogate to be their egg donor, then that will need to be discussed and indicated in the contract. In the case that you are matched with a parent through Made in the USA Surrogacy, you will become a gestational surrogate- and therefore will not be donating your eggs.
Genetic Testing & Amniocentesis
In addition, this section may also indicate whether some form of genetic testing should be performed on the embryo before it is inserted within the surrogate or genetic testing such as Amniocentesis. Other details like how many embryos will be transferred, where the transfer will occur, how many attempts of the transfer they’ll perform, and how long the contract extends for the attempts will all be included.
To help ensure that a healthy pregnancy is had, there may be certain medical instructions that the surrogate has to follow. The contract will indicate any restrictions that the surrogate must adhere to while pregnant. These restrictions must be reasonable. They may center around the amount of travel that you do, the kind of nutrition that you receive, and the activities that you perform. This is all just to help ensure that the healthy pregnancy remains that way.
Establishing Parental Rights
A vital part of the contract is established parental rights. This part basically confirms that the parents are the legal parents while the surrogate is not. This also extends to the surrogate’s spouse, especially if they were a sperm donor for the process.
In addition to this, there will also be a section about custody. Essentially, the parents receive full custody of the child upon birth.
In the event of a divorce, separation, or marriage, there will also be a section that addresses what happens to the custody of the child in the event that this occurs.
While it may be unlikely, there will also be a part that discusses what happens with the contract in the event of the death of the parents before the baby can be born. The custody will be laid out as well as a promise that the financial obligations are properly met.
One last big part is compensation. Depending on the California surrogate agency that you join, you should expect a certain amount of compensation and at many different times. For example, you will receive a payment for housekeeping with our surrogate agency in the form of $2,000 across your installments. Payments such as this will be detailed in the gestational surrogacy agreement for the amounts and times of disbursements. How you are paid and how much will be written into the contract. It’s vital that you and your surrogate lawyer go over this part to ensure that it matches what you expect.
A California Surrogate Agency Can Help
If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate, then it can be easier than you think. Choosing the right kind of agency can help you find a lawyer and health insurance. The lawyer can help ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve and that you understand exactly what’s expected of you.
Join our surrogacy agency today to begin!