Surrogacy Agreement FAQ'S

Q: What is the purpose of a Surrogacy Agreement?

Surrogacy agreements are the first stage in a two-step process. The purpose of the surrogacy agreement is to allow each party to state their intentions, and their responsibilities to one another. The agreement will clearly state that the surrogate does not intend on parenting any resulting child(ren) and does not wish to have physical or legal custody of any resulting child(ren). The surrogacy agreement will also define the rights and responsibilities of the intended parents.

Q: Do all states have similar laws regarding surrogacy?

Each state has different laws regarding surrogacy. It is important for you to be aware of not only the laws regarding surrogacy, but also about the laws regarding how to establish yourselves as the legal parents in the state where your child will be born. Reproductive Law Center has experienced attorneys throughout the United States to advise you on these laws.

Q: I do not live in the Los Angeles area. Will I need to travel to your office?

Because all of our work is completed via email, fax, phone and U.S. mail, you never need to come to our office, although you are very welcome to visit us any time.

Q: Explain how a surrogacy agreement is prepared.

Preparing and finalizing your surrogacy agreement has various steps. The following briefly describes the process from start to finish:

  1. We will first send you a written retainer agreement to review. It will explain the services we will provide and the cost. Sign and date it, and mail it back to our office with your payment. We recommend that you also fax a copy of the signed agreement to us to speed the process along.
  2. Once we have your signed retainer agreement, we will start work on your contract.
  3. We will prepare the first draft of your surrogacy agreement and send you a copy for your review. Read it carefully and email us with your questions, comments or suggested revisions.  Our office will contact you to schedule a phone consultation to review the contract and your questions with one of our attorneys.  To avoid delay, it is a good idea for you to plan to review the agreement and contact us within two days after you receive it.
  4. Next, we will send the draft of the surrogacy agreement to the surrogate’s attorney for review. If the surrogate requests any changes, we will review them and send you a redlined version, showing the requested changes. We will advise you accordingly and will then proceed towards finalizing the surrogacy contract.
  5. Once the surrogacy contract is finalized, print out and sign the signature page, and fax it to our office. The surrogate will do the same.
  6. You'll receive two originals from our office containing your surrogate's initials and signatures. You will need to also initial the bottom of each page of both agreements, and sign both agreements, keeping one copy for yourself and mailing the other back to us in the envelope that we will enclose. We will send that original copy to your surrogate for her records. Our office will keep a scanned copy of the signed original agreement in your legal file.

If you will be using an egg donor as well as a surrogate, please see our Egg Donation FAQs page for a step-by-step explanation of how egg donor agreements are prepared.

Q:Approximately how long will it take to finalize this agreement?

The finalization and execution of your surrogacy agreement can take anywhere from one to four weeks, depending on how quickly the drafts of the agreement are reviewed and approved. Generally, we are able to produce a draft of your surrogacy agreement within two business days of receiving the signed retainer agreement and the necessary information regarding your match with your surrogate. We must then account for the time needed for you to review the agreement, as well as the time needed for the surrogate to review the agreement with her attorney. On average, agreements are generally signed within two to three weeks.

Q: Must our Surrogacy Agreement be signed before our surrogate undergoes medical screening?

Most IVF Physician's offices require a surrogacy agreement to be in place before your surrogate commences injectable medications for a cycle but not before undergoing medical screening. It is always best to have a surrogacy agreement in place as soon as possible.

Q: Approximately how much will the drafting of the agreement(s) cost?

We offer single-price, all inclusive service packages, as well as reasonable hourly rates. Please call our office for further pricing information.

Q: Must an attorney represent my surrogate?

Whether an attorney is required to represent your surrogate will depend on the state and county where your surrogate resides. We do advise that it is in both your and your surrogate's best interest to have an attorney knowledgeable about surrogacy law explain the contract to her.

Q: Will our names go on the birth certificate when the child is born.

The second stage of the surrogacy process requires a court proceeding, during which any rights of the surrogate (and her husband, if she is married) are terminated and your parental rights are established. Once this step is complete, your names will go on the birth certificate of the child. In some states this process will occur pre-birth while in others it happens post-birth (usually within just a few weeks of the birth).

Q: Can the surrogate assert her parental rights at some point in the future?

The purpose of the surrogacy agreement is to allow each party to state their intentions and to clearly state that the surrogate does not intend to have parental rights to the child and does not wish to have physical or legal custody of the child. It will also express your intent to have full parental rights to the child. It is important to know and understand the laws of the state where your surrogate resides and the child will be born. In most states the surrogate would not be able to assert parental rights, but this is not true for all states. Our office has a nationwide network of attorneys to advise our clients on these issues.

Q: What is the difference between Gestational Surrogacy and Traditional Surrogacy?

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not biologically related to any resulting child(ren). This type of surrogacy requires the use of  either the intended mother’s eggs or a third party egg donor (either anonymous or known), and the procedure to establish the pregnancy is called "in vitro fertilization."

In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate's own eggs are used to conceive the child, so she is biologically related to the resulting child(ren). The procedure used to establish the pregnancy is generally referred to as "artificial insemination." 

Our office can advise you on the legal ramifications of each process.

Confidentiality

All communications between Reproductive Law Center and our clients are secret and confidential by the law of attorney-client privilege, which is valid throughout the United States. To represent you, we must first have a written attorney-client agreement; then we can exchange confidential information freely.

Flat-rate Service Package
Free Initial Consultation

We accept referrals from assisted parents, from egg donor, embryo donor, and surrogacy agencies, from physicians, psychologists, and attorneys, and from other interested persons. Our law offices are fully equipped with highly trained paralegal and administrative staff to assist in serving our clients. We offer single-price, all-inclusive service packages or reasonable hourly fees. Your initial consultation is free.