Six Essential Pieces of a Pre-Planned Adoption Agreement

When you choose to become a parent through surrogacy, it’s important to take the time to cover all of your legal bases. Surrogacy, also referred to in some states as “pre-planned adoption”, is a complex area of law that protects the rights of the contractual surrogate and the intended parents. A pre-planned adoption agreement is a comprehensive contract that should include several different components.

Date and Identifying Information of Birth Parent(s) and Adoptive Parent(s)

Your contract should include the date on which the agreement was drafted and signed by all parties. It should clearly outline the parties entering the agreement, including the surrogate and the adoptive parents.

The Sources of the Gametes

Legally, a surrogacy contract must state the sources of the eggs and sperm used in the surrogacy. If either the egg or sperm comes from an anonymous donor, no further information regarding the donor is needed.

Coverage of Medical Expenses

Your contract must disclose how you plan on paying for the medical expenses of the surrogate and the child/children that result from a surrogate pregnancy. For example, it may include information on your healthcare plan and its provisions regarding surrogate pregnancies.

Compensation

Surrogate mothers typically receive a base rate of compensation for the services they provide. This amount typically covers time spent away from work, travel expenses, expenses related to pregnancy, legal fees, and anything else agreed upon by all parties. Your contract should be comprehensive in its discussion of compensation, when compensation will be paid, and what other terms and conditions apply.

Expected Behaviors of All Parties

Outlining the expectations for the contractual surrogate and the intended parents is one way to minimize misunderstandings and preserve the relationship between the surrogate and the adoptive parents. The agreement may include information regarding the surrogate’s diet and physical restrictions, adherence to medical recommendations, and communication with the adoptive parents. It may also detail who is allowed to be present at prenatal appointments and the birth.

Plan for Embryo Transfer and Reduction

Pregnancies arising from IVF and other fertility treatments are likely to produce multiple embryos, which is why a pre-planned adoption agreement must specify how many embryos will be transferred and how many pregnancy attempts will be made. It should also specify whether or not a selective reduction will be performed if the pregnancy produces twins, triplets, or more. Your contract should also plan for the possibility of embryos with medical issues.

Extreme caution should be entered into surrogacy agreements, as current Texas law allows the surrogate to have up to seven (7) days to rescind the agreement and keep the child.

There’s nothing more important than family, and it’s crucial to have skilled legal counsel on your side when you’re exploring assisted reproductive technology options. Schedule a consultation now by calling the Amsberry Law Firm at (210) 354-2244.