Surrogacy 101: Legal process- Match sheet and Drafting
This article continues our series on informational articles about surrogacy.
After all parties have passed screening they are ready to begin the Legal process. No surrogacy can take place without a valid legal contract; it is the single most important part of the process as it lays the groundwork for the entire surrogacy and all parties’ behaviors and obligations throughout.
The legal process will differ depending on many factors. These factors include the state that the Surrogacy will take place in, whether or not the Intended Parents are a legally married couple, and if there is an Egg Donor involved. The legal process, as a generalization, typically takes 6 weeks from start to finish.
Although Simple Surrogacy in no way will dispense Legal advice, we will refer all parties to dedicated Attorneys who are experts in Reproductive law to help them best determine how and under what laws their contract will be drafted.
If there is an Egg Donor involved, then a separate Egg Donation contract must be drafted and reviewed with all parties. We’ll cover the Egg Donation legal in a future post.
To begin the legal process, the Intended Parent’s attorney will receive a copy of their Match sheet, which contains all the information on the parties to the contract. Simple Surrogacy uses a Match sheet to expedite the process of negotiation of the contract, and it is one of the ways that we work to keep the costs of Surrogacy down. As everyone knows, Attorneys are expensive, and charge by the hour! If the average client were to walk directly into an attorney’s office and ask for a surrogacy contract, they would be asking that attorney to draft and negotiate the entire contract from scratch on their behalf.
With using Simple Surrogacy to guide the drafting and negotiation, the parties agree to most fees and terms beforehand. The Surrogacy fees are generally set and agreed to by the surrogate when they enter our program, if they are a first time surrogate. Experienced surrogates can ask for changes to the general terms, and the Intended Parents are made aware of their requests before they agree to match.
Once this match is agreed upon, the Match sheet will be presented to the Intended Parents for further review. It will contain information on compensation terms and schedules, expenses and fees, and other important material related to the Surrogacy match, such as Insurance information, timing periods, base compensation and fees for bed rest, childcare, and lost wages. By having all parties agree to the terms of the match sheet before attorneys are brought in, we can save our clients substantial attorney costs and time spent in negotiating.
After all parties agree to the general terms laid out in the match sheet, then they are referred to attorneys to draft the contract.