A Surrogate’s Guide to Surrogacy Agreements

You’re ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime and become a Surrogate or Gestational Carrier. Surrogacy is beautiful and a significant gift to the Intended Parents, and the world. A way to be a part of what is truly good.

While you knew there would be many unknowns and new experiences, you may be surprised by all the legalities involved in Surrogacy in Canada. Most Surrogates (if they have not experienced IVF before) know that the medical procedures, medications, and of course the process of getting pregnant via IVF will be something they have not done, but they’re often surprised by how extensive the legal side of Surrogacy can be.

To help the legal aspects of surrogacy flow smoothly, there are many things to consider prior to seeking a match with Intended Parents. Having a clear idea of what you desire and prefer when it comes to your surrogacy experience will make it easier for you to find the right Intended Parents, and make preparing your Surrogacy Agreement a breeze.

Things you should consider prior to being matched with Intended Parents include:

  • Where would you like your Intended Parents to live? Are you happy to work with International Intended Parents? Would you prefer Intended Parents that speak your language or would you be interested in carrying a child for Intended Parents that are culturally different from you?
  • What kind of Intended parents would you like to be a Gestational Carrier for? Consider if you’d be interested in helping single Intended Parents, a heterosexual couple, a homosexual couple, or Intended Parents that are seeking surrogacy for a specific reason such as previous cancer, HIV, injury resulting in infertility, etc.
  • Would you like your Intended Parents to attend your doctor’s appointments?
  • Do you have a preference for whether or not your Intended Parents are present for the baby’s birth?
  • Would you like ongoing contact (during pregnancy or after) with your Intended Parents? Some parties agree to yearly updates.
  • Would you be willing to have more than one embryo implanted at a time?
  • Would you be willing to carry twins or multiples?
  • Will you be willing to selectively reduce if multiple embryos implant?
  • Would you be willing to terminate if there is a medical issue with the fetus?

Once you have chosen you Intended Parents it’s time to start working with your lawyer! You need a lawyer who is experienced with surrogacy and fertility law in Canada.

Your Canadian Surrogacy Agreement

A surrogacy agreement is an important and necessary document. Fertility clinics will require a surrogacy agreement to be in place before fertility procedures can begin. You can expect the surrogacy agreement to cover your legal responsibilities and conduct, the Intended Parents responsibilities and conduct, reimbursements, and more.

The initial agreement will be prepared by the lawyer representing your Intended Parents. Your lawyer will then review the agreement with you and respond with any changes. Once you, your spouse (if you have one) and your Intended Parents are in agreement, you will all sign.

Other Legal Considerations for Surrogacy

Wills and Estate Planning

Your surrogacy agreement will require you and your spouse to have a will in place. No one likes to think about the what ifs but this is an important step in the process of becoming a Surrogate. In the rare event that something goes wrong, you will need to ensure your assets, family, and children are protected and prepared.

Your Intended Parents will cover any legal fees associated with the preparation of your will and it will be in place when your pregnancy is confirmed.

It is recommended that you connect with us following your surrogacy journey to have your will amended and remove the sections that refer to surrogacy.

Life Insurance

This is another one of those things that can be difficult to discuss, especially in preparation for surrogacy. Your surrogacy agreement will require you to have a life insurance policy in place, the cost of which will be covered by your Intended Parents. The life insurance policy should be purchased prior to your first embryo transfer.

Once you have completed your surrogacy journey, you may choose to keep your life insurance policy and continue paying the premiums yourself.

While the entire legal process of surrogacy can seem daunting to both Gestational Surrogates and Intended Parents, the right legal team will help you navigate the process safely. We work with both Surrogates and Intended Parents to protect their interests and clarify the surrogacy process. You can trust Canadian Fertility Lawyers to ensure you understand each step of the legal process. We make surrogacy agreements simple.