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Here's why you need a surrogacy agreement

35403202_S.jpgFor families who are unable to have children through conventional methods, surrogacy may be a viable option. Many Missouri parents have wonderful relationships with the women who serve as surrogates, but a good relationship does not replace the legal protections found within a surrogacy agreement. A contract between a surrogate and the soon-to-be parents is essential for protecting everyone involved.

A surrogacy agreement must include basic legal information, and may also include some wishes of those involved. Basic legal information can actually be quite involved and goes far beyond the parents' and surrogate's names. Information regarding psychological and physical health exams, use of assisted reproductive technology, health insurance information and timing of prenatal medical exams should all be included in any comprehensive surrogacy contract.

Soon-to-be parents may also choose to include a dietary agreement. Surrogates are also usually required to abstain from tobacco, alcohol and illegal substances. If both parties agree, other aspects of health and well-being can be included in the agreement, although it should be within reason for the surrogate to accomplish.

Acting as a surrogate can be a selfless act, but even acts of goodwill require protection. Missouri parents need to be certain that their surrogate is acting in a way that is in their child's best interests and that they will have full parental rights after birth. On the other hand, surrogates need tools to protect themselves from being taken advantage of or held to unreasonable standards. A surrogacy agreement addresses both sides of the situation, making sure that everyone involved has their interests and rights protected.

Source: FindLaw, "Checklist: Surrogacy Contract", Jan. 16, 2018

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