Things You Should Know About Surrogacy Legal Issues

Surrogacy is an excellent way to expand a family. However, there are some surrogacy legal issues, especially with international surrogacy. Before starting the process, it’s a good idea to understand the legal issues of common surrogacy. Surmom is a reputable international surrogacy agency with legal experts around the globe. Here is our guide to some of the basic surrogacy legal issues every family needs to consider.

Legal Issues Around Surrogacy Agreements

One of the biggest surrogacy legal issues concerns surrogacy agreements. These agreements define the responsibilities and expectations of the intended parent(s) and the surrogate throughout the surrogacy process. However, these contracts can encounter various challenges due to their complexity and emotional depth. One common issue is the lack of clarity and scope in the agreements, which may not account for all potential scenarios, such as unforeseen medical complications or multiple births. Omissions can lead to significant conflicts if the contract doesn’t guide on these matters.

Challenges With Surrogacy Agreement Enforcement

Additionally, the enforceability of surrogacy contracts varies by jurisdiction, presenting another layer of complexity. In some regions, parts of the agreement, especially those related to the surrogate’s behavior during pregnancy or decisions about pregnancy termination, may not be legally enforceable. The lack of transparent enforceability creates legal uncertainties and makes dispute resolution more challenging if disagreements arise.

Legal Challenges During Surrogacy Process Disputes

The emotional and ethical aspects of the surrogacy process also complicate contractual agreements. For example, disagreements over the surrogate’s lifestyle choices or conflicting views on how to handle potential fetal abnormalities can strain the relationship between all parties involved during the surrogacy process. Furthermore, surrogacy legal issues regarding compensation and financial terms are frequent, particularly if there are medical complications that extend beyond the initial terms agreed upon. Inadequate legal representation or a lack of independent legal advice exacerbates disputes, which might result in contracts that do not adequately protect the rights of all parties or foresee potential challenges.

LInternational Surrogacy Legal Issues

International surrogacy legal issues require specialized legal expertise. One of the primary issues is the difference in legal frameworks between countries. Laws governing the surrogacy process can vary dramatically, impacting everything from the enforceability of agreements to the recognition of parental rights. This disparity can lead to significant legal and bureaucratic hurdles, especially when it comes to bringing the child back to the intended parents’ home country. Issues such as citizenship, passport acquisition, and legal parentage can become entangled in international and domestic legal systems, potentially delaying the child’s return.

Financial transparency and security also pose challenges in international surrogacy. Fluctuating costs, currency exchange rates, and the logistics of international payments can complicate financial arrangements. Additionally, working with the medical system of another country, often with language barriers and differing medical protocols, can add layers of complexity and potential risk to the health of both the surrogate and the child.

Breach Of Contract During Surrogacy

Breach of contract in a surrogacy arrangement can create significant surrogacy legal issues for all parties involved. Breach of contract occurs when either the surrogate or the intended parents fail to meet the terms outlined in the surrogacy agreement. For the surrogate, a breach might involve not adhering to specific health guidelines for prenatal care stipulations set out in the contract. It might also include engaging in activities deemed risky for the pregnancy or explicitly forbidden in the agreement, such as smoking or drinking. 

From the intended parents’ side, a breach could include failing to provide financial support as agreed upon or not fulfilling other support obligations specified in the contract, such as attending key medical appointments. When a breach occurs, the resolution process typically starts with mediation, as most surrogacy agreements include a clause for mediation to resolve disputes. This approach aims to reach an amicable resolution without resorting to more severe legal actions. 

Privacy Rights During Surrogacy

In surrogacy arrangements, privacy is a significant consideration for both parties. The surrogate may require privacy for her personal life and medical information, which needs to be respected by the intended parents. Conversely, intended parents may desire privacy concerning their family life and the extent to which they wish to disclose details about the surrogacy process to others. Privacy concerns need to be explicitly addressed in the surrogacy agreement to ensure that all parties feel secure and respected.

Surrogacy is a legally complicated process. However, you can mitigate surrogacy legal issues related to surrogacy by working with a reputable surrogacy agency.