Do you need to hire an attorney?
Florida law requires a legal contract between the surrogate and the Commissioning Couple. This is essential so all intents, commitments, and financial reimbursements are clearly delineated. While it is not legally required for the surrogate to have her own attorney, it is in all parties’ best interest to have each individual represented. It is strongly recommended that a surrogate have her own attorney who will solely advocate for her interests. Industry standard dictates that the Commissioning Couple pay for the surrogate’s lawyer of her choosing. Individual representation for the surrogate and Commissioning Couple ensure that all parties have equal protections and help avoid future miscommunication, uncertainties, and disputes.
Surrogacy contracts outline how the commissioning couple will pay the surrogate’s living expenses, as well as the legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses that are directly related to the pregnancy. The surrogacy contract formalizes how the surrogate relinquishes her rights and how the intended parents will assume the parental rights and responsibilities for the child. It also details on how intended parents will cover the surrogate’s medical insurance. The agreement further outlines how and when the transfer of the embryo will occur. The contract addresses subjects such as location of delivery and the intended parents’ presence during doctor’s visits and at the delivery and also establishes the post-childbirth relationship between the Commissioning Couple and the surrogate. These can be sensitive topics and may require further discussions, information, and explanations. Having a surrogacy attorney thoroughly review the contract with the surrogate will clarify any questions that she may have and ensure that the surrogate fully understands any and all terms of the contract. Furthermore, a surrogacy attorney will negotiate terms of the contract and advocate on behalf of the surrogate.
Once all the parties are in agreement, then the journey can begin.