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Surrogate Moms: Can You Bear Terms of Contract?

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

Surrogate moms are in the news, with E! host Giuliana Rancic recently announcing her use of a surrogate. But if you're looking to become a surrogate mom yourself, you'll want to give careful consideration to your surrogacy contract.

Many surrogate moms are more than happy to help and experience no complications, legal or otherwise. Take, for example, the North Dakota woman who carried 11 surrogate children over the last 16 years. "We never went into it to make money," the surrogate mom told ABC News.

But money -- and emotions -- can make surrogate motherhood a complicated legal arrangement. Here are some issues you'll want to iron out ahead of time in a surrogacy contract:

The type of surrogacy arrangement.

What exactly are you agreeing to: embryo implantation or artificial insemination? And how many attempts at surrogacy will you make for the person or couple you're trying to help?

What you can and can't do while being a surrogate mom.

Surrogate mom contracts often bar smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use. But what about sexual activity while pregnant, or even your diet? A contract may also discuss your responsibility for getting prenatal care or medical tests, and describe the situations in which you'd be allowed terminate the pregnancy.

Issues at birth.

Will the child's biological parents be present for the birth? When will you terminate your parental rights and give up custody of the child?

Financial terms.

How and when will you receive payment for being a surrogate mom? And what would happen if the pregnancy for some reason doesn't continue?

This is just a partial list of potential issues in a surrogate mom's contract. If you're considering surrogacy, it's wise to consult a local attorney to help negotiate and even draft the agreement. That way you'll know the contract's terms won't be too much for you to bear.

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