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Help on surrogacy journey

7 replies

Katka93 · 21/08/2021 07:06

Hello. I have a friend who wants to be my surrogate and we are in a process of drafting a contract. Would someone happen to have a template to share? We approached few lawyers but they said they can't do this for us given it is not permitted in the UK for the lawyers helping IPs with this. I tried the uk surrogate agencies but since we have a surrogate it will be waste of money which we can imagine using elsewhere. Please do not respond if you have opinions about surrogacy or want to know the reason why we decided this journey I am really seeking only help from experienced IPs or surrogates. Thanks.

OP posts:
ScroogeIsMyAncestor · 22/08/2021 11:23

Did you approach lawyers experienced with surrogacy OP?
Brilliant Beginnings is headed by Natalie Gamble of NGA Law and I'd be surprised if they could not help.
You will, presumably, be spending a lot of money to go down this route, with fertility treatment, and your surrogate mother's expenses to be paid, and of course you will need a lawyer to organise your Parental Order after the baby is born. To try and cut corners and save money in something as important as this is fraught with risk.
You both need independent counselling to consider all the issues, there are bound to be many that you have not thought of. Contracts in the U.K. are not legally enforceable but the point of these documents is to enable both parties to calmly discuss a range of scenarios that you may not have even thought about, and have a written statement of intention to refer to should those scenarios arise.

CloseYourEyesAndSee · 22/08/2021 11:28

What kind of contract do you think you can draw up given they aren't legally binding in the U.K.?
You can have a written agreement of expectations but you can presumably draw that up between you, maybe with help of a trained mediator.

54321nought · 22/08/2021 11:29

nothing to say, except lots of love and good luck xx

AndSoFinally · 22/08/2021 11:34

It won't be legally binding whatever you draw up.

Your best bet if you're looking to save money is to draw up a "gentleman's agreement" between you to guide you in the case of disputes. As I say though, not legally binding.

Anon992 · 22/08/2021 20:05

Agencies can help with a template for a surrogacy agreement - but their templates are their intellectual property so won’t be freely available.

You are already aware that anything you develop won’t be a legal contract, but nevertheless it is so important to go through everything together to make sure you are on the same page.

If you are not prepared to join an agency (which offer a huge amount of expertise and support as well as a ready made support network for your surrogate), then I’d suggest chunking up some headings “trying to conceive”, “pregnancy”, “birth”, “post natal care”, “feeding” etc then listing out as many questions as you can under each heading so that you can work through them jointly. Don’t forgot to also work through your surrogate’s projected expenses and agree how she will be reimbursed. Cafcass will want to see an expenses breakdown and a copy of any agreement you develop when they are reporting on your case to support the parental order application.

Katka93 · 22/08/2021 21:45

Thanks very much for all your recommendations. I am fully aware that none of the agreements are legally binding but we do need to put in writing the expectations of each party and I find the idea, to get help from a family mediator, excellent, so thanks for that.

OP posts:
OhHolyJesus · 22/08/2021 22:03

I would add the need to discuss life insurance and wills, what would happen in the event of confirmation of downs syndrome or a life threatening or life limiting condition (for your friend or the baby), what would happen if your friend changes her mind and wants to terminate (not much you can do about that obviously), what would happen in the event that your embryo splits and your friend is then enduring a riskier pregnancy carrying twins or triplets etc ('foetal reduction' is not available in the UK) and so you might want to factor that into the 'contract'.

Does your friend have children? A partner?

I would agree with PPs that this is not something you should scrimp on, you can apply to a surrogacy agency when you already have a woman ready to have a baby for you, though they do the 'matching' I understand there is a shortage of willing women so you already have a very important part of the puzzle already in place. Opting out of the existing legal and regulatory framework that is there to protect both parties seems unwise. Have you discussed who will be in the room when the baby/babies is/are born? During the pandemic there has been a restriction in place as to how many birthing partners can attend a birth, though this is quite far ahead, it's worth bearing in mind that she might want her partner or mum there and you (and your partner) may not be allowed to be there, especially is she has a C-section.

Have you spoken to a clinic about this as I think they might need to make some checks on the situation you would be presenting them with, or maybe you are using your friend's own egg and self-inseminating?

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