Creating a Surrogacy Agreement in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide by SurrogacyUK
25th Aug 2023
Welcome to the wonderful world of surrogacy in the UK! Whether you’re an intended parent or considering becoming a surrogate, understanding the surrogacy agreement is a crucial part of the journey. While not legally binding, these agreements are essential to build trust, clarify expectations, and make the process as smooth as possible.
Objective of the Surrogacy Agreement
Surrogacy agreements in the UK are more of a statement of intent rather than a legal contract. They enable all parties involved to discuss the many aspects of a surrogacy journey and ensure everyone is on the same page. By laying out expectations and agreeing on key points, the agreement helps to foster a supportive and positive relationship throughout the process.
Legal Considerations in the UK
Unlike some countries like the US, where surrogacy agreements are legally binding, the UK focuses on trust. Legally binding agreements that limit a surrogate’s autonomy are not allowed. However, the Law Commission has proposed certain legal considerations, such as covering expenses. Learn more from our detailed guide on Surrogacy Agreements.
The Surrogacy Process
Creating a surrogacy agreement involves navigating various key stages, each deserving special attention. Here’s a more in-depth look at these:
1. Trying to Conceive:
Number of Attempts: Define how many attempts will be made to conceive and what approaches (like IVF or IUI) will be used.
Review Points: Schedule regular review discussions to evaluate the process and make adjustments as needed.
Timelines: Establish general timelines and what steps should be taken if conception doesn’t occur as planned.
Contact Frequency: Agree on how often you’ll communicate—weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly—and the preferred mode of communication (phone calls, messages, or in-person visits).
Medical Appointments: Decide who will attend medical appointments and how updates will be shared.
Vaccinations and Testing: Discuss preferences and expectations for vaccinations, screenings, and tests during pregnancy.
Birth Plan: Create a tentative birth plan outlining who will be present, pain management options, and any birth preferences.
Hospital or Home Birth: Decide on the location of birth and ensure everyone is comfortable with it.
Post-Birth: Agree on the immediate steps post-birth, including who will hold the baby first, and who will have skin to skin contact.
Legal Steps: Outline any legal steps that need to be taken post-birth, such as parental orders or birth certificate updates.
Contact: Establish the level of contact or relationship expected between the surrogate and the child/family post-birth.
Payment Plans: Discuss payment schedules for covering the surrogate’s expenses and any additional costs.
Contingency Plans: Have a plan for unexpected costs or situations that might arise.
6. Contact and Expectations:
Future Communication: Discuss how you’ll communicate in the years to come, considering the relationship with the child.
Conflict Resolution: Agree on a mechanism for resolving disagreements or conflicts that may arise during or after the journey.
By addressing each of these stages in your surrogacy agreement, you build a solid foundation for a successful and fulfilling surrogacy journey. Remember, the aim is to foster mutual understanding and trust amongst all parties involved.
Crafting Your Agreement
Here’s where the rubber meets the road! As well as including sections on the different parts of your surrogacy journey, your agreement should reflect your unique requirements. Examples of clauses might include specific arrangements that relate to your individual journey, things that are particular important to you and things you want to ensure are not forgotten through your journey.
Understanding the Legal Landscape with The Law Commission
While it’s essential to create a surrogacy agreement based on trust and open communication, understanding the legal context in the UK can provide extra peace of mind. For those keen on exploring the legal dimensions of surrogacy in more depth, The Law Commission of England and Wales is an invaluable resource.
The Law Commission has extensively reviewed surrogacy laws and provided recommendations for reforms. Though surrogacy agreements are not legally binding in the UK, they might soon include provisions for covering surrogate expenses, as recommended by the Law Commission. These proposed reforms aim to protect the interests of both the surrogate and intended parents while keeping the surrogate’s bodily autonomy intact.
For an in-depth look at the proposed legal changes and what they could mean for your surrogacy journey, we recommend visiting The Law Commission’s Surrogacy Reform Information.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can the intended parents force me to do anything I don’t want to do? No, the agreement is based on trust and mutual understanding.
- Once signed, can I change what’s in the agreement? Yes, the agreement is adaptable, and communication is key.
- Does the agreement mean that the surrogate will definitely hand over the baby? The agreement helps outline expectations but is not legally binding.
How SurrogacyUK Can Help with Your Agreement
Embarking on a surrogacy journey is an exciting but complex process. At SurrogacyUK, we understand the nuances and are here to provide unparalleled support every step of the way. Here’s how we can assist you:
Comprehensive Information and Guidance: We provide valuable information and talking points to guide discussions among all parties. These resources help in fostering clear communication and understanding prior to the agreement session.
Agreement Template: Our agreement template has been carefully crafted based on 21 years of experience, learning from hundreds of completed agreements and journeys supported. It covers all vital aspects to ensure a smooth and thoughtful process.
Experienced Agreement Advisor: SurrogacyUK provides an experienced agreement advisor who personally guides you through the agreement process. Our advisors ensure that everyone has a voice, and that no one feels pressured or coerced into agreeing to anything they are uncomfortable with.
Ongoing Support: Our commitment doesn’t end once the agreement is in place. We provide continuous support post-agreement to ensure expectations are met and the journey remains positive and fulfilling for everyone involved.
With SurrogacyUK, you’re not just getting a service; you’re joining a community that truly cares about making your surrogacy journey as beautiful and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re just beginning or have specific questions about your unique situation, we’re here to help. Feel free to explore our Intended Parents, Surrogates, or Team pages to start your journey with us today.
Surrogacy in the UK is a journey built on trust, empathy, and open communication. Crafting a thoughtful surrogacy agreement is an essential step that empowers everyone involved. Want to be part of this incredible community? Join us today and embark on this beautiful journey.