The contract. Break out the highlighters; there is a lot to go over!

 

First, I selected an attorney from a list of recommendations sent to me by NYSC and signed a retainer contract with her. We then waited while the IPs attorney drafted the contract. I was frantically refreshing my inbox waiting for the first draft to arrive; it became more exciting to check my emails than to check my socials. We received the first draft of the contract two weeks after beginning the legal process. I read through the 38-page contract two times before scheduling a call with my attorney. Compared to others, 38 pages is on the smaller side, too! During our call, the attorney took me through each paragraph of the contract. We discussed changes she had made or recommended, and changes, questions, and notes that I had. Together, we revised a few provisions and sent the contract back to the IP’s attorney. After 2 rounds of revisions, we had a contract that everyone was happy with, and we were ready to execute. I also completed a Living Will and Health Care Proxy with the attorney.

 

The IM and I exchanged such happy texts in those last couple days as everyone was signing! I was feeling very confident in this process with these IPs and ecstatic while thinking about the next steps.

 

The contract goes over everything you could possibility think of that will be relevant to you and the IPs during this surrogacy agreement. Some key things I’ll point out: communication during pregnancy; IP attendance at medical appointments; birth experience; IP parental rights; IP reduction/abortion rights; number of embryo transfers you will attempt; compensation – make sure this matches what you and NYSC agreed upon; lost wages after birth; medical autonomy during pregnancy; lifestyle changes – travel restrictions, avoiding problematic substances, avoiding dangerous activity, etc.

 

From first draft to execution copy, the legal process took almost two months. Now, time to begin the prep for embryo transfer!