What If There Are Medical Issues in a Surrogate Pregnancy?

surrogate pregnancySurrogate Carriers are chosen based on a number of health criteria that maximize the odds of a healthy, safe, and simple pregnancy. But, like any pregnancy, surrogacy presents possible medical challenges. 

In addition to the pregnancy risks expected by most mothers, the IVF process entails some mild risks of its own. Because doctors understand these risks and how to screen for them, a surrogate mother receives enhanced prenatal care and testing.

This testing may reveal risks or abnormalities at any time throughout the process of becoming pregnant and the pregnancy. 

Likewise, there is always a small possibility of pregnancy complications even when the surrogate carrier is very healthy. When medical complications happen – or are simply deemed more likely than average – the Intended Parents are consulted for all major decisions.

The Role of the Surrogacy Contract in Preparing for Medical Needs

A surrogacy contract lays out the specific details of the relationship between the surrogate and the Intended Parent(s). Aspects covered include things like the surrogate’s compensation and the expectations the surrogate must follow.

This includes general details, such as:

  • That the surrogate should attend all prenatal examinations required by a doctor
  • That the surrogate should avoid risky behavior such as drinking alcohol or smoking
  • That medical records related to the pregnancy should be open to the Intended Parents

There can also be very specific stipulations in the surrogacy contract. These include provisions for the medical bills incurred by the surrogate carrier as a direct result of the pregnancy. As a general rule, these bills become the responsibility of the Intended Parents.

Unexpected Medical Complications During the Surrogacy Process

Medical expenses related to a surrogate pregnancy include prenatal care, delivery, and post-natal care for both the surrogate and child or children. Because of the nature of IVF treatment, there is an enhanced likelihood of multiple births, including twins and triplets. This adds to the medical complexity of a pregnancy and may require additional care.

The surrogacy contract is a legally binding document like any other. It lays out the specific areas that the Intended Parents will be empowered to make decisions about. This gives them the final say in many matters relating to the health of the developing fetus. Decision-making power includes the ability to make all decisions related to the termination of pregnancy if a medical issue is detected that impacts the life or health of the fetus.

When surrogates and Intended Parents are matched, one issue to look for is full agreement on hypothetical medical issues and how they should be handled. That includes an agreement in matters that are difficult to discuss, such as a non-viable pregnancy.

In the case of a complex multiple pregnancy with a high likelihood of complication, steps must be taken in accordance with an ironclad surrogacy contract. A good contract ensures you have the latitude to examine all your options and make the best decision based on the facts.

Jennifer Fairfax Prepares You with the Surrogacy Contract You Need

Jennifer Fairfax leads an experienced team of adoption and ART attorneys licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. With many years of experience in adoption, surrogacy, and the use of sperm, egg, and embryo donors, she offers the insight and compassionate care that makes the process easier.

To find out more or get started, just contact us today.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax