Surrogacy is a long journey for both the Intended Parents and the surrogate mother. It takes much longer than nine months – many Intended Parents work toward the dream of growing their family for years.
When the big moment finally arrives and the baby is nearly due, there’s one more significant step you need to take to ensure everything goes smoothly at the hospital: A surrogacy hospital plan.
What Is a Surrogacy Hospital Plan?
A surrogacy hospital plan is an agreement between the Intended Parents and the surrogate that covers a wide variety of details of the birth experience. This agreement not only helps to set expectations, but informs the healthcare team (usually a traditional hospital staff) about their roles.
This is important because not all hospitals are experienced with surrogate births. A surrogacy hospital plan provides a blueprint for them to follow throughout the delivery and in hours and days to follow.
How to Write a Surrogacy Hospital Plan?
Like other agreements during the surrogacy journey, surrogacy hospital plans take the form of a written contract all parties agree to. Developing one starts during the drafting of the Surrogacy agreement and is fine-tuned with a pre-birth visit to the hospital where the baby will be born. During the visit, you can ask any questions about the hospital’s policies.
You might ask:
- “How many people can be present in the room during C-section?”
- “Do newborns stay in a nursery or in the room with the parents?”
- “Can the hospital provide a separate room for the intended parents?”
Before the visit, it is a wise idea to make a list of questions you are interested in. Once you get started, you’re sure to come up with other topics, until you have everything you need to know. It may help to start your research online, but the most accurate information comes from a hospital representative.
Around the same time you are working on your surrogacy hospital plan, your attorney will advise you on the process to confirm your parentage. Understand that hospitals do NOT issue birth certificates as those come from the state department of vital records so ask your attorney about the process and procedures for this to be handled.
Your ART Attorney Helps with Your Surrogacy Hospital Plan
Each surrogacy is different, and every part of the plan needs to be expressed in writing. For example, you probably started with a surrogacy agreement that laid down the rights and responsibilities of the surrogate and the parents. The surrogacy hospital plan varies even more from one family to the next.
Some elements a surrogacy hospital plan can cover include:
- What hospital will be used for the baby’s delivery?
- Who will be present in the event of a vaginal birth?
- Who will be present in the event of a C-section birth?
- Will the child be fed with breast milk or formula?
- Who will cut the cord?
- If an emergency develops, who makes what decisions?
- Do all parties agree about the use of anesthesia?
Although hospitals do what they can to keep everyone safe, the differences in policy from one hospital to another can create points of contention between the surrogate and the Intended Parents. These situations are often so specific that an ART attorney’s experience is instrumental in recognizing them in advance.
For instance, many hospitals allow only one person to be in the room when a baby must be delivered by C-section. The parents and surrogate must agree as to whether one of the parents will be there or if the surrogate’s partner will stay with them in that event.
With experienced and compassionate insight from an ART attorney, miscommunications can be avoided. Contact Jennifer Fairfax today.