The Importance of Proper Legal Counsel for Surrogates

Legal Representation Surrogates
Surrogacy is an expensive undertaking for intended parents (IPs), regardless of the method they choose—traditional surrogate or gestational surrogate; egg donor or using own eggs; working with an agency or going independent—so some IPs may think it makes sense to only pay one lawyer in order to cut costs.  However, surrogates and IPs need to have separate legal representation.

Surrogates who are tempted to forgo their own independent legal counsel should remind themselves of the huge task that they are undertaking, which comes with its own set of risks.  They should also prioritize protecting themselves and their families, should these risks become a reality during the surrogacy process.

Both parties using the same lawyer is a huge conflict of interest.  That lawyer cannot look out for the best interests of the IPs and the surrogate.  Believe it or not the two are not always equal.  Should there be a disagreement, then each party needs to have someone representing them—the same can be said when each party sees a different meaning in a certain clause or part of the contract.
Surrogacy Lawyers
While this move might present to opportunity for the IPs to save thousands of dollars; it presents the opportunity for the surrogate to be taken advantage of—intentionally or unintentionally.  Also, in some areas the contract might not be considered valid unless each party has had their own legal representation prior to agreement.

Obtaining your own legal counsel—which IPs should still be paying for—means that you have someone offering you advice and looking out for your best interests.  Your lawyer can point out clauses that need to be modified or removed altogether, or she can suggest things you should ask to be added to your contract with the IPs.

Lawyers are always going to have the best interest of the primary client in mind, so using the same lawyer means  you come second to your IPs, regardless of any claims the lawyer or IPs make about equality.

This is not mutually exclusive to surrogacy.  A single lawyer cannot properly represent two different parties in the same case.  You need your own lawyer.

Finally, both your lawyer and your IPs lawyer should be an Assistive Reproductive Technology lawyer, preferably experienced with surrogacy.  You can find a list of ART lawyers here.
Do not settle.  Protect yourself.  Protect your IPs.  Protect the integrity of surrogacy.

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Surrogates and Lawyers

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