Well, I have to say that this is my least favorite step of the surrogacy process. The legal matters. More specifically, the money and "what-ifs". The contract is typically drawn up by the IP's attorney, then given to the IPs for review. Once any changes are made (if needed), the contract is sent to the surrogate's attorney. The surrogate and attorney read the contracts, then go over them together (in person or by phone) to discuss any questions, concerns or changes the surrogate feels necessary. In our case, my attorney and I received the contract on January 18th, then set up our "phone meeting" to review them for January 20th. My agency went over the contract and sent my attorney a few changes that needed to be made so that it would reflect the agency's policies as well. I went over questions and concerns with my attorney, and she noted changes that needed to be made. Two days later, she sent me the "redline" draft, showing the original contract with any changes she made- so that everyone could review what was different. Once I gave her the go ahead (the same day) she sent it off to my IP's attorney. So, those contracts have made it full circle and are awaiting approval by the IPs and their attorney. Once approved, they can be signed by all parties and we can get the show on the road!
I said earlier that contracts are my least favorite part...well, I'm pretty sure any legal proceedings are not very enjoyable, but when you look at something you are so excited about and that is such a personal and joyful experience, the step where you have yo go over money and "what-ifs" is just not fun. In any pregnancy there can be complications, so the contract has to cover everyone's bases in any situation. It brings up questions of financial responsibility and issues of our own mortality, which is never fun to think about... but it has to be done. I completely understand that these contracts are a very important step in this process and I am glad that we have the lawyers and agency to help guide us through. It all has to be discussed, from every monetary detail to every complication that could arise. Hopefully we won't need much of what is said in the contracts to come into play, but everyone can feel a little more secure knowing that if something does happen, we know what to do.
That being said, let's get these contracts signed so we can move on to the next step... and wait some more. ; )