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Can a Surrogate Mother Decide to Keep the Baby?

Modern reproductive science has given infertile couples a chance to grow a genetically native child. Although surrogate motherhood is usually a common and trouble-free practice, there are still some cases when an incorrectly constituted contract causes conflicts between a surrogate mother and biological parents. Therefore, the question “can a surrogate mother decide to keep the baby?” is the topical issue of the utmost importance for many couples. In order to avoid all the risks, it is highly recommended to follow the legal regulations during the whole period from fertilization to the childbirth day. Let us get all this straightened out step by step.

Legal Requirements for a Surrogate Mother

Surrogate motherhood is a legally acceptable practice, with all the terms and conditions being outlined in relevant legislative acts. Amongst the most important aspects of the matter are the requirements to a surrogate mother. Therefore, far from every woman can become a surrogate mother. Here are the main requirements posed by the legislation:

  • age from 20 to 35 years;
  • presence of at least one healthy child;
  • a medical report on a satisfactory health status;
  • a voluntary written consent to a medical intervention;
  • if a woman who decided to become a surrogate mother is married, then her husband's written consent is also required.

Legal Basis of Surrogate Motherhood

Surrogate motherhood is an official and lawfully provided service, which is regulated by several laws and legislative acts. In order to avoid problems and conflict situations between the two parties, biological parents usually conclude a legal contract with a surrogate mother stating that she will give up a child for adoption at birth. However, even this document does not give an absolute guarantee that a surrogate mother will not change her mind. So if you are worried about the question “can surrogate mother keep baby”, take legal advice.

The consent should be in a written form and properly notarized. It should be presented when registering a child in the registry office, confirming the consent of the surrogate mother to transfer the child to the parents.

Can a surrogate mother change her mind after the procedure of child registration? According to the Family Code, only officially registered persons can be considered parents of the just-registered child. In the event the surrogate tries to assert her parental rights in court, the probability of her getting a child is reduced to zero.

Why Can the Surrogate Mother Refuse to Fulfill the Contract Conditions?

There are usually two reasons explaining why a surrogate mother may change her mind about giving the child to a genetic parent – both depend on the human factor.

  • Psychological imbalance – the emotional state of a woman carrying a child;
  • Fraud – when a surrogate mother manipulates biological parents to increase the fee or change the conditions of the contract.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict everything, and you never know if surrogate mothers can change their mind. There is always a risk that the surrogate mother (even possessing a stable psyche) refuses to give the child to biological parents. According to the current legislation, the newborn is transferred to biological parents only after the official refusal of the surrogate mother.

There may be cases when a pregnant surrogate mother thinks that she can easily transfer a newborn to the biological parents. But during the nine months of of pregnancy and subsequent delivery, the emotional perception of the situation by the mother changes radically. As a result, she is not ready to give a newborn away.

How to Prevent Refusal?

In order to avoid unpleasant situations when surrogate mothers can keep the baby, potential parents should take care of the correct legal accompaniment of the whole surrogate motherhood process in advance. From fertilization to the registration of a newborn, everything should be carried out under the capable guidance of a lawyer. Legal support is not limited to drawing up a contract between a surrogate mother and biological parents; it also involves the professional help with the correct choice of a surrogate mother.

Hire a Professional Company

A couple is unlikely to be able to choose the potential mother of their future baby themselves. The risk of becoming victims of swindlers or not being able to recognize a psychologically unstable person is too high. It is only possible to ensure proper compliance with both conditions when hiring a qualified company working in the field of surrogate motherhood for many years.

Conclude a Contract

Concluding the contract is the most important part of the process. It helps parents to prevent risks with the unexpected circumstances. There are so many nuances in such a delicate matter, and the standard contract can sometimes turn into problems later if it comes to the court. Therefore, it makes sense to ask help from experts with experience in surrogate motherhood when drawing up any documents.

Specify Extra Conditions in the Contract

If due to some circumstances, it is impossible for biological parents to assert their parental rights in the court, there is another way out. It is possible to significantly reduce the temptation of the mother to keep the child by having a separate chapter in the agreement specifying the consequences for non-compliance with the terms of the contract from her side. For example, you can indicate that in the case of her refusal to transfer the child to its biological parents, the surrogate mother will not get a fee or will be obligated to compensate all the costs biological parents spent on supporting pregnancy and childbirth.

When following all the above recommendations, you assure surrogate motherhood will be a trouble-free practice for you. In this case, there’s no need for you to worry about the question “can surrogate mums keep the baby.”


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