Surrogacy is filled with many complicated responsibilities, some of which are also costly. For instance, in the process of undergoing the pregnancy, the surrogate mother may find herself in life-against-death situation that could go either way. The reason is that almost any pregnancy can result in maternal death. Besides, the mother will have to face all the challenges other pregnant mothers experience before delivery. With the list of duties growing longer, it is also necessary to balance it with the other aspects of life. The reason is that if we only have legally binding duties without an equal proportion of rights, this will result in abuse. This is no better than cases where people have rights without responsibilities, resulting in irresponsibility.
In this post, we shall answer the critical question, “What are the rights of surrogate mother?” When talking about rights, we are handling something that transcends legal consequences because motherhood is not a legal process or creation. If you are seeking for a surrogate mother, then this insightful discussion will open your eyes to know your obligations towards her. If you, on the other hand, consider offering services as a surrogate mother to childless couples, you should know your rights and responsibilities as much as possible.
The legal standing of a surrogate mother differs across states where surrogacy is legalized. For instance, in some countries outside the United States, the surrogate mother will be considered the child’s legal parent. However, the American case is very different because each State has its own legislative framework that could differ from that of another State. For instance, the State of Colorado has no law governing surrogacy, and hence, it is hard to answer the question, “Do surrogate mothers have parental rights?” In Florida, the State has laws that permit both gestational and traditional surrogacy. However, gestational surrogacy agreements are only allowed between legally married couples and they only take effect after the child’s birth.
Another right you should consider when intending to hire a surrogate is their right to choose parents to the child they will carry. This means that all surrogate agencies having such women on their list should respect their right to choose the parents they want to carry a baby for.
Another right that all surrogate moms have is access to care and support. It is important to consider that carrying a pregnancy to full term is a heavy and challenging task that requires financial and moral support. If you intend to use their services, you should prepare to enforce this right by paying the price. This means you have to incur financial costs to support the pregnancy up to delivery. Some of the things that fall under this right are:
The list of legal rights of surrogate mothers is incomplete without this right. All surrogate mothers have a right to participate in the decisions of the physicians who will handle them before, during, and after the pregnancy. It is prudent to involve them in the selection process because those decisions will affect them physically and emotionally. Also, you have to respect this right because anything imposed could lead to a mishap that could affect your baby adversely.
Does a surrogate mother have rights? Yes, she does. One of the rights the mother maintains as an adult is the right to independent decisions. During the pregnancy, she retains her constitutional right to make health care decisions. However, she has to ensure that those decisions do not affect the child negatively or breach any of her contractual obligations in the surrogacy agreement. Otherwise, she will risk losing her compensations from the child’s intended parents. The best way to use this right is mutual agreement and consultation with the child’s parents.
Since surrogacy, just like any form of motherhood, is a serious and heavy duty, this mother deserves her dues. In the US, for instance, you will need to pay between $40,000 and $60,000 to get the services of a surrogate. This payment excludes her right for the care and support we discussed above. So, you must be ready to compensate her fully as per the prevailing rates in your country.
Also, a surrogate mother is entitled to a full maternity leave just like all other mothers. If, at the time she is entering the surrogacy agreement with a couple, she has another job, her employer should allow her to enjoy maternity leave.
So, what rights do surrogate mothers have? All surrogate mothers should enjoy the right to information. The mother should be informed about all the medical procedures she will undergo and the medications she will take before, during, and after the pregnancy. She has a right to know the effects, and any side effects of these procedures on her emotional and physical health.
Should surrogate mothers have any special rights? In every way! We hope that all the rights we have discussed in this post have opened your eyes to your obligations in enforcing and upholding them.