What are the rights of a surrogate mother
Since 1980, when the first surrogacy process was successfully accomplished, it has been quite a complicated legal procedure. Even though the documents are signed long before the pregnancy and legislation is always on intended parents’ side there can happen some unexpected “surprises”.
For example, Mary Beth Whitehead’s case in mid-eighties shows that situations when a surrogate decides not to take compensation and to run away with the baby may take place. Despite that the woman was caught by police soon afterwards and charged with illegal actions together with violation of contract and the baby was given back to the legal parents,it didn’t make the whole incident less stressful, especially for parents.
As surrogacy involves human beings, particularly surrogates under the effect of hormones, preventive actions should be made. No one knows for sure, what happens during and after pregnancy in surrogate mother’s mind, what may drive it in a particular moment; that’ s why it strongly advised to take an unbiased look at the surrogacy process first and study legal rights of surrogate mothers.
Does surrogate mother have rights
The practice shows, that clients, who pay for service usually have more rights than those who perform it. That’s why this issue results in questions: what rights do surrogate mothers have and should surrogate mothers have rights at all. The answer is firm ”yes”.
Surrogacy includes a number of serious medical procedures with medicine intake. Therefore, the surrogate mother has the following rights:
- To be informed about all the medical procedures she has to undertake and medicine she has to take and about their possible side effects as well;
- To demand health insurance;
- To be medically examined at no cost;
- To seek free medical support in case of side effects development;
- To seek psychological help during pregnancy;
- To receive promised monetary compensation after delivery.
If the woman agrees to become a surrogate mother for a couple that has HIV or AIDS, she has the right to consult an infectious disease doctor and to be fully informed about possible risks for her health. Also the surrogate mother has a right to visit this doctor regularly at no cost.
Do surrogate mothers have parental rights
In spite of the fact that there is no regulatory act that can cover all the aspects of the surrogate motherhood in depth, the law about surrogacy in all the countries ,where it is allowed, clearly states that a surrogate mother has no parental rights on the child, that she carries and gives birth to for a childless family. She can’t claim to be a legal mother even if her eggs were used for artificial insemination. All the points are regulated in advance by the contract drafted between a surrogate mother and intended parents.
Generally, the child is given to the parents’ right after the delivery and surrogate’s involvement stops at the moment of baby’s transfer. This happens to prevent surrogate mother’s bonding to the child and further complications of the process. In some cases, and it is rather an exception than a rule, the surrogate can stay with an infant longer to breast-feed him or her. In an incident with Mary Beth Whitehead, she was even allowed to see the baby afterwards.
Also, the further scenario heavily depends on the relationship settled between intended parents and a surrogate throughout the preparation and pregnancy. The bond can be so affectionate that they can stay in touch with each other and share information and photos even if it wasn’t negotiated previously. To sum up, the surrogate mother isn’t eligible to be a legal mother according to the law and the contract but rarely can have further involvement with an infant.