Dawn Davenport over at Creating a Family wrote an excellent blog post on the Twelve Signs That An Adoption Match May Fail which has inspired me to think about the similar red flags applicable to surrogacy matches.
Sign #1: Abortion views
The intended parents and the surrogate don’t share the same views about abortion. This is a deal-breaker because it makes it impossible for the participants to work together to reach a resolution should the need arise to consider this difficult issue during pregnancy.
Sign #2: Lack of family support
The surrogate’s husband is not in favor of the arrangement. This is also a deal-breaker, unless his position is based upon misinformation as to the nature of such arrangements and he comes around once he understands the actual process.
Sign #3: Secrecy
The surrogate has not shared her plans with her family and/or the father of her own children. She will need her family’s support through the process, so it’s critical that she disclose her plans to them early on. However, intended parents may have good reasons for not wanting to disclose the surrogacy to their family and friends until a viable pregnancy is in place.
Sign #4: Traditional surrogacy
The surrogate insists upon pursuing a traditional surrogacy (where her own egg is used). While there can be many valid reasons for a prospective surrogate to prefer traditional surrogacy, this is a high-risk legal scenario that must be carefully evaluated by the intended parents before proceeding.
Sign #5: Age
The surrogate is very young. She may not be clued in to the realities of what a surrogacy arrangement involves.
Sign #6: Finances
The surrogate or intended parents are not financially stable. When a surrogate relies upon a surrogacy arrangement to meet her basic financial needs such as rent and food for her own children, she may not be entering into the arrangement with the appropriate state of mind to make wise decisions for herself and her own family. As for intended parents, they need to have the financial ability to meet the inherent expenses of surrogacy.
Sign #7: No children
The surrogate has no children of her own. This is also a deal-breaker because the guidelines used by most doctors required at least one prior full-term pregnancy. In addition, this requirement is also imposed by state law in certain states, such as under New Hampshire‘s surrogacy law.
Sign #8: Evasiveness
The surrogate or intended parent is evasive or not prompt in responses to the matching agency’s or attorney’s request for more information.
Sign #9: Motivation
The surrogate is overly focused on her own financial needs rather than on a desire to help a couple build a family. Or the intended parents are overly focused on controlling the surrogate’s lifestyle during the pregnancy, rather than relying upon her to make good choices for herself and the baby.
Sign #10: Residence
The surrogate lives in a state with laws that are not surrogacy friendly. It is a deal-breaker if she lives in a state where the laws prohibit surrogacy.
Sign #11: Number of Embryos
The intended parents and the surrogate don’t agree upon the number of embryos to transfer. Some surrogates don’t want to take on the possibility of carrying twins because of the higher likelihood of complications, such as those that can impact her physical ability to care for her own children.
Sign #12: Avoiding professional advice
One of the participants wants to do an under-the-table arrangement without disclosing the surrogacy to the physician and without the benefit of legal advice.
Of course, many of these are only signals of the need to be cautious and to conduct further due diligence, rather than clear-cut signs that a surrogacy match is doomed. So please do your due diligence before you agree to go forward on a potential match. Please contact me at the Law Office of Catherine Tucker to learn more about conducting appropriate due diligence before entering into a surrogacy match.