1. Have a contract drafted by an attorney that specializes in third party reproduction. See the surrogacy page at Creating a Family for suggestions on how to find one.
  2. Talk about the hard issues up front and include them in the contract. See the surrogacy page at for a list of the top ten (plus two) items that must be addressed in this contract.
  3. Check the surrogacy laws of the state where the child will be born to determine whether your surrogacy agreement is legal and how parental rights will be determined. Some states are more surrogacy friendly than others. We link to a list of state surrogacy laws on our surrogacy page, but we strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney that specializes in assisted reproductive technology to interpret these laws.
  4. Have your attorney review the surrogate’s medical insurance policy to determine whether surrogacy related medical expenses are covered.
  5. Do not work with an agency that does not provide psychological screening and counseling to the surrogate prior to the transfer and offers ongoing counseling if the surrogate wants to participate. You should always be given a copy of the psychologist’s screening report, not just a summary. You should also be given a copy of your surrogate’s application.
  6. Pay attention to the surrogate’s support system and spouse. It is important to evaluate others in the family to make sure they will be truly supportive of this arrangement and that they understand what is expected of the surrogate.
  7. Do not select a surrogate that seems overly focused on money. Money usually plays a role, but if it seems to be the only motivation, run the other way.
  8. Get permission in writing from the surrogate allowing you to speak directly to the obstetrician about the pregnancy. Make sure the doctor will honor this agreement prior to selection.
  9. Prior to the birth, make sure the child is added to your health insurance policy upon delivery.
  10. You will likely be asked frequently if surrogacy is baby selling or baby buying or exploitive of the surrogate mother. Work out your opinion and a quick answer. You need to be totally comfortable in how you feel about this issue before you decide if surrogacy is the best option for you.
Image credit: Koshy Koshy