What is a Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA) and Why Do I Need One?

Man and woman looking over a paper contract

You’ve finally reached that exciting part of your journey where you’ve found a surrogate, cleared all the medical and psychological expectations, and are ready to start the transfer process! The last thing your clinic tells you that you need to do is work with an attorney to draft a gestational surrogacy agreement (GSA) (also called a gestational carrier agreement, or GCA). What is this document and why do you need it?

A gestational surrogacy agreement is a legal contract between you and your surrogate that spells out each person’s rights, obligations, intentions, and expectations. This usually includes information about insurance, payment of medical bills, the process of making medical decisions, as well as the level of contact you would like from your surrogate, such as if you would go with to medical appointments or how often you would like updates. The contract can also include payment schedules for your gestational surrogate and what the compensation might be for lost wages due to bed rest and other things that can arise during a pregnancy.

Both you and your surrogate will need to work with separate attorneys during this process who will draft the contract and negotiate the terms. Your attorney will be there to make sure your interests are protected and your surrogate’s attorney will do the same for her. Intended parents generally pay for both their own attorney as well as their gestational carrier’s attorney.

You may wonder why you need this legal contract in place before your clinic will begin the transfer process. If you are using a surrogate without going through a clinic, you may be wondering if you even need this document. The answer is absolutely yes! 

A gestational surrogacy agreement puts in writing what your surrogacy journey with a gestational carrier will look like. It also includes legal ramifications if any of the people involved don’t do what they agreed to do. It also is the first step in guaranteeing your parental rights. Not having a GSA could easily result in anything from a minor inconvenience, such as confusion over expectations throughout the pregnancy, to major issues, such as your surrogate being considered the parent of your child. A verbal or informal contract could also have issues if it does not have the specific legal protections that are built into a contract drafted by an ART attorney.

While it may feel like just another step to finish before starting your transfer, a gestational carrier agreement is vital when working with a surrogate. It can save you a lot of headache and worry down the road and make sure everyone is taken care of. Our office is happy to talk to you in more detail about your specific situation! Schedule a consultation today, because sometimes it takes a village. 


The following two tabs change content below.