Some are seeing this topic and saying...this is a no brainer...but there are others who have waived their rights to an attorney and regretted it. (or not...let me hear from you if that is the case!) I hate to admit it but I waived the right to an attorney for my second surrogacy. Yep, I thought that I knew it all...inside and out...after all I had been a surrogate before. I owned a Surrogacy Agency. I helped others discuss contract issues. Cocky.

Now my situation wasn't that sticky. It could have been a lot worse! There were just times when I wished I could pick up the phone and talk to someone who knew my side, my contract, and could answer my questions without a disclaimer/reminder that they worked for the IP's. Because that's what happens when you, the Surrogate, don't have your own personal attorney, you end up calling your IP's attorney hoping to get some answers or direction. Needless to say you want to avoid THAT phone call. It doesn't make you feel very special.

Most IP's only provide enough money for the contract review. (between $600 and $1,000) This means that you have a attorney (hopefully one who knows Assisted Reproductive Law) review the proposed contract with you. Your attorney would explain to you what you are agreeing to, what issues can be enforced, what the risks are if you change your mind, what will happen if you breech your contract and on and on and on. You can ask all the legal questions you want and have a dialog with your attorney that should make you very comfortable with your understanding of what exactly you (and your spouse) are signing. Contract changes can be made and negations regarding expenses can be resolved.

If you are in the middle of your surrogacy and all of a sudden you are asked to do something not in your contract or something happens and it doesn't seem clear the best way to handle the situation, you should be able to call the attorney who reviewed your contract and ask your question. If a difficult or confusing issue arises and you need to hire an attorney at least you have a starting point, someone who was with you in the beginning, and someone who can guide you in your decisions.

Why take any chances? Cover all the bases and have insist on having your own attorney. After all, your Intended Parents are represented, why not you?

Author's Bio: 

Sharon LaMothe is the Co-Founder of Infertility Answers, Inc., the Creator of Surrogacy 101 (the blogs), and Owner of LaMothe Services, LLC and writes about starting an agency in the blog 'The Agency Angle' . (New in 2/09) Sharon owned and operated Surrogacy Consultants of Florida, LLC, the first successful independent surrogacy agency in Florida, with her partner for over 5 years. Sharon is also a Co-Founder of Egg Donor & Surrogacy Professional Association (EDSPA) and currently holds the Surrogacy Chair. She is also a member of the Women's Health Forum and serves on the Parents Via Egg Donation Advisory Boards as well as being a member of the ASRM. Having been a Gestational Surrogate, Sharon gave birth to twin girls in March of 2000 for a Florida couple, and in January 2005, gave birth to girl/boy twins for a same sex New York couple. Sharon's educational background includes a Social Service major which encompassed classes in Crisis Identification and Intervention, Interviewing and Counseling, Communication in Groups and Organizations. Sharon is married with two children and currently resides in Seattle, WA. You may follow Sharon on Twitter