Surrogacy Pregnancy and Birth Package
If you and your team are planning a surrogacy birth, you will be keen to make sure your healthcare provider is sensitive and responsive to the dynamics and needs of your team. Whilst most hospitals are keen to do the right thing by a surrogacy team, there’s a good chance that the staff will not have had much experience with surrogacy arrangements over their careers.
If you are new to surrogacy, you can read about how to find a surrogate in Australia, or how to become a surrogate yourself. You can also download the free Surrogacy Handbook which explains the processes and options.
Surrogacy pregnancies and births are complex, even when they go smoothly. The hospital needs to manage their duties to the pregnant person, as well as the baby. They may not be so focused on recognising or supporting the interests of the intended parents, and their resources may be stretched such that accommodating all the needs of the team is just not possible.
A fundamental tenet of surrogacy in Australia is that the surrogate maintains her bodily autonomy. This means that if she has strong views about her pregnancy care and birth options, the intended parents should be willing to accept her views or find a surrogate that better matches their own value systems. Whilst this isn’t a post about home birth versus hospital birth, most surrogates, regardless of their ‘ideal’ birth, will want to follow the advice of experienced medical professionals. We are not seeking to put ourselves or your baby at unnecessary risk. Home birth is considered a safe birth option for many women, whilst others will rely on the hospital system.
There are a few things that can help with navigating and negotiating hospital management of a surrogacy birth, including having a Birth Plan outlining expectations for the pregnancy and birth care arrangements.
When it comes to leaving the hospital, being discharged separately, or ensuring the surrogate and the baby are treated appropriately, many teams benefit from having a Parenting Plan in place. A Parenting Plan is not a Court Order like a Parentage Order, but it can provide a documented agreement about the birth parents relinquishing the baby into the intended parents’ care, and allow for separate discharge from hospital.
I provide a Pregnancy and Birth Package for surrogacy teams which includes:
- A Birth Plan that you can edit to your own needs;
- A Parenting Plan to provide to the hospital that recognises the intended parents as the parents of the baby;
- A Best Practice Policy guide for healthcare providers managing a surrogacy birth;
- Advice and advocacy for dealing with a hospital or healthcare provider to ensure the team is appropriately cared for.
Get in touch to find out more and let me know what you need.
I have assisted many surrogacy teams to navigate and negotiate hospital arrangements for their birth plans. Some hospitals apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach with birth and you may need some help to educate the staff about managing a surrogacy pregnancy and birth. You can also read more about Hospital Management of a Surrogacy Birth.