Surrogacy Hospital Plan

Victoria Ferrara

12/29/16

In preparation for the arrival of the baby, intended parents and the gestational surrogate need to agree on a surrogacy hospital plan. The hospital plan will specify key details of the hospital/birth experience for the hospital staff. The more in depth the hospital plan, the better. Not all hospitals are experienced with surrogate births and the staff may not know how to meet the needs of all involved parties without the hospital plan.

A pre-birth visit will give intended parents the chance to ask key questions pertaining to the hospital's policies. Important questions may include:

  • How many people may be present in a C-section?
  • Do newborns stay in the hospital nursery or do they sleep in the room with the parents?
  • Will they be able to provide a separate room for the intended parents after the birth?

Visiting the hospital ahead of time will also give intended parents (IPs) the chance to introduce themselves to the hospital staff. IPs are the parents of the child and should be treated as such. Fortunately, in Connecticut, a pre-birth order will ensure that the IPs names go on the birth certificate and will be responsible for making any necessary decisions pertaining to their child.

Call on the experience of your surrogacy agency and/or attorney to identify important components that should be included in the hospital plan. While each plan will vary from case to case, common areas to address include:

  • The hospital where the gestational surrogate will deliver
  • Who will be present for a natural birth
  • Who will be present in the event of a C-section
  • Will the gestational carrier pump breastmilk or will the child be formula fed
  • Who will cut the cord
  • In an emergency situation, will forceps be allowed
  • Will the gestational surrogate agree to an episiotomy
  • Do all parties agree to anesthesia, and if so, what kinds

While all parties involved share the same goal of growing the IPs family, different needs of the various contributors will impact the experience. One example is a Cesarean birth. It is common that a hospital will only allow one person in the operating room with the gestational surrogate. The hospital plan will address whether she will require her spouse/partner be with her or one of the intended parents. If the gestational surrogate will agree to an IP in the room for a C-section, it should be decided ahead of time which IP will go. Also, while the IPs are the child's parents, the gestational surrogate has a say in how many people and who she is comfortable having in the delivery room. She may request that her own children visit after the birth. IPs may have close friends or family members they want to attend.

Thoroughly addressing details in the hospital plan will help reduce avoidable stress and facilitate a smooth birth and hospital stay. Taking the time to make sure everyone is in the know before the birth will be worth the effort.

*Please note: This is a general synopsis. You should speak with your healthcare provider for more information and details about your individual process.  

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