The privacy issues in a surrogacy agreement between intended parents and a gestational carrier supersede the idea of a reasonable expectation of privacy. Founder of The Surrogacy Law Center, PLC, Stephanie Caballero, Esq., is quick to point out how privacy rights, issues, and boundaries between parties are addressed through comprehensive contracts.
Although privacy agreements are in place, ensuring they are understood and complied with is more complex than one might think. Attorneys must still counsel surrogates on what they can and cannot say.
“Even if you’re not famous or a high-profile intended parent, a lot of times people want to be private,” Caballero said. “When I represent a surrogate, I tell her what she can say.”
An example Caballero shared was a surrogate carrying for a couple residing in Spain. Under her contract’s confidentiality provision, all she could share with family and close friends was that she was a gestational carrier for intended parents in Madrid – that was it.
“Here’s the thing. In most parts of the United States surrogacy is legal. But in most parts of the world it is not legal,” said Caballero, reiterating the need for privacy.
Caballero also provided a scenario with an executive at a company living in a country where surrogacy is illegal. If word leaked out that this individual pursued surrogacy, it could threaten his or her family unit. Additionally, officials could question if the decision to become a parent was in the best interest of the child based on a parent’s advanced age (fifty or more) or even if an egg donor was used in the process.
Erring on the side of caution can never be understated. At the onset, a surrogate may not fully grasp the privacy consequences, but through counseling with her attorney, she will.
“And here’s another thing. It’s not your story to tell. As a surrogate, your story to tell is your surrogacy journey and why you wanted to become a surrogate,” Caballero said. “You are giving someone a dream – that’s your story.”