The culmination of the surrogacy journey is at the hospital when the baby is born. It’s an incredible moment in the process. In order to ensure a seamless surrogacy delivery process, advance arrangements at the hospital are important to make sure the hospital staff is prepared for a surrogacy delivery.
Having personally worked with a surrogate before, I know that when you arrive at the hospital for the big delivery date, a million things are running through your head and the last thing you want to think about is wondering whether the doctor will allow you the appropriate access to the baby that you are legally entitled to.
Each state has different legal processes to ensure that the parents are deemed the legal parents. It is important to find out what appropriate documentation or notification should be sent to the hospital in advance of the birth to help ensure a smooth delivery process for all the parties. When the hospital is aware of a surrogacy arrangement in advance of the birth, they know important information such as who has decision making authority for the child(ren), who should be banded as the parents for the child, who the baby is discharged to, and other critical logistics.
It is important to consult with your surrogacy attorney to find out how the birth certificate process will be handled and what paperwork is needed by the hospital or your applicable Vital records office to ensure that the intended parents are named as the sole legal parents of the child(ren). Each state handles this differently.
Additionally, when the hospital has information about the surrogacy in advance of the birth, special accommodations may be arranged such as a separate room for the intended parents and the child(ren), if available, pre-registration of the surrogate and the child (for health insurance purposes), and other birth-plan related details can be arranged such as whether the surrogate will be pumping breast milk, whether cord blood/tissue is being collected, and other delivery related details that can be worked out with the hospitals. For example, many hospitals offer hospital-grade breast pump rentals which can be helpful when a surrogate agrees to pump breast milk while at the hospital.
Most hospitals offer tours of the delivery unit which also may help in a smooth delivery process so everyone is aware of the hospital facilities before the big day. Some hospitals offer informative educational opportunities to take in anticipation of the delivery such as infant CPR, child safety classes and the like.