When you decide to become a surrogate, you are giving another couple a chance at building a family, a chance that they may not otherwise have had. Your role is vital, as it’s important that you take excellent care of yourself and the baby during the entire process. However, no matter how carefully you plan or how healthy you try to be, medical emergencies and other situations may arise that take matters out of your hands. You must have a plan in place in case you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. You need to have a health care proxy lined up and ready to go.
What’s a Health Care Proxy?
You’ve probably heard about someone having an advance medical directive in place or giving another person durable power of attorney for health care. Completing a health care proxy form accomplishes the same purpose— it names someone to take over the decision-making for you if you are unable to communicate your wishes.
Why Would I Need a Health Care Proxy?
It may seem unlikely that you would ever need a health care proxy, especially since you are young and healthy. However, it is always best to play it safe. Imagine that you are six months pregnant with the intended parents’ baby, and you suffer a severe car accident. The baby is fine, but you sustain head trauma that puts you in a coma. Your health care proxy is the one who would speak for you in that situation, the one with the legal power to make important medical choices for you.
Can the Intended Parents Overrule the Health Care Proxy?
Of course, the intended parents will have their own wishes and ideas about your care and treatment, since you are carrying their child. However, your health care proxy should have the final say in those decisions. Talk to your lawyer and your surrogacy agency about how much authority, if any, the intended parents have over your body during those months of pregnancy.
Whom Should I Choose as My Health Care Proxy?
Your proxy for health care needs to be someone whom you trust with your life. Since your situation is unique, select a person who is supportive of your journey as a surrogate. The proxy should be someone with your best interests at heart and who can handle pressure from other people without letting those other opinions sway a decision. Are you having trouble thinking of the right person to serve as your proxy? If you have chosen an attorney with experience in assisted reproduction and related laws, the lawyer should be able to give you some helpful advice to guide your decision.
When Should I Complete the Health Care Proxy Forms?
Take care of the health care proxy paperwork as soon as possible. The sooner you have that vital document prepared, the more secure and confident you will feel. You’ll know that you have a backup plan just in case something happens. Call your lawyer today to start the process.
About Nicole K. White
As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.