Dear Sassy Surrogate
Dear Sassy: I’ve recently matched with a great intended father and we’re going into contract negotiations. My original contract doesn't have a maternity clothes allowance and my lawyer has suggested I think about asking for one. Isn’t this asking too much of my IF? I was pregnant 3 years ago and I think I’m still the same size. – Style and Budget Conscious
Dear S&BC: I totally get it – it seems hard to ask for money for clothes on top of everything else your intended father is paying. However, I’d like to encourage you to consider it very seriously. Usually a maternity clothes allowance is only $500 to $750, which is very small in comparison to other surrogacy costs. Not only that, but it is expensive to dress a pregnant body. It’s not just making sure you have in-season clothes, it’s maternity bras, maternity girdles or belly bands, maternity underwear. These items aren’t cheap, and you may not have gone up or down in size since your last pregnancy, but women can carry very differently for each pregnancy. And if you are pregnant with twins, you’ll need different sizing. Dressing well while pregnant is good for your self-esteem, and it can be essential for your job. While it may at first seem like “too much,” I’d argue that for a small amount, your intended father can really make a significant value-add to your life with a small allowance for maternity clothing. Best wishes to you!
Dear Sassy: I’m really interested in becoming a surrogate, but I’m worried about what to do with my own small child while going to appointments, or especially if I need to be on bed rest. How do other surrogates handle this? – Mom Seeking Answers
Dear Mom: This is a great question. Most contracts between gestational carriers and intended parents have clauses about how childcare is to be handled, and it is usually negotiable (up to a point). Some contracts will provide reimbursement for childcare based on a certain “not to exceed” amount (like not to exceed $200 in a one week period), or based on an hourly rate. Some contracts even talk about reimbursing family members for extended time watching a child. This is definitely something to talk with intended parents about before starting the process, and something to bring up with your attorney when negotiating the contract. If you do end up going on bed rest, some contracts provide for compensation based on your current job (which does sometimes mean stay at home parents don’t get reimbursed for that time on bed rest). Your job may also cover you for short-term disability in the case of you having to go on bed rest. However it works out in your contract, you definitely need to have a support network around you (spouse, family, friends) who can help in a pinch, or who can be your sounding board.
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