One rumor making the rounds this week is that Kim Kardashian is disappointed that her surrogate is insisting on giving birth in the San Diego area where she is from, against Kim and Kanye’s wishes. It was reported that Kim wants the woman to give birth instead at Cedars-Sinai near Beverly Hills, where she welcomed North, four and Saint, 23 months.
The only problem with that story is that Kim and her surrogate most likely hammered out a contract so tight that how often they speak, where she will give birth, and who her OB-GYN are were all decided long ago, before she even started carrying the baby — a girl, Kim tells Ellen.
According to Meryl B. Rosenberg, who runs Art Parenting, a law service and surrogacy program that matches biological parents to gestational surrogates, Kim’s already been through all of this with her surrogate.
“There [are] confidentiality clauses and contracts, and if I have intended parents that have a preference on anything one way or another, that’s decided at the beginning,” Rosenberg tells Personal Space. “From day one it’s discussed, the anticipated doctor and hospital, where the surrogate is in network [on health insurance]. This is a partnership, they meet each other and from day one the lines of communication are open — from day one.”
And while state laws vary, in California, Kim’s surrogate will never have legal custody of the baby, the intended parents are the “sole legal parents.” So, Kim can feel a loss of control, as she admitted, but the baby is hers already.
The loss of control Kim is referring to likely has to do with the day-to-day behavior and habits of the gestational carrier.
Again, any and all requests you have for her lifestyle — for example, if you want her to eat strictly organic — are hammered out beforehand, says Rosenberg.
“It would be very unusual to limit contact. I’ve seen contracts that say they should speak once a week minimum to assure minimal contact, many speak daily ... you can determine all this beforehand, it’s how often both the biological parents and the surrogate feel comfortable,” she says. “At the core it’s a matter of trust.”
Kim and her surrogate likely sat down dozens of times to discuss the expectations, and worked out a contract that spells out everyone’s duties, from day-to-day details to expenses and costs that are covered.
“Certain behavior limitations, like eating organic and things like that are more of a wish. You both discuss and the biological covers cost and what is the surrogate willingness. You will never control what someone’s eating or doing, they’re in their own house with their own rules. You have to ask, are you comfortable with their life? While behavior is something you can’t enforce, if you don’t trust each other you shouldn’t work together,” Rosenberg says.
Rosenberg says a lot goes into preliminary talks about matches, does this person knows what she’s doing, has she had healthy deliveries before?
Some biological moms are less worried than others, who worry what their surrogate is doing every minute of every day.
“It depends on the individual,” Rosenberg says. “When you decide this is how you have your family, you have to be OK with giving up control. What you are in control of is finding the right fit and vice versa, and hopefully you can trust that you’re working with the right people who are helping with the process. That should fully alleviate some of that worry.”
Will Kim stay in touch with her surrogate? She may surprise herself.
“More people are surprised at how they want to stay in touch afterwards,” Rosenberg says. “The surrogate never sees herself as the mom. Gestational carriers, they tend to miss the mom more, they don’t miss the child [because] it’s not theirs. These women have their own families.”
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