A surrogate or gestational carrier is a woman who carries a fetus she is not genetically related to with the intent that the baby born will be raised by the intended parents. Typically, a surrogate has already successfully birthed and is raising children of her own. As part of the surrogacy process, the surrogate will generally undergo a psychological and medical evaluation to make sure she is a good candidate to become a surrogate.
Most surrogates receive compensation for their services, but some have only their expenses reimbursed (considered a compassionate surrogate or carrier). All of their medical expenses are also covered by the intended parents.
Surrogates must have legal representation not only for negotiating the terms of their gestational carrier contract, but throughout the pregnancy and until every expense has been appropriately reimbursed and she has fully recovered from the pregnancy. Once the contract is drafted, the surrogate generally has far less contact with her attorney, but it is important that she have the option to ask questions as the process unfolds and have the documents associated with the parentage proceeding fully explained to her.