A surrogate is typically taken off work by her doctor while she recovers from the delivery. Sometimes surrogates are also taken out of work during the pregnancy for medical complications. Sometimes, but not always, doctors order bed rest (either at home or in the hospital). As you can imagine, a lot depends on the job that the surrogate has–is she lifting 50 pound boxes all day long or does she sit at a desk all day?
Either way, most legal contracts provide that the intended parents are responsible for the surrogate’s lost wages while she is out of work. Sometimes surrogates have short term disability (STD) insurance policies that kick in to cover a portion of their lost wages. It is typically expected that these insurance policies will have the primary responsibility for covering her lost wages. If the insurance isn’t enough to fully cover her lost income (and it usually isn’t), then the intended parents pay the difference.
The reason that the surrogate cannot collect on the disability policy and receive full lost wages is that this would create a windfall for her. The purpose of lost wages reimbursement is to make her “whole” not to have her getting an extra financial benefit. This is how most surrogacy contracts are set up.
However, since the intended parents are benefiting from the disability policy, it’s reasonable to ask the intended parents to cover the cost of the policy premiums.
Of course, you should check your surrogacy contract and talk to your lawyer to understand exactly how your arrangement is set up.
Do you have questions about becoming a surrogate or intended parent? Email us at email@example.com. You can also schedule a free consult for us to answer your questions about the surrogacy process.