Today was a lovely day out at Roaring Camp Railroad with not only my IFs, but also almost all of my family (a few important people were missed!). K and C were subjected to a handful of crazy kids and jumped right in and hit the ground running. :-) It was really a pleasure to get everyone together so soon. I'm getting the feeling that, as long as they're open to it, which they seem to be, C and K won't just be expanding their family by 1 (or 2), but we'll be creating a whole new extended family. :-)
As far as the surrogacy goes, we're currently in the contract phase, and that's in their court at the moment, and after they're done with it, it will be bounced to me, and once I approve, then it's made official, and *then* we all sign it. And that's the short version, if I'm A-okay with all the details the first time round. Boring, yes, but so very important in spelling out to the world that, in no uncertain terms, C and K's baby is in no way mine. And it will use many, many words to say that. I think my last contract was something like 20 pages. Many will state that (if this is in fact the case) the surro has agreed, in the case of physical issues, to terminate at the request of the IPs. *Although,* as my lawyer was quick to point out to me last time, this part is more of a good faith gesture on the part of the surro, as no one can legally compel a woman to participate in an abortion if she doesn't want to. And it will also touch on other things that we're agreeing to as we agree to carry their child for 41ish weeks. And this is where they get a little interesting. I believe most include the basics, like no tattoos, piercings (and none for Tony, either), smoking or drinking while pregnant, duh, but they can also vary based on the desires of the IPs or the lawyer who draws up the contract. My last contract said I couldn't dye my hair (unless I used organic dyes expressly approved by my OB), and mine didn't, but I've heard contracts including no caffeine, no deli meat and other stuff like that. I can't remember the exact details, but I've read some that made me =-O
And like I mentioned before, some of this is the desires of the IPs, and sometimes it's the lawyers. I think first-time IPs especially sometimes (just like first-time surros) see the contract and think this is what they're supposed to do and go with it. Lucky for everyone involved, this can be a negotiation process if there's something in there that doesn't work for someone. I had to go over my whole contract privately with my lawyer, to confirm that I understood and agreed to every line, and there was nothing I wanted to change. Had there been, the lawyer would have made a note of it, gone back to my IPs with my proposed change(s), and we'd go back and forth until we had a version that looked good to everyone.
The only thing I should have changed, and I didn't realize how much of an issue it would be until way later, was that, after 24 weeks I was not allowed to travel more than 50 miles from my designated hospital (or leave the state) without my IPs being okay with it. And I understand the reasoning behind this: they want to make sure you're close to an approved hospital, and leaving the state can be dangerous if you go into labor because surrogacy is illegal in some states, but for a traveler like me, it was very stifling, especially considering that covered the entire summer break. We spend a lot of time in the Bay Area, which is, like, 65 miles away. It didn't mean we stopped going, but did go a little less, and I just had to bother my IPs about silly things like going to a graduation party or visiting my in-laws. They were very accommodating, but I hated bothering them for things like that. I got cabin fever midsummer and got the okay to head down to San Luis Obispo for a long weekend once. It was just not a restriction that worked for us (like Prop 8 was repealed during this time, and we wanted to jet off to San Francisco to celebrate, and I had to be sure to clear it with my IFs first) because our regular lives occur outside of a 50 mile radius. And that was my bad. I should have thought it through, and have asked to amend it in the first place. For us, I think 100 miles is a lot more reasonable, especially considering there are good or better hospitals most everywhere we frequent, and my labors last longer than 2 hours. But, ya know, I was just so excited to get that first contract, and I couldn't see anywhere where I was promising *my* firstborn, so I didn't want to make a stink. Fortunately practice makes perfect. :-D