The rights of surrogate mothers vary widely from one region to another, but there are a few common rules that most areas abide by. For example, in most cases, the surrogate mother has the right to expect her medical bills to be paid for, as long as they are associated with the pregnancy. She also typically has the right to change her mind about relinquishing the baby after delivery, as long as the child is biologically hers. Additionally, she can typically choose to have only limited contact with the couple paying her, as some women want to enjoy the pregnancy on their own.
Almost all surrogacy contracts stipulate that the couple hoping for a child is supposed to pay for the surrogate's medical costs. This is to keep surrogate mothers from having to pay for prenatal doctor visits, vitamins, and hospital charges. Of course, the couple is usually only required to cover costs associated with the pregnancy, but some may choose to also pay for other medical necessities so that the surrogate can remain as healthy as possible. Though coverage of medical costs is a general expectation, the details are usually left up to the parties involved.
In some cases, a couple may be able to conceive, but the woman cannot carry the unborn baby to term due to problems with the uterus. Such couples may pay to have their embryo transferred into a surrogate mother so that they can have a child that is biologically theirs. Surrogate mothers who take this route do not usually have any rights to the baby since it is not related to them in any way, so they are legally required to relinquish him after the birth. On the other hand, couples with female fertility problems may choose to use the male's sperm to artificially inseminate the surrogate, meaning that the resulting baby is half hers. In such cases, the surrogate mother has the choice of not signing over rights after the birth, though this typically leads to a legal battle between herself and the couple.
Some surrogate mothers are happy about their ability to allow a couple to have a baby, and wish to stay in touch throughout the pregnancy. This permits the couple to ensure that the surrogate is taking good care of herself and the unborn baby, and also usually leads to a close bond between them. On the other hand, some surrogate mothers choose to have more limited contact with the couple, only meeting with them when necessary, and perhaps sending news about prenatal appointments. This is most common when couples use websites to find surrogates, especially when they live in different areas.