With so many surrogacy agencies out there, it can be a daunting task for a hopeful surrogate to select the right agency for her needs. I’ve put together some questions for prospective surrogates to consider asking when deciding between surrogacy agencies, in order to find an agency that will be the right fit:
#1 Base Compensation
What is the base compensation offered and how will payments be structured? How will the base compensation be impacted by a premature delivery? Is the base compensation adjusted for a twin or triplet pregnancy?
How is reimbursement for actual expenses structured? Are receipts required for all reimbursements or will I be given a monthly allowance to cover miscellaneous expenses? Are there caps on reimbursements for child care and my lost wages?
#3 Benefits Package Flexibility
Is the benefits package negotiable, or does the surrogacy agency require the same benefits package for all surrogates? (FYI: here’s an example of one agency’s surrogate benefits package.)
#4 Medical Bills
What arrangements will be made for the payment of my medical bills? Will I be expected to use my own health insurance? If so, will my health insurance premiums be reimbursed? How long after the birth will my medical expenses be covered?
How will legal parental status be established? Will my name go on the initial birth certificate? Will the parentage method employed vary depending on the characteristics of the intended parents, such as whether they are unmarried or a same-sex couple? Will I be required to give birth in another state in order to utilize that state’s parentage laws?
#6 Prenatal Care
Can I continue to use my current OB/GYN? How will prenatal care be handled for a high-risk or twin pregnancy?
Will I be permitted to sign up with another agency simultaneously, or is the arrangement exclusive for a period of time?
How will potential intended parents be identified for a match? What is the typical wait time for a match?
Will funds be held in escrow? Who will manage the escrow account? What is the initial escrow funding amount?
Will I have a separate attorney for the contract process, or will the intended parents and I be expected to use the same attorney? Use of separate attorneys is not just the best practice but also a requirement under the laws of some states, such as under New Hampshire’s surrogacy bill.
#11 Travel Restrictions
What travel restrictions will be imposed upon me during the pregnancy? Are these restrictions fixed or can they be negotiated with the intended parents?
What does the screening process involve? Are there any circumstances under which I would be expected to reimburse the agency or intended parents for the screening costs?
At my law firm, I currently offer free informational sessions for prospective surrogates who are in the process of selecting a surrogacy agency (contact me directly for more information on the terms and conditions of these informational sessions). You may also be interested in learning more about the common variations in practices among surrogacy agencies.