There are a ton of surrogacy agencies, including ours and it can be hard to know which one to go with.Should you use an agency close to home, does location matter, what should you look for in an agency? What questions should you ask?
Some questions to consider are:
Base Compensation What is the base compensation and how will payments be made, and by whom? Payments should be made from an escrow account, this helps to ensure that the funds are secure and will be paid out in the event of a disagreement or should something happen to your intended parents (it’s not common but also not impossible).You should also be sure to find out what happens if you should deliver prematurely or are carrying twins (or more).Does your compensation change in these circumstances and if so how?
Invasive Procedures If you have to undergo an amniocentesis, CVS or C-section are you entitled to compensation for these procedures? You should be compensated for additional pain and suffering as well as the inconvenience of having these procedures.
Expenses How will you be reimbursed for expenses? Will you need to turn in receipts or is your monthly allowance expected to cover cash expenses and if so how much? For example, if your allowance is *** and you have to pay co-pays, prenatal pills, travel for local trips etc.that go over that allowance how will that be handled?
Caps Are there caps on housekeeping, reimbursements, lost wages or childcare? If you are put on bedrest are these caps different?
Benefits Flexibility Are surrogate benefits packages flexible or does the agency require all surrogate to use the same benefits package? Can you negotiate your own with the agency?
Medical Bills How are medical bills paid and will you be expected to use your own insurance? If so what costs will be paid for by the intended parents including co-pays, premiums and out of pocket expenses.It is also a good idea to find out how long after birth your medical will be covered by your intended parents.Will the baby go on your insurance? The baby should not be placed on your insurance, your intended parents should obtain separate insurance for their child.
Parentage How will the Intended Parents parental rights be established? Will your name be on the birth certificate? Is a pre-birth order available or will a post-birth adoption be necessary and if so what is the timeline.(This information may not be available until after matching)
Birth Where will you give birth and will you need to travel to another state to do so? (This information may not be available until after matching)
Prenatal Care Can you use your own OB?
Exclusivity Do you have to sign an exclusivity contract and if so how long must you be exclusive to the agency?
Matching How are surrogates and intended parents matched? Is it based on availability or other factors and what is the typical wait time to be matched?
Attorney Will you have your own legal counsel or will you share an attorney with your intended parents? Who will pay for your lawyer? You should have your own legal counsel.
Screening How will you be screened and are there ever any circumstances in which you could be held liable for reimbursement of screening costs.
There is a lot to consider and be aware of when choosing an agency.Surprisingly, location is one of the things that does not matter.Your surrogacy agency is not a place you will visit often and although you could get lucky if you are in California or Chicago where there are multiple agencies there is a very good chance that your agency will not be near you and that is perfectly okay!
The most important thing to remember is to trust your instincts, if something sounds too good to be true it usually is! If you speak to an agency that just doesn’t feel right, move on to one that does.Even if you are not one of Tiny Sprouts Surrogate you can call us anytime to ask questions and see if something sounds right or not, we are always available to talk to anyone at any point in their surrogacy journey!