Our Surrogacy Program Staff
Every member of the West Coast Surrogacy program staff is committed to supporting both the intended parent(s) and surrogate mother during this remarkable, life-changing journey.
Amy Stewart Kaplan
“The experience of carrying twins as a surrogate was a life altering event that had a profound impact on who I am today.”
- Amy Stewart Kaplan, President/Founder
Amy Stewart Kaplan, President/Founder of West Coast Surrogacy, began her career in reproductive medicine in 1990, and has since devoted her life to the field. Amy got her start at a Southern California IVF center. It was there she began to realize her passion for reproductive technology as well as a desire to assist others in this worthy pursuit.
Amy has worked in various roles in the field throughout her career, including Practice Manager for the Southern California Center for Reproductive Medicine under the direction of Robert E. Anderson, M.D. Amy was also greatly involved in the development and management of the Southern California Institute for Reproductive Sciences, an IVF embryology laboratory that is currently utilized by four IVF centers in Southern California. She also was instrumental in the development of a donor embryo program.
Reproductive medicine has played a significant role in Amy’s personal life as well. After having her son Tyler, she required the assistance of a reproductive endocrinologist to become pregnant again with her daughter Mia. At this time, Amy chose to leave her management position to be a stay-at-home mom. She didn’t stay away from the field for long, however, and she soon resumed her career as a consultant for a surrogate/egg donor agency, working closely with intended parents, surrogates, attorneys and psychologists.
In 1990, Amy donated her eggs for two couples, resulting in the births of three children. While one of the donations remains private, the other family has welcomed Amy and her family into their lives, resulting in a special relationship that continues today. It would be 15 years later that Amy would realize a longtime desire to become a surrogate mother. Amy calls the experience of carrying twins as a surrogate “life altering” and an event that “had a profound impact on who (she is) today.” Her participation as a gestational surrogate gives her a unique insight into the surrogate mother process that is appreciated by carriers and intended parents alike.
Amy is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Resolve, and LiveStrong (formerly Fertile Hope). She is also a former instructor for the NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association), which uses therapeutic horseback riding for the benefit of individuals with physical, emotional or learning disabilities.
In addition, she is also a trained birth doula.
“Working with West Coast Surrogacy has provided me with immense satisfaction, seeing families being created and parents lives becoming fulfilled."
– Tyler Zion, Director
When Tyler joined the family business he was not new to surrogacy (his mother is West Coast Surrogacy President, Amy Kaplan). Tyler will often be that first friendly voice many people hear when they get in touch with WCS.
“I talk with couples and individuals that contact WCS for information about the surrogacy process. I spend as much time as they need, to answer questions, and explore the processes with them. I also go over all their financial options. Many people come to us with fears about surrogacy. Once their questions are answered, and their concerns are heard, they many times complete the conversation with a newly found hope. If they choose to proceed, we begin the surrogate matching process and they are on their way to fulfilling their dreams of parenthood."
Tyler experienced his mother as a surrogate and an egg donor. “It was amazing to see my mom go through surrogacy as well as egg donation and to see her develop these strong relationships with the intended families,” says Tyler. “I have a biological half-sister, from my mother’s egg donation, who is really close with the family. It’s phenomenal to have that part of our lives joined together.”
This first-hand knowledge adds a level of care to his work at WCS and allows him to speak about surrogacy from a unique, personal perspective. “I’m looking forward to the families we help to create in the years to come, and how these children will make a difference in the world.”
Pacific Northwest Coordinator
Amanda Hopping-Winn joined the West Coast family in 2015 when she began the journey as a gestational surrogate. Her experience with every member of the team reignited her passion for pregnancy and birth and encouraged her to live her dream of working in the birth community. She is thrilled to be helping to bring the indescribable joy of family to intended parents in the Pacific Northwest.
With a B.S. in Behavioral and Addictions Counseling from Drexel University and a Masters in Social Work from UC Berkeley, Amanda brings her expertise in case management, community collaboration, and counseling to WCS.
Amanda lives in Portland with her partner, two young children, rescue dog, and fluffy cat. She loves everything about being outside, water of any kind, and being a hands-on/get dirty/play in the rain kind of mom.
"If I can help give someone the joy I receive each day as I watch my girls grow, why not?"
- Casey Wren, Surrogacy Intake Coordinator, Surrogacy Case Manager
Casey came to West Coast Surrogacy (WCS) as a first-time gestational surrogate in 2010. At the time, Casey had looked at other agencies, but did not feel that they were the right fit for her. After meeting with WCS, she knew she had found the surrogate agency she wanted to work with. Casey has carried babies for two different families and enjoys a close relationship with both to this day.
As a two-time surrogate, Casey is often asked why she decided to become a surrogate in the first place, and her answer has always been the same: “I am truly blessed and I'm reminded each time I look at my beautiful, healthy girls! I couldn’t imagine not having the opportunity to have kids. If I can help give someone the joy I receive each day as I watch my girls grow, why not help others to have the same? I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to help someone experience the love and joy that comes with parenthood.”
Having the opportunity to work as a Surrogacy Intake Coordinator with West Coast Surrogacy has been a great joy for Casey. She wakes up each day excited to help other surrogates achieve their desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Casey is a mother of two girls and lives in Orange County, California with their dog. In Casey’s free time, you will often find her outdoors, either running for a cause or cheering on her daughters at their baseball games.
Surrogacy Case Manager, Central California Surrogacy Case Manager
“Hand meets glove” is how Andrea Muehlhaus describes the perfect fit she feels working at West Coast Surrogacy. “I wake up every morning excited for my work day ahead. Not many people can say they are in love with their career. It’s one of the most rewarding jobs”, says Andrea. A second time gestational surrogate herself, Andrea joins the West Coast Surrogacy team to help other surrogates and Intended Parents navigate the surrogacy process and to put “a true passion” into action.
“Back when I was in high school, one of my best friends came out as being gay and I told him--not even knowing what surrogacy was back then--I told him that if he ever wanted to be a parent that I was going to carry a baby for him,” says Andrea. When she was older and learned about gestational surrogacy, her own easy pregnancies convinced her to follow through on her early promise for other would-be parents. “Surrogacy was such a wonderful experience. It has changed my entire life and my family’s life.”
Andrea gave birth in 2012 to a beautiful baby boy for a set of wonderful Intended Fathers. She enjoys receiving picture updates and keeping in contact with the new family. Andrea is in the process of helping to create another family with a set of Intended Fathers later this year.
Originally from Huntington Beach, California, Andrea and her husband Eric have two children, Aiden and Addison.
*“The team at WCS is amazing and everyone works so well together. Most case managers have been surrogates before so we understand how to best support the surrogates because we have been in their shoes. As an experienced surrogate myself, I take pride in my work and I am honored to lend a hand and support other surrogates in their journey.”"
“As soon as I talked to West Coast Surrogacy, I knew it was the agency for me.”
- Debbie Esquival, Surrogacy Case Manager and Trainer
A married mother of two young sons living in Covina, CA, Debbie Esquival is a surrogate mother and West Coast Surrogacy Case Manager. Debbie’s surrogacy journey started with a promise to herself. “My sister and her husband had been suffering with infertility for ten years. I always said the day she becomes pregnant is the day I am going to give back.”
Fortunately for all involved, her sister did become pregnant via IVF and Debbie set on the road to fulfilling her promise by contacting surrogacy agencies.
“As soon as I talked to West Coast Surrogacy, I knew it was the agency for me. They were as concerned about me as they were with the Intended Parents and they held my hand the whole way.” She would go on to be surrogate for “an amazing couple from Taiwan. Their story was similar to my sister’s,” says Debbie. “We became so close and remain that way to this day.” She carried their daughter and then continued on a sibling journey, delivering a set of twins, for the same couple.
Her work with West Coast Surrogacy has allowed her to see inside the surrogacy process. “There are so many people involved, from the case workers, to the doctors, to the surrogates. It’s a little community trying to achieve this one goal.” And as a case worker, herself, Debbie says she wakes up every day, excited and inspired.
“I love being part of something so intimate and special. There are not many careers that allow you to assist in creating families and fulfilling dreams. It is a blessing to be able to witness the bond that the surrogate and intended parents form, as well as being able to see the joy and happiness that is created through this process.”
Lindsay has been a proud member of the West Coast Surrogacy & West Coast Egg Donation team since 2012. She loves that her position allows her to play an intimate role in helping to bring new, beautiful souls into the world. She is grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded with selfless women who are giving intended parents the chance to have a family they could otherwise not have.
Lindsay attended college at the University of California, Irvine where she graduated Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior. She is currently working towards her M.A./Teaching Credentials in Special Education. In her free time she enjoys exercising, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. Lindsay and her husband reside in Southern Orange County with their baby boy and two dogs.
“Raising a family and watching them grow into beautiful adults with children of their own, is the most fulfilling experience a parent could ever hope for. Being a part of West Coast surrogacy and Egg Donation and the process of bringing families together is truly a blessing.”
– Melissa Memmott, Financial Coordinator
A newcomer to West Coast Surrogacy and Egg Donation, Melissa Memmott joined the company in March 2014.
Prior to relocating to Southern California in 2005, Melissa owned and operated a nationwide roofing management company in the Napa Valley with her husband since 1991. Melissa's role in the company was managing and maintaining the day to day operations of the company's financial department.
Melissa brings with her a wide range of bookkeeping and accounting knowledge with over 20 years of real life work experiences. Her position here at West Coast Surrogacy and Egg Donation gives Melissa an opportunity to apply her broad experience to working with the surrogates, egg donors, and intended parents to ensure all are provided the very best of financial care and a thorough understanding of the financial aspects and process.
“My journey through surrogacy plus my focus on a healthy lifestyle have inspired me to guide others”
– Tina Schneider, Surrogacy Case Manager
Tina Schneider graduated from CSULB with a BS in Dietetics and Food Administration, and a minor in Chemistry. Tina attended graduate school while completing her internship at CSULB. During her internship, Tina mostly worked at Torrance Memorial Hospital, where she covered all aspects of Medical Nutrition Therapy and Food Administration. After completing her internship and obtaining RD status, Tina began working at DaVita with end-stage Renal Disease patients where she continues to work today.
Tina is married with four children and has been a surrogate mother through West Coast Surrogacy twice for the same family. Tina attributes always having great pregnancies to healthy eating and exercise, stating that “pregnancy and healthy nutrition are my two passions in life, so helping surrogate mothers follow a healthy lifestyle is now my mission.”
"I am incredibly grateful for my huge family and to work for an agency that is helping grow families."
- Christina Tran, Administrative Assistant
Christina joined the West Coast Surrogacy, Inc. & West Coast Egg Donation, Inc. team in May 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. She describes her position as “One of the most fulfilling and emotionally rewarding positions I have ever had!” She absolutely loves assisting Case Managers with their role of aiding intended parents’ wish of growing their family.
“The West Coast Surrogacy, Inc. and West Coast Egg Donation, Inc. team have phenomenal work ethics, and I am continually amazed at how selfless and compassionate our surrogates are. I am incredibly grateful for my huge family and to work for an agency that is helping grow families. I am forever appreciative that I have landed in such a fascinating field.”
Christina is wrapping up her Bachelor of Arts in Business Psychology and Healthcare Leadership at Azusa Pacific University, and she will graduate in 2017. In her spare time, Christina enjoys long distance cycling on her mountain bike and weekly family gatherings with her close-knit relatives.