Q: Can we use the surrogate’s health insurance for the pregnancy?
A: Provided the surrogate’s health insurance policy clearly and specifically states coverage for a surrogate pregnancy, you may utilize the surrogate’s personal health insurance plan with her consent. Our insurance specialist will review the policy to investigate what coverage is available. This information will be provided to your attorney for review.
Q: What do we do if the surrogate does not have health insurance?
A: In some states there may be the option of purchasing an individual health plan for your surrogate. Otherwise, there are policies available for surrogate mothers that are designed specifically for surrogate pregnancies. For more information regarding Surrogate Medical Expense Liability Insurance, please follow this link to the New Life Agency website: www.newlifeagency.com
Q: How do you screen your surrogates?
A: Our initial contact with a potential surrogate is a phone interview. If she meets all of the criteria she then completes an extensive application, as well as multiple staff interviews, that allow us to assess her motivation and willingness to participate in our program. We will review her medical records from previous pregnancies and forward these records to your IVF physician. We do a city, county and statewide criminal background investigation on the surrogate candidate and her spouse, as well as a quasi criminal history search that includes domestic violence writs, juvenile in need of supervision and personal restraining orders filed. West Coast Surrogacy follows the guidelines set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine for psychological testing and screening. The surrogate will not only undergo psychological testing, she and her spouse will also be interviewed extensively by one of the licensed mental health professionals that work with us, exploring her background, motivation and suitability. Finally, your IVF physician will screen both the surrogate and her spouse/partner for infectious diseases and will evaluate your surrogate’s ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy.
Q: How soon will we be matched with a surrogate?
A: The surrogate matching process can take a matter of weeks or it may take several months to be matched with a surrogate. It is our priority to match parents with surrogates based on their needs and desires, rather than matching you with whomever may be available. You will always be kept informed of any new surrogates who join our program and have access to their profiles.
Q: How can we be assured the surrogate will “give up” the baby?
A: This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions of gestational surrogacy. The gestational carrier enters in to the arrangement of surrogacy knowing that the baby she will carry is that of the intended parents, and will have no biological connection to her. Surrogates already have a family and children of their own. Generally it is the result of the surrogate’s love for her children that compels her to become a surrogate, allowing her to provide another couple with the same opportunity to experience parenthood.
Q: How are financial issues handled?
A: All surrogate mother costs related to the process are required to be held in a trust account. All payment requests are reviewed by the agency for concurrence with your contract for accuracy. In the event of a request that falls outside the realm of the contract, you will be contacted by the agency for approval prior to submitting the request to the manager of the trust account for payment. Many parents retain the attorney who drafted their surrogate contract to be the manager of the trust account, but this is not a requirement of West Coast Surrogacy. All financial matters are handled by the agency, removing this element from your relationship with your surrogate.
Q: Why do women want to be surrogates?
A: Many women who become surrogate mothers do so to contribute the unique and valuable gift of parenthood to another person or couple. Surrogates, by nature, are loving and generous women who have found joy and purpose in their own experience as a mother.
Q: What kind of relationship will the surrogate expect from us?
A: During your journey to parenthood through surrogacy, you may encounter many obstacles and experience many joys. Your surrogate will experience these emotions with you. Your relationship will develop and unfold as you share in the experience together. We believe that all surrogates need to know that they have made a difference in your life and that your dream of being a parent has been fulfilled. By staying in touch with her after the birth of your baby and sending her photos from time to time, she can see that she did, indeed, achieve her goal.