If you’re in the midst of a surrogacy journey, you have plenty on your mind. Worrying about the financial aspect of things shouldn’t be one of them. Whether you’re an intended parent or a gestational carrier, a surrogacy escrow account means one less step for you to think about – and a greater sense of security about your investment, too.
A surrogacy escrow account is an arrangement set up with a third party agent to hold and disperse funds during the surrogacy process. In some ways, it’s actually very similar to an escrow account in a real estate transaction. The intended parents will fill out the necessary paperwork, the gestational carrier provides her banking information and, when triggered, payments can be made directly to her account. The escrow agent acts on behalf of the intended parents to ensure the gestational carrier is being paid accurately and on time.
Yes – for your protection. Intended parents can not only guarantee that they have the means to cover the cost of surrogacy, but they can also feel assured that their funds are being held safely until the appropriate time to compensate their surrogate. In turn, the gestational carrier knows from the outset that the necessary funds are in place for her as the process moves along.
Unfortunately, there have been situations where deceitful agencies have duped clients out of thousands of dollars. While it’s incredibly rare, unsavory business practices can happen - and it’s often with agencies that have no transparent protocol when it comes to payments. When hopeful individuals are involved, and large sums of money are exchanging hands in multiple payments, any industry is at risk for deceitful practices. Utilizing a third party escrow agent helps mitigate much of this risk.
It truly protects all parties involved, from the intended parents and surrogate to the agency and anyone potentially receiving payment for services during the process like mental health professionals or attorneys.
Most intended parents are business savvy enough to understand the benefit of a surrogacy escrow – the money is safe in the account, it will earn a small amount of interest, and payments can be made on time directly to their gestational carrier.
ConceiveAbilities works with a third party agent so that intended parents have peace of mind knowing that their investment is safe and being used appropriately; they have online access to check the account at any time and can keep tabs on payments.
Surrogates, too, have the security of the account being funded in advance – they know the compensation and reimbursement is there for each designated milestone.
There are several ways intended parents can protect themselves in a surrogacy arrangement:
A reputable agency is imperative for your surrogacy journey. Whether you’re looking for expertise or support – likely a little of both – you want to put your trust in a team that has been there and done that. Which means….
While it can be a huge benefit to work with people who have been through the surrogacy process themselves, you also want to be supported by individuals with professional experience. A quality agency will have a management team with backgrounds in business administration, psychiatric health and law to ensure a smooth journey from all perspectives.
Vivid, individual testimony, whether written accounts or via video, go a long way in establishing that the agency does what it says it will do.
ConceiveAbilities requires a third party agent for peace of mind and easy access; intended parents will receive log in information once they are matched so that they can view the account online 24/7. A bank or surrogacy escrow account management service will make your account both easily accessible and user-friendly.
Work with your agency and attorney to ensure that a payment schedule is specified within the legal documents and clearly outlines how much and when the installments will be paid. ConceiveAbilities has an established payment schedule, the specifics of which are addressed in the contract for each individual match, to help streamline the financial side of the process.
Ultimately, a surrogacy escrow is a necessary and extremely beneficial aspect of the process. Intended parents and surrogates doing their due diligence will require it, and a responsible agency will already have the means in place with a third party agent. If you have questions about the costs and financial requirements for surrogacy, please contact our team for more information.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.