The American Fertility Association put out an information page that it both timely and important for those Intended Parents, Surrogates and Egg Donors researching which agency they should work with in order to create a family for themselves or for their Intended Parents.
The AFA wants to remind people to “look before they leap,” which I follow up with “Buyer Beware.”
They posed the following questions for review, which I recommend to every potential client that contacts myself or Conceptual Options. http://www.theafa.org/library/article/a_must_research_your_surrogacy_and_egg_donation_agency
“You can never ask too many questions
1. How long has the agency been in business?
2. How many cases has it handled?
3. What is the screening process for agency surrogates?
4. Does the screening process include background checks and verification of information on the donor/surrogate?
5. What part of the screening process is covered by the agency and what part is charged to the recipients?
6. Has the agency been involved in any lawsuits?
7. How accurate are its cost estimates?
8. Does the agency provide a list of all fees upfront?
9. When are payments required and what part of the payment is refundable?
10. What type of health insurance is used for agency surrogates? Can they provide proof from the insurance company that surrogacy maternity care is included/not excluded?
11. How many staff members does the agency have and what is the staff to client ratio?
12. Does it carry adequate business insurance for protection against lawsuits?
13. How does the agency manage the financial aspects of its cases and are there fees for these services?
• Get everything in writing.
• Consider unexpected expenses like donor withdrawal, cancelled donor, and failed donor evaluation by IVF program.
• Before putting money down, check and re‐check to ensure donor will be available within the requested time frame. Make sure IVF program is available to screen and cycle in timeframe.
• Hire an attorney, independent from the agency, to review and make changes to the contracts, which understandably will be written by the agency and in favor of the agency.
• Ask for and review contracts up front, as opposed to waiting and being rushed through.
• Know that agency costs range from $5,000 to $60,000 and above. Be realistic about how much you are able to afford, as feeling desperate often results in poor choice.”
The AFA also has an online education module that I prepared for them on selecting an agency. http://www.theafa.org/community/oem
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