As the owner of a Surrogacy agency/consulting group, I am often contacted by Intended parents who have been scammed by a Surrogate, whether emotionally, or Financially. Intended parents will often ask me, “What could I have done differently”, “How could I have safeguarded against this”. “I really trusted her, how could she do this to me”??
The above are all good questions, but unfortunately there is no one good answer, or a blanket statement that covers it all. CFC often suggests the following to Intended parents going independently, which by the way, we think can go very well for people. Most agencies use scare tactics to have intended parents sign up. We know that our services aren’t for everyone, however we hope that Intended parents, and surrogates will take our advice when looking for a match.
One point that we can’t stress enough- Don’t send money to a Surrogate prior to having the below items checked off your list. If you want to meet her, and she will travel to you, purchase a non changeable-non refundable ticket. That way you don’t run the risk of her cashing it in.
First, we suggest that you make a List of your non negotiables. What is it you are looking for in a Surrogacy arrangement, and what can you compromise on, and not. For example the following is the typical List produced during this exercise
– Lives within a 4 hour drive
-Has a great pregnancy track record
-will allow us to be involved in the pregnancy
-willing to work with our fertility clinic/psychologist
This list isn’t over the top, or unrealistic in any way, it is simply the important pieces of this evolving puzzle.
Secondly, we suggest that you have a Great lawyer on side, prior to beginning your search. This lawyer will play a pivotal role in your selection process, as they will provide you with more input as to what you should be looking for. They will also make suggestions such as, Having your surrogate get a criminal record check to provide to you, or having them go through a psychological screening early on. Layers work on the front lines of the Fertility industry, and have seen it all.
Thirdly, ask her to meet in person, often scammers prefer to hide behind the internet for as long as possible, as they are often preying upon more than one intended parent at a time.
Fourth, ask her to get clearance from her OB. A note stating that she would be suitable to carry another pregnancy, prior to investing in her being screened by your fertility clinic.
Lastly, go with your gut!!! It is important that you feel comfortable with this person who will be carrying your most precious cargo. Ask your questions by email, google her name/email address, ask her if she’s a member of any Surrogate message boards, and check up on that, to see if she is talking to other intended parents about a possible match.
Most Surrogates are amazing women who sincerely want to help you build your family, although it is always important to put in place safeguards to ensure that you are protected throughout this emotionally, and financially expensive process.
For any further information on Surrogacy, and how to manage an independent journey, please contact CFC at email@example.com OR by phone at 613 439 8701