By Sharon LaMothe
Intended Parents who are considering surrogacy to complete their family, Gestational or Traditional, independently should do their research before making this life changing decision. Often times, when trying to cut financial corners and when desperation and vulnerability are a part of the picture, some Intended Parents may find themselves in a courtroom fighting for their baby just because one (or more) of these top 10 mistakes were made. Although some of these tips seem to be common sense, others may not have been a thought until it’s too late. Most Intended Parents think they are saving money by not hiring a consultant or an agency but the harsh reality is that they spend more money and time in the long run then they save.
Top 10 Don’ts When Planning a Surrogacy Arrangement
10) Don’t work with a woman under the age of 21
9) Don’t work with a woman who has never given birth to a child of her own
8) Don’t use a contract downloaded from the Internet with no legal guidance
7) Don’t use the sperm from an ex boyfriend
6) Don’t work with a Surrogate who lives in a state that makes “commercial surrogacy contracts” unenforceable
5) Don’t ‘do’ in home inseminations
4) Don’t have the compensation payments to your surrogate come directly from you-use an escrow agent/account
3) Don’t forget to pay all the bills regarding the surrogacy and pregnancy in a timely manner
2) Don’t have your surrogate stay with you for more then a week if at all possible (offer a hotel or condo near by)
1) Don’t forget or forgo the Psychological Evaluation
Even if all of these mistakes are avoided any surrogacy arrangement will still offer it’s own unique challenges. It’s always a good idea to have periodic meetings with a psychologist or mental health professional who is an expert in Third Party Family Building and can guide both the Intended Parents and their Surrogate throughout the pregnancy, birth and for at least six weeks after leaving the hospital. The best case scenario is to hire a full service agency.
Sharon LaMothe has been in the Infertility Industry since 1998 when she signed her first Gestational Surrogacy contract. She subsequently gave birth to twin girls and in 2000 was invited to join a FL law firm recruiting & managing surrogacy arrangements. After leaving the legal arena in 2003, Sharon then co-owned and operated Surrogacy Consultants of Florida, LLC, the first successful independent surrogacy agency in Florida. In January 2005 Sharon once again became a Gestational Carrier and gave birth to girl/boy twins for a same sex New York couple using Donor Eggs. Sharon participates on many advisory boards as well as being a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. She is currently the owner of Infertility Answers, Inc. http://infertilityanswers.org/, & the Creator of Surrogacy 101http://infertilityanswers.typepad.com/surrogacy_101. Sharon is also the Owner of LaMothe Services, LLC http://lamotheservices.com, an Assisted Reproductive Technology business solutions service. Sharon currently guides couples who need information and assistance while researching their Third Party Family Options. You can contact Sharon atinfo(at)LaMotheServices.com or call 727-458-8333. Sharon currently resides in Seattle WA with her family.