Gestational surrogacy can be emotionally draining for both the intended parents and the surrogate. Having one less thing to worry about will help make your journey smoother. That’s why many intended parents and surrogates choose to use an escrow agent to handle the distribution of funds/payments to the surrogate.
What Is an Escrow Account?
An escrow account is set up by the escrow agent to hold funds that are to be used during your surrogacy journey. It is recommended to set up the account at the beginning of the surrogacy process and prior to an embryo transfer. The escrow agent will act as a third-party, paying out funds on behalf of the intended parents in accordance with your surrogacy agreement. This means that you don’t have to worry about monthly payouts; you just fund the account, and the escrow agent takes care of delivering the surrogate’s next payment as stipulated in the contract.
Choosing an Escrow Agent
Set up an escrow account with a reliable, reputable escrow agency that has great reviews from former clients. The agent that you choose should have plenty of experience with handling funds for gestational surrogacy, embryo donation, and ovum donation arrangements. That experience is vital because your escrow agent is responsible for thoroughly vetting expenses and examining receipts before paying out reimbursements to the surrogate. Essentially, the escrow agent takes a lot of the financial hassles from the intended parents, providing financial expertise and fund distribution as needed. If any expenses submitted by the surrogate seem questionable, the escrow agent should contact you for approval before making a payout.
Be sure that the escrow agent you choose has a reputation for being responsive to intended parents and to surrogates when there are any questions or problems. If you know someone who has used the same escrow agent that you are considering, ask that couple if the agent was on time with their payments to the surrogate. You need an escrow agent who delivers payments promptly and doesn’t bog down the process or mishandle funds.
Surrogacy Agencies and Escrow Agencies
Some surrogacy agencies also offer escrow management services to their clients. Usually this arrangement works well, as long as you are dealing with an established, well-respected surrogacy agency. However, you may feel better setting up your escrow account with a separate, third-party agent. That separation offers an extra level of protection for you and your money. Consult with your attorney if you aren’t sure which option to pursue. In some cases, all you may need for peace of mind is a carefully-worded escrow agreement with your surrogacy agency.
Other Benefits of an Escrow Account
Whether you are dealing with an agency to locate a surrogate or using an independent surrogate, talking about money can be awkward. With an escrow account, there is a third party whom the intended parents and the surrogate can contact about payments and financial issues and questions.
If you have questions about using an escrow account, contact your lawyer today to get your questions answered.
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About Nicole K. White
As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.