Surrogate Cost Insurance Questions & Answers

Surrogate Cost: The 3 Biggest Surrogacy Insurance Questions Answered

Surrogacy is a wonderful journey that leads to the creation of families, but there are a lot of details to be worked out, and the process can be confusing. One of the biggest sources of confusion is the overall surrogate cost. The biggest factor that affects the financial aspect is the surrogacy insurance coverage. Because the surrogate insurance has such a big impact on the financial cost, it is important to understand as much as possible about how the coverage works. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy insurance:

Question 1: What is the advantage of being covered for surrogacy over someone who has no surrogacy insurance coverage?

The intended parents face a great deal of expenses regarding the surrogacy process. They have to pay for fertility medications, the surrogate’s stipend, agency fees and legal expenses. If a surrogate already has insurance coverage for surrogacy, the intended parents would not have to purchase a separate policy for her. Because they do not have to buy an insurance policy for that surrogate, using that surrogate is more affordable for the intended parents than using a surrogate without the surrogacy insurance coverage. Because of this, the intended parents may be more inclined to choose a surrogate who already has surrogacy insurance coverage over one with no insurance coverage so that they can save money on the surrogate cost.

Question 2: Another surrogate uses the same insurance company that I do and she got paid on her claims. Since I am using the same insurance company, will my surrogacy claims get paid, too?

No, not necessarily. Insurance policies and rules change and vary from state to state, time to time, and employer to employer. It is not a good idea to assume that because you are using the same company that you have the same policy. Surrogate agencies are experienced in researching insurance benefits for surrogacy. Ask your surrogate agency for assistance with investigating your insurance benefits.

Question 4: I qualify for Medicaid. Will Medicaid cover my surrogacy?

No, not necessarily. Another common mistake surrogates make is that they make the assumption that Medicaid always covers pregnancy. Pregnancy care and surrogacy are not considered as the same thing by the insurance company. Your surrogate agency will be able to contact medicaid for you and verify your coverage for surrogacy. In all likelihood you will not be covered for surrogacy under medicaid.

These are some of the most common insurance questions frequently asked by surrogate mothers. By understanding these questions, you will get a better idea of how your insurance works and how much they will cover, if any, of the surrogate cost. As a general rule to remember, it is not wise to assume that your insurance will just cover your claims. It is better to have your surrogate agency handle surrogacy insurance concerns, because they are experts in this field. Having a surrogate agency assist you and the intended parents will help the surrogacy journey be less complicated and more stress free.

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Gay Intended Parents 101: Simple Ways to Bond with Your Newborn

Intended Parents 101: Simple Ways to Bond with Your Newborn

One of the major fears gay parents face is whether they will bond or connect with their newborn, but most intended parents don’t realize that this is a very common worry amongst all types of parents. Here are some helpful tips and ideas to help gay parents bond with their newborn baby:

  • Before your newborn arrives, it is best to join a support group or a network with other gay parents that have tried surrogacy. The more you are able to talk through your fears, learn suggestions and hear stories from other parents, the more you will be prepared and have reasonable expectations of the initial months with your newborn. Reading books on parenting and watching DVDs or TV programs will help you feel ready when your newborn is placed in your arms.
  • Once your newborn arrives, it is best to focus on nurturing and meeting the baby’s needs. This is one of the main ways that parents and children bond to each other. You and your partner need to pay close attention to the nurturing tasks you are doing for your newborn, like feeding, changing, dressing and holding. By coming to your child when called and when you are needed, you will build trust and a feeling of safety which is at the basis of bonding. Responding to your baby’s cries or perceived “neediness” with consistency, love, and gentleness will let them slowly know that you are the parent and you can be depended on. For babies, dependency is a good thing.
  • Talk to your newborn. Language is a key element of connection and will help your baby in his development. Even with a newborn, it is important to talk and sing and coo and use your voice to share information and emotion. You can talk while you are doing care-taking tasks, talk about what you’re doing, and talk while you’re taking a walk. Even though you may think your child doesn’t understand you, you are conveying attachment and sharing information when you talk to him or her.
  • Play. Play is one of the joys of both parenthood and childhood. Before you know it, your newborn will be in the terrible teens and you will miss the days when you were his or her favorite playmate. For infants and babies, traditional games like peek-a-boo and singing games are wonderful ways to interact and bond, as well as teach your baby.
  • Touch. This may seem like a no-brainer, but touch is a key element in attachment and bonding. With an infant or baby, you will be holding your child to feed, rock, and comfort. A thousand words of comfort and security can easily be conveyed to your newborn through touch.

These are just some of the simple ways gay parents can bond with their newborn. By learning all the important skills new parents need to care and nurture for their child, you can easily build a lasting bond with your newborn baby.

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How to Tell Your Family You Are a Surrogate

How to Tell Your Family You Are a Surrogate

When you want to become a surrogate mother, it is not an easy task. Along with the numerous responsibilities before, during, and after the surrogacy journey, you will be left with the dilemma of letting your family, children and friends know of your decision to become a surrogate mother for others. Getting all the moral support you can from your family, children, and friends is very important for your surrogacy journey. The moral support your family can give you will help you cope with all the emotions you might feel during pregnancy.

It is important to remember that any pregnancy usually affects those people who are near and dear to you. Your immediate family should be the first ones to find out about your decision to become a surrogate mother. Your husband, parents, and children should be well educated on the surrogacy process. The best time to tell your immediate family about your decision to become a surrogate mother is when you have firmly decided on being a surrogate. Letting your immediate family know the reasons why you decided on being a surrogate will greatly help them understand your purpose and goals. Being truthful with them will help them understand and accept your decision.

Letting your children understand your situation as a surrogate will take a bit of time and patience. Remember that the reaction of your children will depend mainly on what you have told them. Explaining this sort of thing to your children will always call for sensitivity, and most importantly, the truth. You should also consider introducing the concepts and ideas of surrogacy to your children over a period of time, rather than all at once. For example, as you arrange a meeting with the intended parents, you can take the opportunity to bring up these ideas with your children. You can begin talking about families and what makes a family between television shows or after social gatherings with other children so that they can get the importance of family.

For your friends and other relatives, it is highly advisable to not let them know about your situation as a surrogate immediately. The best approach would be to let the pregnancy come up naturally in conversation. The more natural, confident, and happy you are about it, the more accepting they will be to you being a surrogate. If you are nervous and scared of their reaction, they may question your decision. Just remember that they won’t all accept or agree with your decision to become a surrogate mother and this should not affect you.

You should not fool yourself into believing that your pregnancy will not affect the people who are closest to you. It is vital for your family to be well prepared and supportive, and this is a very important aspect for your pregnancy to be a success. They need to fully understand that the baby is not going to be a member of your family. If you have children, you need to make them realize that they are not getting another brother or sister. They need to understand that you are merely providing a service for some couple who were not able to have a baby on their own. Surrogacy can be a very educational and socially expanding experience, not only for yourself and your family, but also your community.

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7 Critical Personality Traits A Surrogate Should Possess

7 Critical Personality Traits A Surrogate Should Possess

As intended parents, you want to find the best surrogate mother for your surrogacy needs. Due to the growing number of people experiencing infertility in the United States, surrogacy has become more widely recognized, and more women today understand the concept of surrogacy and want to help others by choosing to be a surrogate. But with the increasing number of surrogates, it gets difficult to choose the right one for you. To help you get started on this wonderful surrogacy journey, here are a few characteristics you need to look for in a surrogate mother:

  • Honesty. Intended parents need to be able to trust their surrogate completely. A surrogate mother should be honest with the intended parents that chose her to work with them. All questions intended parents might have should be answered truthfully. Honesty is the most important part in any surrogacy relationship and greatly helps with its success.
  • Reliable. A good surrogate should be reliable with the intended parents. The surrogate mother should always make herself available for her intended parents or surrogate agency. Since the surrogate plays an important role, intended parents need to know that they can depend on their surrogate. To be a surrogate means being both reliable as well as professional.
  • Healthy. A good surrogate mother should not just be healthy enough to carry a child to term. She should have a good medical history meaning she has no chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. In order to be a surrogate, she should have a good mental history meaning she has no history of mental illnesses such as depression, chronic anxiety and bipolar disorder. She should also maintain a healthy lifestyle by not smoking, drinking or using drugs.
  • Good Communicator. Surrogate mothers should be very vocal when communicating with all involved parties including intended parents, the surrogate agency and the medical personnel. She should provide regular medical updates to the surrogate agency and to the intended parents. She should also alert them if she has concerns about her health or the status of her pregnancy. The surrogate should be able to respond honestly and promptly to both the surrogate agency and the intended parents during the process of surrogacy.
  • Intelligent. A surrogate should be smart enough to understand all the processes involved with surrogacy. She should be able to comprehend all the important legal aspects like the surrogacy contract and relinquishing of all her legal rights to the child. She should also be smart enough to understand all the medical procedures that she will undergo and follow the medical instructions precisely rather than making her own decisions. An intelligent surrogate knows all her responsibilities and understands the gravity of what she will be doing for the intended parents.
  • Nurturing. A good surrogate mother should be nurturing, which means choosing what is best for the baby over what she may want to do. Since the surrogate mother will be carrying the intended parent’s child she should give it the same care as they would during the pregnancy. She should know how to take care of herself and the child she is carrying for the intended parents. A nurturing surrogate mother should be eating healthy, getting enough sleep and making choices that are best for the baby.
  • Responsible. A good surrogate mother should be responsible in her actions. She should follow through with instructions that she is given and be able to complete any tasks that are assigned to her by the intended parents, the surrogate agency or the doctor’s office. A responsible surrogate does what she is told without needing to be reminded. She should act responsibly in informing everyone involved if she has medical concerns.

Knowing for yourself these 7 important characteristics to look for in a surrogate will greatly increase your chance for a successful surrogacy journey. To be a surrogate mother, they should be professional and have the integrity that is embodied by these 7 characteristics. It is vital to identify them in a potential candidate prior to selecting her as your surrogate. A surrogate who possesses these qualities will not only give the intended parents a healthy baby but also a wonderful surrogacy journey.

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Your Top 5 Surrogacy Questions Answered

Your Top 5 Surrogacy Questions Answered

Surrogacy can be a challenging process to comprehend. There are many aspects to this process that need to be understood. As intended parents, you need to know as much information as possible to ensure a hassle free surrogacy. If you happen to be new to surrogacy, here are the top questions and answers:

Top Question 1: What are the types of women that become surrogates?
Generally, surrogate mothers would have to be between 18 to 38 years old. This is one of the most important requirements surrogacy agencies and intended parents look for in a surrogate mother. Another important characteristic is that the surrogate mother should have at least conceived one child to ensure that the surrogate mother can carry pregnancy to term. Finally, the surrogate mother’s top goal should be helping others rather than the monetary compensation involved with surrogacy. In most cases, surrogacy agencies conduct a screening process on surrogate mothers to assure intended parents that they are getting a well-suited surrogate mother. Surrogacy agencies check medical records, financial history and criminal records of surrogate mothers.

Top Question 2: What do Intended Parents look for in a surrogate?
Intended parents normally base their decision on several factors like location of the surrogate mother, level of responsibility, intelligence, health and ability to carry a healthy pregnancy. These are some of the main characteristics that intended parents look for in a surrogate mother. Then there are those intended parents that are very meticulous when choosing a surrogate mother. These intended parents need a surrogate who is in agreement with the level of communication they prefer and someone who agrees to their type and style of relationship during and after the surrogacy. They prefer a surrogate who is not only physically and mentally in line with their expectations but also emotionally.

Top Question 3: Is the surrogate mother properly screened?
It depends. If the referral is coming from an IVF clinic then maybe not, as they generally do not perform the same amount of screening as surrogacy agencies will. If the referral for a surrogate mother comes from a reliable surrogacy agency then the surrogate has passed several mental, emotional and physical screening processes. Surrogacy agencies check medical records from previous pregnancies and conduct psychological and emotional tests on the surrogate mother. If the surrogate is married, her husband will also undergo psychological and medical screening

Top Question 4: Will the Intended Parents and surrogate meet?
It depends on the preference of the intended parents. There are intended parents that prefer not to get emotionally involved with their surrogate. The majority of intended parents however, prefer the “open surrogacy” policy, which means that the intended parents would meet and get to know the surrogate. Meeting the surrogate reassures intended parents that the surrogate’s primary motivation is not the money she earns but rather her desire to help. If the surrogate and the intended parents meet, they can get to know each other and get a better idea if the arrangement will work out.

Top Question 5: As Intended Parents, what are the chances of a successful surrogacy?
In medical terms, a “successful” surrogacy simply means that intended parents end up with a biological child. Since surrogacy involves a complex process like In Vitro Fertilization, the success rate will greatly depend on several factors like the health of the intended parents’ sperm and eggs, ability of the surrogate mother to carry a child to term and health of the surrogate. With these factors taken into consideration, the overall success rate of surrogacy in the US ranges from 70 to 80 percent. Your fertility doctor can give you the rate of success on your surrogacy.

Getting a better understanding of surrogacy before you begin your journey will definitely help you have a successful surrogacy, and understanding these top 5 questions on surrogacy will help you decide on the right thing to do before you start on this very important process. Surrogacy agencies can stand by your side and make the journey a lot easier because they can give you a better idea of what to expect and guide you throughout the whole process.

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Baby Shower Ideas for Intended Parents

Baby Shower Ideas for Intended Parents

Intended parents can find it difficult and confusing to throw a baby shower, since questions like ‘Should we invite the surrogate mother?’ and ‘How do we tell our families and friends about this occasion?’ can arise.

And since surrogacy is a relatively new process, there’s no established tradition in how to throw a baby shower. So to help get you started in planning the perfect baby shower as intended parents, here are some ideas:

If you’re planning a baby shower, consider inviting the surrogate mother – if you have a close relationship with her. If your relationship with her is more on the ‘professional’ level, it might not be so appropriate to invite her – after all, you don’t have a close or a personal relationship.

If you do have a close relationship with her, consider including her name on the invites you send out. It might read something like: “You are invited to attend a baby shower of (baby’s name), Proud parents to be (your names), proud surrogate mother (her name.)

If you invite your surrogate mother to the baby shower, it’s a good idea to suggest that your other guests bring her some small gifts, so that she doesn’t feel left out of the party. Small tokens are just fine – the important thing to remember is to credit her, to make her feel appreciated for all her efforts.

If your relationship with the surrogate mother is close, inviting her to the baby shower is a really good idea; she’ll feel touched to be recognized in this way, and the baby shower may become a treasured memory for her, a highlight of the surrogacy experience.

On the other hand, if your relationship isn’t especially close, and it would therefore be awkward to invite her, you could instead consider throwing her a surprise party after giving birth, or simply give her some presents as a token of gratitude for her contribution to your family.

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Surrogacy Contracts: 3 Helpful Tips Every Intended Parent Should Know

Surrogacy Contracts: 3 Helpful Tips Every Intended Parent Should Know

Intended parents can face a lot of confusion regarding the legal aspects of surrogacy, and one of the biggest sources of confusion in the surrogacy process is the surrogacy contract. The surrogacy contract refers to the legal agreement between the intended parents and the surrogate. The contract lists all legal provisions and agreements related to the process of surrogacy. Having a legal contract between a surrogate and the intended parents is very important to avoid any future legal conflicts. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the surrogacy contract will act as a legal guide for both intended parents and the surrogate.

In order to get a better understanding of surrogacy contracts, here are 3 of the most important things every intended parent should know:

Tip 1. Surrogacy contracts differ from state to state.
Every state recognizes surrogacy as a reproductive option, but while some states have passed laws and statutes defining the surrogacy process, others do not have specific laws addressing surrogacy. In most states where surrogacy is recognized, there are laws and statutes that define the paternity of the child, the financial obligations and the rights of the intended parents and the surrogate. It is very important to know what the local laws and statutes are before getting into any legal contract with a surrogate. Reproductive specialty lawyers who specialize in surrogacy can help intended parents better understand all the different laws and statutes on surrogacy. Surrogate agencies will employ reproductive specialty lawyers for intended parents and surrogates in order to ensure that each party is legally protected.

Tip 2. The surrogacy contract is essential.
The surrogacy contract is very important to avoid any future legal conflicts that may arise during the process of surrogacy. A surrogacy contract is a binding and enforceable legal contract for the intended parents and surrogate. It pre-defines the paternity of the child and both the financial and behavioral responsibilities of each party. The surrogacy contract allows each party (meaning the intended parents and the surrogate) to state their own intentions and responsibilities to one another, and it establishes guidelines for what actions will be taken in the event of medical complications such as the number of embryos to be transferred at one time, if selective reduction is an acceptable option, and which type of delivery method will be used. All of these agreements and conditions are very important to avoid any legal conflicts that may arise during and after the surrogacy process. Surrogate agencies can provide helpful information on the different aspects included in a surrogacy contract.

Tip 3. The surrogacy contract should be reviewed by reproductive specialty lawyers representing each party.
Neither the intended parents nor the surrogate are required by law to use a reproductive specialty lawyer’s services for the surrogacy contract. However, it is highly advisable that the surrogacy contract be reviewed by a reproductive specialty lawyer in order to be certain that the child’s paternity is pre-established, and to properly identify the financial and medical obligations of each party. It is also recommended that both the surrogate and the intended parents have their own reproductive specialty lawyers review the surrogacy contract. Each reproductive specialty lawyer will review the surrogacy contract to ensure that the client’s responsibilities, rights, and paternity are properly identified. In most cases, surrogate agencies will provide both the intended parents and the surrogate with their own reproductive specialty lawyer.

The surrogate process can be confusing for intended parents, and reviewing and understanding the surrogacy contract is one of the best ways to clear up that confusion. The structure and clarity the surrogacy contract provides can help intended parents to feel comfortable and confident throughout the surrogate process.

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Should Pregnant Surrogates Eat Organic Foods?

Should Pregnant Surrogates Eat Organic Foods?

The goal shared by all intended parents and surrogate mothers is to produce a healthy baby. To ensure that the baby develops properly, it’s very important for the surrogate to eat healthily while she is pregnant. More and more, intended parents are going a step further by asking their surrogates to eat only organic foods. While some surrogates are reluctant to do this, others are entirely willing – after all, it may improve their own health.

As with any significant decision, though, there are pros and cons to be considered.

The downsides include that organic foods can be much more expensive than the same type of non-organically-produced foods. This is due to their higher cost of production. A surrogate may be more willing to eat organic foods if the intended parents offered to pay for the organic foods she eats.

A related issue to that is the fact that organic foods can also be harder to obtain; not every grocery store or supermarket has such a wide selection of organics. They’re a specialty item, after all, and surrogates with fewer options for food-shopping (in rural areas or small towns, for instance) may have trouble shopping for organic foods.

And of course, not every food is available organically. There’s a real possibility that a surrogate eating only organically may have to miss out on some of her favorite foods for the duration of her pregnancy.

There are convenience issues, too. Organics, due to their lack of preservatives, can spoil more easily – shorter shelf-lives, which require more regular shopping.

But there are a lot of good reasons that intended parents ask their surrogates to eat organic foods. Insecticides and additives are potentially harmful if they are passed though to the baby during pregnancy. Organic foods lack insecticides and additives – those things won’t be carried through into the baby.

Health concerns have, from time to time, been raised over genetically modified crops, or meat from animals that have been fed those crops. Organic food, by definition, is not genetically modified, which removes those concerns.

Research has shown, additionally, that organic foods contain more healthy vitamins and minerals, possibly due to the lack of preservatives involved.

And as a side-benefit, if you’re concerned about how animals are treated, organic food is a much better idea. Organic farming requires that animals be fed a natural diet, and are kept (unlike mass-produced ‘factory farm’ meat) in much more humane free-range conditions.

So while organic food can be inconvenient at times and more expensive, it also does provide a much healthier choice for the surrogate and the baby. It’s a big decision that should be weighed seriously from both sides, but there are solid reasons behind why a lot of intended parents do want their surrogate mothers to eat organically during their pregnancy.

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Intended Parents 101: Preparing for the Arrival of Your Baby

Intended Parents 101: Preparing for the Arrival of Your Baby

Fortunately, the nine months between your baby’s conception and arrival gives you plenty of time to prepare. Here are some important tips to help you get ready for the arrival of your new baby:

Learn about the birth process with your surrogate
Because the thought of birth can be very overwhelming (even to an experienced surrogate mother), it’s best to discuss the details with her.

Find a doctor for your surrogate and baby
The best time to find an obstretican is before the fertility treatment starts – during the treatment, things will be hectic. Start looking midway through the surrogate’s pregnancy, around the 4-5 month point. This may seem early, but you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to find a physician who’ll be a good fit for your family, who accepts your insurance, and who is taking new patients. Ask the people you know for references.

Get on the same page with your surrogate
An important aspect of planning is to inform your surrogate – she should be well informed about the different plans you and your partner have during and after the delivery of the child.

Talk to veteran moms about birth and baby care
Veteran moms have valuable knowledge you can use when your baby comes. They can provide great suggestions and tips on things you need to expect when your child arrives.

Prepare older siblings and pets (if any)
Many parents use a baby doll to help their child understand what’s coming. Older toddlers or pre-schoolers will enjoy the pretend play; when they see you diapering or feeding the new baby later, it will seem familiar. Pets also benefit from special pre-baby preparation. Local trainers may offer classes, or you can turn to books, articles, or videos for tips on teaching your pet and eventually your baby how to respect each other.

Decide who will attend the birth
This is a very personal decision. Some intended parents like a full room while others prefer as few people present as possible. Give some thought to what you want, so that there are no misunderstandings, unwelcome observers, or offended grandmothers. Make sure to also speak about this decision with your surrogate so she will not be surprised at the hospital.

Pack your bag
The last thing you’ll want to worry about when your surrogate goes into labor is whether you have everything packed. Ease your mind by getting your bag together a few weeks before your due date. Important things to bring should include all the legal documents, as well as any gift you may be presenting to your surrogate. Remember, a new baby requires an installed car seat, diapers, wipes, some clothing, and a safe place to sleep.

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Intended Parents 101

Intended Parents 101: Is Surrogacy Right for Us?

Before you choose to go with surrogacy, you and your spouse or partner need to ask yourselves some questions; it’s a life-changing decision that requires mutual agreement, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Some of the most important questions are:

“How will you handle a surrogate carrying your baby?”
The relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents can be as close or as limited as the parties agree upon, but it’s generally encouraged that the intended parents and surrogate communicate on a daily basis, attend all doctor appointments, and socialize on a regular basis. This allows the intended parents to feel that they are part of the pregnancy and are bonding with the baby.

“How can we be sure we have a compatible surrogate?”
The most critical step in the surrogacy process is selecting a surrogate that closely matches your and your spouse’s values, personality, and beliefs. This is accomplished through the agency that you and your spouse hire; each party will complete a profile that compiles personal information about you and your spouse and the surrogate and her spouse (if she is married). Once a potential match is located and properly screened, the agency will arrange a meeting of all parties.

“How much are we willing to financially invest in trying to have a baby?”
You and your spouse need to research the costs involved in using a surrogate to have a child – they’ll depend upon which medical procedures need to be performed, the agency fees, and the surrogate fees. The surrogacy agency will be able to provide you with an estimated breakdown to help you figure this out.

If you decide to choose surrogacy as a path to having a baby, it’s very important the relationship between both parties be protected. This is accomplished by selecting an agency that is not strictly a matching service – pick one that’s knowledgeable about surrogacy laws in your state, that carefully screens all surrogates, that is willing to act as a mediator between the surrogate and intended parents, ensures all legal and hospital matters are handled, and is available to walk all parties through each step of the process.

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