Managing Medical Costs in Surrogacy

Perhaps one of the most common concerns among new surrogates is the fear that they could be left with costly unpaid medical bills once the baby is delivered. Let us be very clear: that fear is completely unfounded and implausible for a Growing Generations surrogate. We employ a highly skilled finance team for the sole purpose of managing those bills and take great pride in ensuring that you are well taken care of as it relates to qualified medical expenses.

When Intended Parents begin working with Growing Generations, they are asked to first pay a retainer fee. Later, once matching concludes, they are given ten days in which to fully fund a trust account for all expenses related to their surrogacy journey. This account will cover your medical bills as well as all items disclosed in your benefits package and contract.

Before the trust account is fully funded, Growing Generations will pay in advance for the fees associated with screening and matching.

Once the account is funded, the Growing Generations finance team begins managing the financial aspect of your journey. They will manage disbursing funds for the payment of bills, other expenses, and allowances. As such, you will communicate about bills, disbursements, or allowances with the finance team directly. This takes the financial aspect and concerns out of your relationship with your intended parents and allows you to focus on developing a relationship with them free of money matter concerns.

The trust fund is designed to earmark funds for all qualified expenses that arise as a result of your journey. You should take note of the qualified expenses that will be covered as part of your journey. While basic, standard care items will almost always be included, certain exclusions from your insurance approval or additional services such as chiropractic care may not be considered qualified expenses. In most cases all exclusions and inclusions will be included as part of your legal contract. A good rule of thumb is, “When in doubt, ask about.” Your Case or Financial Specialist should be able to answer questions on whether or not certain services or bills meet the requirements of qualified expenses.

As a general rule, the trust is funded to cover applicable costs of one attempt at attaining pregnancy, and then the continuation of a singleton pregnancy. The account is revisited and adjusted if situations outside of that scenario arise.

Once the baby is born, the Growing Generations finance team will continue to manage and pay any qualified medical bills related to the delivery or your follow up care. This includes your post-natal follow up visit with your OBGYN. Intended parents are advised that bills relating to child birth can sometimes take many months to arrive, and that they will still be responsible for any qualified expenses that arises as a result of the pregnancy or birth.

Keep in mind that this does not mean that you will experience no out of pocket expenses. Things like insurance co-pays and childcare costs may need to be paid at the time of service. However, these costs are reimbursable. So while you may need to pay for some items yourself, the end result is a zero out of pocket responsibility for qualified surrogacy related expenses for you.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.