Where to Begin?
Often the first participant in a surrogacy or egg donation arrangement after the IVF physician is the egg donation and surrogacy agency egg donor Phoenix. These agencies are responsible for locating, screening, supporting and coordinating the parties in a surrogacy and or egg donation process. They are also instrumental in coordinating all events that are to take place, addressing areas of conflict, and providing support where needed by the parties.
Make certain you ask the following questions before hiring an agency or facilitator:
How long have they been in business?
What is their experience level? Number of cases the past year?
How many babies have been born this year? In years past?
Are they currently embroiled in litigation?
Do they carry Errors and Omissions Insurance?
How do they handle screening of surrogates and donors?
What are the actual services they provide?
What do they actually charge? Is there a fee for support, preliminary screening, etc.?
Are the familiar with working with clients from overseas?
How many staff do they have and do they have an emergency number?
What insurance do they use for their surrogates and donors?
Signing an Agreement
Now, no matter what the answers to these previous questions, the experience, the reference or the manner of location, it is important that the prospective intended parents have each one of these agreements reviewed by an attorney experienced in the area of ART (Assisted Reproduction Technologies) law. With these types of services, a written agreement is absolutely required between the prospective intended parents and the agency. These agreements run from one page to ten or more pages, depending on the size of the agency and, often enough, the experience of the agency.
How to Negotiate an Agreement to Fit Your Needs & Situation
Preference is for an arrangement that provides an actual agreement between the facilitator/agency and the intended parents that is separate and distinct from any other agreement between the affected parties. There will then be additional agreements that will clarify for the parties, including surrogates, egg donors and the prospective intended parents, what is expected of them, how the embryos can be disposed and who is the parent under every situation.
Points for Negotiation
Whether or not the agreement is specific as to a particular egg donor or surrogate or gestational carrier. If it, as it usually is in an egg donation agreement, do the prospective intended parents have the right to reject that egg donor; and, if so, what happens to their fees? Will a refund be provided? Will additional fees be charged for a new donor or surrogate or gestational carrier. What if the physician rejects the particular egg donor or surrogate or gestational carrier? What if the prospective intended parents cannot locate another egg donor or surrogate or gestational carrier through the agency?
What happens to the fees that they have already paid thus far when the prospective intended parents have not even reached an embryo transfer? And, at what point, if any, does a new agency fee attach? All of these questions are important in making certain that the prospective intended parents receive a fair agreement that provides services from beginning to end and in making certain that the agency is not exposed to liability due to an inadequately prepared agreement. In fact, all of these questions above must be addressed in terms of refunds, handling of disputes and replacement of egg donor or surrogate or gestational carrier.
Next, who handles the funds? Since we are dealing with an egg donor and/or a surrogate or gestational carrier, we have funds that are being held by someone for them pursuant to the egg donation and/or surrogate or gestational carrier agreement. Are the funds being held by the agency? Are the funds being held by an attorney? Are the funds being held by an escrow or trust holder?
Confidentiality and its parameters must also be addressed in these agreements, including to what extent information is to be provided to the egg donor or surrogate or gestational carrier and to the prospective intended parents regarding private information on the parties.
Consideration must also be given to whether or not the agency will be performing background checks and to what degree, who will be paying for these and will the prospective intended parents have the opportunity to review such background checks themselves or with their attorney.
This also applies to psychological reports and whether or not the agency will release the report to the prospective intended parents or just their treating IVF physician.
Ultimately, as with any contract negotiation and/or drafting, it is important to understand the underlying issues that may arise in these industry particular arrangements. It is important to note without the proper knowledge of ART, the negotiation, and drafting of such agreements will only place you at risk for future problems and issues.