International IPs - Special Considerations

Shipping sperm or embryos

Many of our international clients either have frozen embryos, or sperm they would liketo ship to avoid making additional trips to the United States. While many IPs feel the cargo is too precious to leave to a shipping company and prefer to accompany the sperm or embryos in person, a large number of IPs do ship them. If this is something you desire, we can assist you and your clinics (the one in your home country and the one here) in coordinating this. It is done with great frequency and usually without complication. Please let us know if this is something you would like to discuss with us. Contact us info@agency4solutions.com

Insurance for newborns

drawing plane passport

International Intended Parents need to establish a health insurance/discount plan for theirbaby(ies) once he/she is born. This is not the same as medical insurance for the surrogate — which will cover her healthcare costs during the pregnancy. This insurance covers your child once the umbilical cord is cut. Sometimes the Intended Parents already have an insurance policy that will cover the child (if you have private insurance you will have to ask your insurance company if they will cover a birth in another country and provide documentation). But more often than not, international IPs must purchase private insurance/discount plan here in the States. This is true no matter what agency you are working with – although some may not tell you of this added cost up front – which can leave you in a financial bind later on. Unfortunately this insurance/discount plan is very expensive and currently there are only 2 companies offering it. Both of the companies pretty much offer the same programs.However, it is best for you to speak with each of them.

The newborn healthcareplan does not need to be purchased until there is a confirmed pregnancy. However, this insurance/discount plan is critical because if your surrogate ends up delivering early (which is not uncommon with twins), the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) bill can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars with no insurance coverage or discount plan in place. It is not a risk any one should take. Many other agencies will not be upfront with you about the potential for runaway costs for newborn health care, but this is not how we do business. We believe that all IPs should know the full financial picture before they start a surrogacy, so that they can make informed decisions.

To give you an idea of the costs – without an insurance plan in place, the NICU bills for twins (who are often born prematurely) can be well into the $100,000+ even if the babies are born at 35 weeks (which is considered full term). If babies are born earlier – for example 28 weeks, they will likely be in NICU for 8 weeks and the bills can be exorbitant. While the newborn health care policies are expensive, they make sense and it is important to understand just what the costs will involve. Currently there are insurance and discount plans for singletons, but only one insurance plan for twins(which is very expensive but is necessary to get due to the possible financial exposure for IPs). Because the twin program is so much more expensive than the singleton program, we highly recommend that International IPs consider single embryo transfers – it greatly reduces their financial risk.

The two companies currently offering newborn health care programs are as follows:

Just to clarify, our agency is not affiliated with either of these companies, so we are not biased at all in our recommendations — and we are constantly researching new possibilities for international couples and newborn health insurance. We encourage you to contact and speak with both of these companies. And please be forewarned– if another agency tells you that you do not have to purchase newborn health insurance, they are not being honest with you. You cannot use the surrogate’s insurance for your baby, and you cannot plan on having the hospital not follow up for payment (believe it or not, this is what some agencies are telling the IPs to do and this is fraud).The hospitals are now going after International IPs to collect on unpaid bills, regardless of where they live.

Birth Certificates

When it comes to international surrogacies, there are certain legalities for foreign IPs that come with doing a U.S. surrogacy, but we are quite familiar with all of them and will help guide you through them. First, to help facilitate your surrogacy we only match you with a surrogate where just your names go directly on the birth certificate (not your surrogate’s name). That way, there are no complications in getting a passport for you to travel home with your child (or children.). Then before the birth, we will take you through the necessary steps to obtain the birth certificate and then the passport. We work with Third Party Reproductive Attorneys who are quite knowledgeable about International Intended Parents. In most cases you can assume your US attorney will advise you to speak with an attorney in their your own country prior to starting a surrogacy here in the U.S. That said, we have worked with Intended Parents from countries where surrogacy is illegal (France, Italy, Germany, etc) and we have helped them to return home with happy, healthy babies.