Whether you’re an Intended Parent or surrogate, you’ll hear that an escrow fund will need to be established when you’re preparing for your first surrogacy journey. If you’ve never taken out a mortgage or refinanced a home, you may not have heard of it.
So, what exactly is an escrow fund? Using an escrow fund is the most efficient and reliable method to manage monetary transactions and financial tracking between the Intended Parent(s) and the surrogate.
Here’s what you need to know about escrow funds in relation to the surrogacy journey.
Escrow Funds in the Surrogacy Journey
All of the funds Intended Parents have allocated for the surrogacy journey will be held in an escrow fund. The account manager overseeing the fund will promptly distribute the funds according to the pre-determined dates and purposes as stated in the surrogacy agreement.
The escrow manager is the responsible party for making sure the agreed to monies are in the account and that they get distributed promptly and appropriately.
Why You Should Use an Escrow Fund
Escrow accounts are important in surrogacies for two main reasons:
- They ensure payments will be made on time based on the agreed to schedule and timeline included in the surrogacy contract.
- Holding the money in escrow eliminates any uncomfortable feelings for a surrogate who needs to inquire about an overdue payment or reimbursement. It is easier and less stressful to contact the escrow management company to ask about money than it is to ask the Intended Parents.
The relationship between a gestational carrier and her IPs should focus on growing the baby, not on potentially uncomfortable financial issues.
In-House vs. Independent Escrow Agencies
Some surrogacy agencies, like Worldwide Surrogacy Specialists, use an in-house escrow management company (a separate business entity, but technically in-house) to manage the funds and payments as needed. Other agencies may opt to work with an independently owned escrow management company.
There are many reputable escrow companies that have developed ongoing working relationships with law firms or surrogacy agencies.
For example, Worldwide Surrogacy uses a dedicated, reliable in-house escrow management company. We provide protection, reassurance, and peace of mind while efficiently managing funds in a timely manner.
Whether the escrow fund management company is directly associated with the surrogacy agency or an independent entity, make sure you do your research:
- Is the escrow agency licensed to practice in that state?
- Do they have a reputation for responding promptly to surrogates and IPs?
- Have they encountered problems with money collections and disbursements in the past and if so what measures were taken to fix the problems?
Also, it is always a good idea to ask for recommendations from previous clients.
Surrogacy is an intimate, emotionally charged journey. While money and monetary transactions are a central part of the experience, finances should not be a point of tension or frustration for the surrogate or Intended Parents. Their joint goal should remain focused on building—or growing—a family.