As intended parents embark on their surrogacy journey, the process can bring about many different emotions and present an overwhelming number of decisions to be made. Not only are intended parents considering who to choose as their gestational carrier, they are also tasked with selecting an escrow fund manager. The financial aspects of a surrogacy journey deserve careful consideration, and choosing the wrong escrow provider can profoundly impact a surrogacy journey.
In our last post, we explored the five essential questions agency partners should ask escrow providers. Now, let’s dive into five questions intended parents should ask their escrow provider when considering account management for their surrogacy journey.
1. Is your escrow manager an independent third party?
When selecting an escrow manager, one of the most important aspects intended parents should consider is whether your escrow manager acts as an independent “third party” escrow fund manager. Independent third-party escrow managers have no interest or control in a surrogacy agency or clinic. Their duty is to be fiduciaries to the trust and to manage the funds to the provisions of the Gestational Surrogacy Agreement (GSA).
For escrow funds held by a non-third-party manager, the escrow agent would be obligated to act in the interest of their client. This situation becomes troublesome when disputes arise or funds are misappropriated.
Selecting an independent third-party escrow manager ensures the best interest and financial protection for all parties involved.
2. Does your escrow manager operate in compliance with HIPAA laws?
When considering various escrow providers to oversee your surrogacy journey, it is crucial to prioritize an escrow fund manager dedicated to safeguarding your personal and financial information. Important questions Intended Parents should be asking include the type of encryption protocols in place and if they comply with HIPAA.
At SeedTrust, we are committed to safeguarding your personal and financial information through our HIPAA-compliant online platform with AES-256 encryption. This level of security gives you, the intended parent, peace of mind knowing that your financial and personal information is secure.
3. Does your escrow manager provide various funding options?
As escrow fund managers, a common question intended parents ask is, “How do I initiate funding for my account?” Embarking on the path of surrogacy is a significant financial commitment. Providing intended parents with different options for escrow deposits provides peace of mind and limits potential stressors. For prospective intended parents exploring alternatives beyond the traditional wire transfer, it is important to ask your potential escrow manager if different funding choices are available and whether additional fees are associated with these options.
At SeedTrust, we provide Intended parents with a variety of options to initiate funding, including wire transfer, ACH transfer, e-check, and credit card. With our 24/7 online platform, intended parents have the option to view their ledger at any time. We strive to ensure funds deposited are reflected on the intended parents’ ledger within one business day of being received.
4. Does your escrow manager have safeguards in place to ensure your funds are secure?
When selecting an escrow fund manager, intended parents should ask what safeguards are in place to ensure their funds are protected. Intended parents should ask about their escrow fund manager’s licensing credentials, insurance coverage, bond assurances, and whether funds are secured in an attorney-held trust.
SeedTrust is a licensed escrow provider, and every dollar held in escrow is fully bonded and insured. SeedTrust’s insurance coverage provides the highest level of security and protection available.
5. Does your escrow manager charge a management fee?
It is important for intended parents to understand the fee structure of an escrow manager. Some escrow managers have a flat fee deducted at initial funding, while others have a fee structure throughout a surrogacy journey. Understanding exactly how your escrow manager’s fee structure works alleviates any confusion or unexpected costs down the road. Questions that may be beneficial to ask revolve around rematch fees, transaction fees, or term fees.
At SeedTrust, intended parents pay one flat fee at the start of the Surrogacy journey, with no additional fees. We do not charge rematch fees, time-based fees, or transaction fees.
Reduce stress with the right escrow fund manager
Choosing the right Escrow Manager can alleviate many stressors and save intended parents from costly mistakes. Asking potential escrow managers the five questions highlighted above will help you get a better sense of how your escrow agent operates.
At SeedTrust, we understand the importance of security and ensuring our intended parents are well-versed in the escrow management process. Acknowledging the many responsibilities that intended parents have, our commitment is to incorporate escrow management as a background concern, allowing you to focus on what matters most: building your family and enjoying this special time.
Are you an intended parent looking for a trustworthy and experienced escrow provider for your surrogacy journey? Contact SeedTrust today to schedule a consultation, or reach out to our team at (888) 223-9818 to learn more.