Hi y'all, first post here. Single guy, straight, 39-years old. Started my journey seven-months ago, and about 40% through. Picked a great fertility clinic, egg donor, have blastocysts ready, finally matched with a wonderful surrogate (this was the longest/hardest part so far), and got medical screening clearance. We are drafting contracts now. My questions:
1)My surrogate is experienced; I suggested we use one of her old contracts and then do a simple doc review with a lawyer for her, but agency strongly advised against that. Any reason why each contract from scratch? $3800 is a lot for copy and pasting, which is what I am certain most of these lawyers do, and my surrogate and I are on the same page.
2)Agency went ahead and started the lawyer drafting. I thought this was usually a separate choice for IP? Agency assures me lawyer is independent, said thought I had verbally ok'd when we first met six months ago. Agency is a small shop recommended by someone at my clinic, so this could have been an honest mistake; I actually like the more individualized attention, but there are aspects that seem somewhat "fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants," like moving forward with this lawyer without my explicit say-so.
3)Agency is advising using same lawyer for birth order (PBO). Is this a good idea; talking with other IPs, they said use a separate lawyer, but not sure if there is utility in that. Lastly,
4)Escrow - how much do you usually fund; is it all of the surrogate comp and fees at once? Who manages? Agency is saying use same lawyer for escrow, but the agency will review receipts, etc. with me having access to see what's going on. Under this arrangement, I'm not sure what the lawyer's doing. I am not very comfortable with this idea, because it does not seem independent and concerned basically about giving the agency a blank check. Is this a typical arrangement, are there third party escrow companies you recommend, and standard charge for their services?
Surrogate is in SoCal, San Diego/L.A. area. Thanks for your help, and if there are any single guys contemplating a journey, feel free to ask me any questions on my experience so far!