SCI would wish that everyone becomes pregnant during their first attempt, but we know that this is not always possible. We are very sensitive to the difference between becoming pregnant and having a live birth. HCG levels (positive pregnancy test), alone are not a good predictor of you having a baby in your arms nine months after these results- but it is a wonderful first step.
We will not suggest that you are pregnant unless you have a solid HCG level (ideally over 50). We do not confuse chemical pregnancies with viable pregnancies. We look for evidence that your pregnancy has every chance of resulting in a live birth. What the evidence and research tells us, is that the first significant milestone towards this goal is seeing your baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound. Clinically this puts a pregnancy into a lower risk category for miscarriage. For this reason, our second stage payments begin, not with a positive pregnancy result, but with a viable heartbeat.
We don’t believe that IP’s should lose a significant proportion of their budget with non-refundable payments if a miscarriage occurs before heartbeat with evidence stating that the highest risk of miscarriage occurs between receiving a positive pregnancy test and having an ultrasound that confirms heartbeat.
At SCI, payments are made bi-monthly for the duration of the ongoing pregnancy, rather than a trimester basis. If you are unfortunate enough to experience a miscarriage in the second trimester, you are not required to pay the balance of your surrogacy fees for the second and third trimester, rather you are asked to pay the fees for the month, with an additional compensation which is given to the surrogate for following month.
We have a separate financial contract included as an attachment to the main contract in an attempt to be as transparent as we are able to be, stating what is and is not included. We acknowledge that this can be challenging, as no one can predict how any one pregnancy will progress. For example: We do not charge ‘extra’ for twins, but acknowledge that twin pregnancy are higher risk and may require more medical care, this is billed to the IP’s as it occurs and is discussed with the IP at the time it occurs.
Another example would be a Caesarean birth. If your surrogate requires a Caesarean birth, the amount paid covers not only the medical procedure and hospital stay while at the hospital, but also needs to include:
- follow up medical care for the 12 weeks ( of more if required),
- additional medication,
- additional transport,
- additional stay in the studio apartment for a further 2 -3 months,
- additional home help and assistance as the surrogate is not able to carry or lift any weight, additional food & supplements,
- additional visits by family members, nurses, social workers, community workers, cleaners and cooks,
- and follow up visits by the nurse/social worker when they return to their home.
It is not a simply a medical procedure at a hospital, nor is the medical procedure all that needs to occur to ensure the health and well being of your surrogate.
The aim for SCI always remains for IP's to take a baby home with them. We are aware of the financial considerations that face all families and ensure at all times that we focus on not just getting pregnant, but having a viable pregnancy and live birth.