You’re considering working with a surrogate.

You are afraid that she’ll keep the child, that things won’t work out, that you’ll be risking your money and your emotions.

What do you do?  How do you protect yourself?

In light of the recent guilty plea of Attorney Theresa Erickson, someone who claimed to care about assisting infertile couples, admitting that she scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars from couples by sending surrogates to the Ukraine to conceive, then selling their babies, your concerns are certainly legitimate.

This is probably the single most important decision in your life, and it is one that should be made after careful investigation and deliberation. 

So, how do you decide who to trust?

Well, the first and most important piece of advice is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There are dozens of fly-by-night surrogate programs out there. Surrogate Mothers, Inc. has been in business longer than any program in the world, except one (a very good program in California).
If you find a surrogate program that promises you a child for $40,000, RUN AWAY!  Surrogacy is expensive, and it ought to be. 
A decent surrogate program will have doctors, psychologists, lawyers, administrative staff, and others all as part of its program.  No surrogate program anywhere can guarantee that you will have a child.
If someone makes such a claim, RUN AWAY.  Think about it—how could anyone possibly promise you that a woman can conceive?
While the mere fact that a business has existed for a long time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s reputable; however, it goes a long way to assuring that you’ll be protected.
SMI has been assisting clients since 1984, but much more importantly, we have been a member of the Better Business Bureau without a single complaint having been filed, and we have an A+ rating with the BBB.
Check out the program you’re considering.  Ask for references.  Ask for testimonials.  Ask if they’ve ever had a case of failed surrogacy.
What Attorney Erickson did is an abomination. She stole people’s money. She deceived people who trusted her. But, the idea that a program would send a surrogate to the Ukraine to conceive is simply absurd. Wouldn’t you think that was a bit strange?
There are hundreds of IVF clinics in the U.S., many of which do outstanding work. It’s like these ridiculous surrogate agencies in India that promise a child (or two) for $35,000. When you dig deeper, however, you find out that their surrogates are impoverished, that the legal work is impossible, and that you have no control whatsoever over your choices.
If it doesn’t feel right to you, RUN AWAY.  Use your common sense. 
It is completely understandable that in an area so fraught with emotions that you might not think clearly. But, the decision to create a life is so important, it deserves your utmost scrutiny.
What I will guarantee is that even if you don’t end up working with us, you’ll feel much better about surrogacy after we’ve spoken. 
SMI has never, ever misrepresented anything to its clients. That’s why we have the reputation that we do. Don’t place your trust in someone unless you feel completely comfortable with them. It’s not worth it. [1]  

Theresa Erickson pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She admitted that she sent surrogate mothers to the Ukraine, then once they got pregnant and their pregnancies went into the second trimester, she falsely represented that the mothers’ couples backed out of the agreement, then tried to sell their babies for as much as $100,000. She also admitted to lying to courts, claiming that the surrogacy arrangements were legitimate. Another lawyer, Hilary Neiman, from Maryland, also pled guilty. They face up to 5 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, as well as (hopefully) being disbarred.