How SEAM Helped Kim “Feel Like a Person, Not Just An Account Number”
During Her Surrogacy Journeys
We’ve all had issues with customer service before. Lack of communication, slow replies, and delayed payments are common problems we’ve probably all encountered at some point. But those problems can be particularly frustrating when you’re a surrogate and you have to hound the escrow management company for proper reimbursement and payments.
Keep reading to discover how Kim, who’s undergone five surrogacy journeys to date, was persuaded to switch away from SEAM for her third journey, how the customer service issues made her want to switch back, and what SEAM did to make her feel “like a person, not just an account number.
A woman with a gigantic heart, Kim has four biological children, two adopted, and three foster children. She has served as a gestational surrogate five times and has worked with several different agencies over the course of each of those journeys.
Kim found her way to surrogacy after a miscarriage. She knew she was healthy enough to carry again and didn’t want her story to end there. For her, surrogacy was both a way to heal and to help other people.
“I usually just have such easy pregnancies and deliveries, and it was just like, we have been blessed with all these children. And some people, you know, can’t conceive or need help conceiving or whatever the case or the situation may be. And so we just kind of stepped in to fill that void.
“Because when that fifth pregnancy just ended so tragically, I thought, ‘That’s not my story. We’re going to rewrite that.’ And so I wanted to carry for someone else and have that be my happy ending instead.”
A Lot of “Unnecessary Stress…”
Kim had used SEAM for her first two surrogacy journeys, but her third journey was a bit different. She matched with a set of intended parents through an agency that had in-house escrow account management services.
The fathers-to-be had paid a fee for the in-house escrow already, so Kim agreed to let the agency handle the escrow. However, the issues started showing up almost immediately…
“I ended up just saying, ‘Oh. Well, I’m sure it’s fine,’ but if you called, no one would call you back. And if you sent an email, it would be a week before you got a response. And it seemed like any time they looked at or referred to my contract, it was never accurate. I ended up, several times, taking screenshots of my contract, highlighting sections, and being like, ‘No! Look, this is what it says.’”
The lack of response and action on the agency’s side was stressful for Kim. She was continually following up to get payments made, expenses reimbursed, and having to argue over what her contract said with them. It was disorganized and took forever to get an issue addressed — let alone resolved or paid out. It also impacted Kim’s relationship with her intended parents.
“It made it uncomfortable between the intended fathers and myself. Because, you know, part of the beautiful thing of using an escrow company is you don’t have to talk about money, because no one likes to really discuss that. So we were having to put out fires for this escrow company and talk between ourselves and it was kind of like, ‘Wait. I thought they were supposed to be the middleman. We’re the ones that are trying to help them!’”
Fortunately, Kim had a good relationship with her intended parents, and they were both on the same page about what payments were meant to be made and what expenses needed to be reimbursed.
“I couldn’t imagine what would have happened if I didn’t have a good relationship with them. How that journey would have gone… They were first-time parents, so they had never done anything like that before. Luckily it worked out, but with just a lot of unnecessary stress.”
The Next Journey…
This next journey was much, much smoother for Kim and her intended parents. A sibling journey for the same parents as her previous journey, this time, Kim and the fathers were all on the same page: They were not going to be using the in-house escrow again.
Given the issues they’d faced, switching back to SEAM was a no-brainer. They loved the transparency of being able to see where their money was at all times. And the communication issues they had with the previous escrow management company were nonexistent with SEAM’s thorough and wonderfully communicative team.
“They are so responsive. I mean, they’d respond within the same day, most times, to any question or need from any of the parties. And they genuinely know what’s going on. They’d be like, ‘Well, good luck with your transfer!’ or things like that.”
Even when an issue with a payment arose, there was a stark difference between SEAM and the in-house escrow agency Kim had used with her intended parents previously.
“There was one point where I was supposed to get two payments, and the second one just kinda got overlooked by accident. It took one email. And then she was like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Yeah, I see that. You’re right.” And it was literally fixed right then. There was no delay. I didn’t have to fight for it. She obviously read the contract. I felt like with the other escrow agency, it would have taken three months and, you know, 10 emails to make that happen.”
Instead of being forced to go back and forth with the escrow account management agency, involve her intended parents, and chase down the money needed, Kim and the knowledgeable SEAM team were able to resolve this issue in a single email that same day.
The fourth journey, even with that small blip, was a lot easier on Kim and her intended parents because SEAM was there to assume the stress related to monitoring and disbursing the money as outlined by their surrogacy agreement. The immediate resolution of any issues and being treated like a person instead of an account gave Kim and her intended parents space to focus on other, more important aspects of their surrogacy journey together.
Feel Like A Person — Not Just An Account Number
At the end of the day, escrow account management should make your surrogacy journey smoother, not be another thing you have to deal with. For Kim and her intended parents, switching to SEAM for their second surrogacy journey together made a huge difference in their quality of life.
“It really is seamless. Everything is just so smooth. It all just runs like clockwork. And all the girls over there do a fantastic job. They know what they’re doing. And if something ever does get missed — which, in FIVE journeys, has happened one time — it gets remedied immediately. So it’s just fantastic to feel like a person on the journey, not just an account number.”
Kim also works in the surrogacy industry (for an agency that does not offer in-house escrow services) and had this to say about SEAM from a professional perspective.
“SEAM has such a good reputation that we, even as a company, never hesitate to throw their name in the hat if someone needs a recommendation. And they totally live up to it. I’ve never had anyone say, ‘Wow, wish we hadn’t used SEAM.’ There’s never been complaints or issues or anything, ever. Everything is just so smooth. It runs just the way it should. Honestly, it’s seamless.”
SEAM is an escrow account management company for third-party reproduction agreements run by former surrogates. Having been involved with third-party reproduction before, we know how challenging the process can be, and we built SEAM to deliver exactly what we needed on our surrogate journeys.
We provide 24/7 online account access, daily disbursals via direct deposit, and flat-fee services. As a neutral third party, we are here to balance the interests of both parties and ensure that any issues are dealt with smoothly and fairly, so you can get back to what matters: Bringing home a healthy baby.
Click here for more details on our services and open your account today.