Here are 8 Important Steps to Take to Financially Prepare for Your Surrogate Baby
The moment that you prepare for a new baby, the anticipation and excitement of meeting your child may be emotionally overwhelming. Since you only have nine months to prepare, it may feel like you don’t have enough time to financially prepare.
Whether you’re the intended parent or the surrogate mother, you should take the time to prepare.
Whether you have already had time to find a surrogate or a surrogacy agency in California yet or not, bringing a baby into the world is a major life decision. Babies can dramatically impact your life as well as your finances.
To prepare for this exciting and challenging time of your life, here are some important steps to take as you financially prepare for your new life, especially when looking for the right surrogacy agency to work within California.
#1 – Understand Your Employer’s Maternity & Paternity Leave Policies
The first thing you should prepare for is parental leave. Babies that enter the world need significant amounts of attention and care. Even though you will have your baby through surrogacy, the baby will be coming home with you after your surrogate mother has given birth.
Childbirth is a serious medical event that requires several weeks of recovery for the surrogate, but also it is important for parents to bond with your baby.
While the U.S. does not offer parental leave for new parents, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period following the birth of a baby.
There are some employers who offer paid time off. You may also be eligible for paid wages through your short-term disability insurance.
You should also save up on your paid personal time, sick time, and vacation time once the baby arrives.
During this time, you should speak with your boss or your company’s human resources department to come up with a plan for your maternity and parental leave.
Review your company’s policies, and determine if they offer paid time off. If they do, what percentage of that amount is paid?
Find out how much time you’re allowed to take. Coordinate with your spouse or significant other, who will take time off, and determine if you will take that time together or separately.
Factors can vary from company policies, state operations, and the number of employees in the organization. If there’s anything that you don’t understand, then speak with your boss or human resources department.
#2 – Review Your Life Insurance Policy
The next thing you should do is review your life insurance policy. Make sure your policy is up to date. It should provide enough coverage for your significant other and your upcoming child based off of your income. Generally speaking, insurance agents recommend the 10X rule- multiply your work salary by 10x, this should be your face-amount on your policy.
Consider increasing the coverage amount for added protection during lifestyle changes in the event of a death, especially if you or your spouse plans to leave the workforce.
Speak with your insurance provider to find out about including coverage for additional services such as debt elimination, education spending, and salary replacement.
You may want to also consider life insurance for your new loved one coming into the world by way of your surrogacy. Juvenile policies are usually able to be in-force within 15 days after birth.
#3 – Review Estate Documents
As you focus on your financial planning, you should review your estate documents.
You should take the time to draft and execute them if you haven’t already.
Those legal documents should include a financial and medical power of attorney, guardianship directives, and a living will.
If you already have these documents written up, look them over to ensure this information is up to date. Make sure these documents include your designated beneficiaries and will include the latest member of the family.
After you draft, execute, and review these documents, you should store them in a safe place.
It should be in the same place as your baby’s birth certificate, health records, and Social Security card. Keep several copies of your estate documents to provide to your executors for their own records.
#4 – Add Your surrogate Baby’s Health Insurance Within 30 Days
During this time, you should review your health insurance to ensure that it provides the coverage you need.
Review both you and your spouse’s health insurance. Add your baby to the policy of your choice.
Understand the coverage and policies for deductibles, pediatric appointments, pharmacy visits, medical co-pays, and vaccination schedules.
If your surrogate baby requires several visits to the pediatrician, then you’ll need to ensure that you have enough coverage.
Remember, it’s never too late to find a pediatrician for your baby.
It’s important to meet and review the doctor and the doctor’s office to make sure that you’re comfortable with the type of care that your baby will be receiving.
You may want to get a referral from your doctor, family, or friends. Or, you can search for a pediatrician through your healthcare provider’s network.
#5 – Create a Baby Fund for Baby & Mommy Expenses
Now it’s time to set up a baby savings account before your baby arrives.
This allows you to set money aside for emergency expenses, unexpected costs, and the tons of clothes and baby items you will need when your surrogate mother has given birth.
This money should be used for baby gear, healthcare costs, maternity clothes, and any additional costs associated with you and your baby’s care.
Financially preparing for your baby will reduce the stress associated with unexpected costs.
#6 – Discuss & Research Daycare
Before your baby arrives, you should discuss a daycare plan with your spouse or significant other.
Determine if you’re going to stay home with the kids or whether you’ll use daycare.
Either of these options can affect your finances drastically. You should be aware if you’re financially ready for either of these decisions.
Research each of your options and handle these matters ahead of time allows you to prepare for this dramatic financial change.
This can help reduce the stress associated with the costs of financially preparing for a baby.
#7 – Live Like You Already Have a Baby
The surrogacy process can often feel like the coined phrase, “hurry up and wait…” This will allow you lots of time to prepare mentally and also financially.
Before your baby arrives, you should estimate how much you plan to spend on your baby.
If you already have a budget, then include your baby with your budget of normal monthly expenses.
Once you have this goal in mind, live as if the baby is already here. Shop around for the bay deals on baby clothes, gear, and more.
Get a feel for how it feels like to live this new life. You’ll get a better idea of what your financial life will be like if you plan this way.
If you find that it’s tight or unmanageable, you’ll have a better idea before your surrogate baby arrives. This gives you plenty of time to make adjustments and to plan accordingly.
Whatever you save in that separate account while you’re pretending can be used towards your baby when they arrive.
#8 – Consider Planning for School & College
The baby hasn’t arrived yet but it’s important to keep this factor in mind.
Talk to your spouse or significant other about the types of school you see your kids attending.
Is it a public school? Private school? Bring up the topic of college during your conversation. It may seem early to discuss college, but with the rising costs of college, it’s never too early to start saving.
While your child’s college education isn’t something that should be a priority at the time of them being so young, it’s an option worth considering.
If you want to start an education or college savings account for your child, then look into a 529 plan- A 529 plan is a type of investment account which helps you save money towards college.
They can allow you to save for college or education tax-deferred depending on the plan of your choice.
Having these discussions and financially planning makes it easier to be able to pay for your child’s education.
You should also reach out to other new moms and parents during this time. Find a combination of local and online groups where you can discuss financial challenges with other new parents or intended parents that have already undergone the process of surrogacy.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to have a mentor who’s where you want to be.
Bringing a baby into the world comes with its share of challenges. But handling each challenge, one by one, can reduce some of these financial problems before your baby arrives. The first nine months are going to be the most exciting and challenging times of your life after the baby is born.
They also come with major financial decisions. Once you get things rolling, it’ll become easier to plan for the years ahead!
Are you considering the decision to become a surrogate mother? Or are you an intended parent looking for a surrogate near you?
Wherever you are in your journey, we can help you find a surrogate in California- we specialize in surrogacy throughout the California and northern California region. We have local California surrogate mothers, and would love to help you on your next surrogacy journey!
Fill out our online form or call us at 916-226-4342 if you’re comfortable with speaking on the phone. We hope to make your dream of having a child a reality.