About a week before my med screening, I started looking for an attorney. My IPs have an attorney in Chicago who specializes in third party reproduction issues and has a great reputation. But my agency told me that since the baby will be born in Missouri, it's important for me to get an attorney in my state so that he/she can make sure the contract is in compliance with Missouri laws and standard procedures.
I'm sure it doesn't shock you to hear that there aren't really that many attorneys with experience in surrogacy issues. There is one very well known attorney who is THE go to person for dealing with surrogacy, particularly when it comes to getting your ducks in a row to establish parentage when the baby is born. So, it was a natural step to see if she could help with reviewing our contract as well. Well it turns out that her daughter is in business with her and is the one who reviews surrogacy contracts, and when we contacted her two weeks ago, she was 36 weeks pregnant with twins. She said that she would still represent me but might not have a lot of time to devote to her work soon (you think?!?). Since we have a deadline, we decided our best bet would be to find someone else.
Jesse from Pink & Blue recommended someone that she had heard was good, and I also mentioned someone else I had seen recommended on the online surrogacy forum I belong to. Unfortunately, neither of these men responded to our inquiry. After a couple of days, figuring that promptness probably won't be their priority if they can't even bother to respond to a new business request within a few days, I went searching for someone else. Luckily, there was one more attorney who was recommended to me by another surrogate in the St. Louis area as someone she has worked with for two surrogacy contracts. I made a call to her office, spoke with her assistant who 1) sounded positive about working with us, 2) recognized the woman who referred me by name, 3) confirmed that they have experience working with my IPs' attorney in the past, and 4) confirmed that she could help me get it done by our deadline. Yippee!
Now they have received all of my and my husband's information so they can open our file, and Jesse gave them all of the information regarding how they will receive payment. Jesse is sending the IPs' attorney over all of our information today so she can start the first draft, then it will be sent to my attorney for her and my review. I'm hopeful that this process will go smoothly. I don't feel like I'm too picky about any requests my IPs may have, and I don't think they are very picky either. We have to have the contracts done and signed by August 23!