Cobb County

Cobb couple expecting baby via surrogate says company stopped paying woman pregnant with their child

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The blue and pink gift bags are laid out at Roy and Jenna Copeland’s Smyrna home for their upcoming gender reveal party on Saturday.

But now, after a ten-year fertility struggle, the couple is facing another challenge.

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“I’ve told Roy, ‘When are we going to wake up from this nightmare?’ Like, this isn’t real life,” Jenna Copeland told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.

The couple’s baby is due in November via surrogate, but this month, their surrogate did not receive her monthly payment.

The Copelands had placed $60,000 in an escrow account with a company called Surrogacy Escrow Account Management (SEAM) to pay the surrogate.

“This is a process that requires a lot of trusting and believing in other people. We’ve got a surrogate carrying our baby, and we thought our funds were safe with this escrow company,” Roy Copeland said.

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On Friday, the Copelands and other families across the country were sent an email by SEAM warning of a temporary account freeze because of bank fraud attempts.

Two days later in another email, SEAM’s owner Dominque Side wrote, “due to legal action I regret to inform you that all operations have been placed on hold.”

That is the last the Copelands have heard from SEAM for days now. The company and its owner have also not returned email messages or voicemails from Channel 2 Action News.

“A very cavalier approach to, you know, other people’s money,” Roy Copeland said.


In a video on the company’s website, Side assures families that their money is secure with SEAM and that the company is bonded and insured.

“One of the main concerns people have is, are my funds secure? Absolutely. We have insurance for professional liability,” Side said in the video.

But despite those assurances, the Copelands and other families now have no access to the tens of thousands of dollars entrusted to SEAM for starting their families.

“For us to be in a vulnerable situation and then to feel like we’re being taken advantage of during this time is just devastating,” Jenna Copeland said.

The Copelands pulled money from their retirement accounts to pay the surrogate this month. They have filed police reports here locally and in Houston, where SEAM is based, and filed complaints with the Georgia and Texas Attorneys General.

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