FL surrogate says agency left her on the hook with medical bills - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

FL surrogate says agency left her on the hook with medical bills

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Surrogacy is a popular but complicated option for infertile couples who want to have a biological baby of their own. Surrogacy arrangements are well protected in Florida making the state a hotbed for them from all over the world.

When Joy Sutkus saw an ad for surrogates on Craiglist a few years ago, it piqued her interest.  She already had three children of her own and had no trouble carrying them. "I like being pregnant. I actually feel prettier when I'm pregnant."  Sutkus also liked the idea of being able to help another couple. "If I couldn't have my kids I would hope somebody would want to do that for me."

Sutkus signed up with a surrogacy agency out of Hollywood, FL called "Bundles of Joy." After being vetted, she agreed to carry the biological child of a couple from another country.

The pregnancy went flawlessly and last September Joy gave birth to a baby boy. Sutkus says "It was just beautiful." The couple was in the room when she gave birth and the two families have stayed in contact ever since.

Sutkus says she receives pictures and videos of the little boy, who is now eight months old, all the time. "He is so cute," says Sutkus.

The surrogacy-related problem Sutkus faces now is a mounting stack of medical bills related to the birth.  Some of which have been turned over to collection agencies for non payment.

Sutkus says the biological parents have already paid the surrogacy agency but the owners of Bundles of Joy, Mark and Sarah Vogel, have not yet paid the bills. "They keep saying they're taking care of it. She said he was trying to work with the creditors to get the amount reduced."

But Sutkus is questioning why the agency is trying to have the amounts reduced if the biological parents have already paid the agency the full amounts.  Sutkus is also worried that her credit is being negatively impacted by the delay.

When we first contacted Mark Vogel, the owner of "Bundles of Joy," he left a message saying: "as Miss Sutkus was advised almost a month ago, all of the outstanding charges have been paid. Everything has been paid."

But when Sutkus checked back with the medical providers the next day, she said all still showed the same outstanding balances.

Sutkus says this is the only discouraging part of what was otherwise a virtually flawless surrogacy arrangement.

Vogel provided copies of letters dated the last week of April enclosing payments to the providers.  He insists all the bills have been paid.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:04:11 GMT
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
  • How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:43:25 GMT
    A 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photoA 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photo
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
  • NewsMore>>

  • Couple arrested for sex on Cortez Beach

    Couple arrested for sex on Cortez Beach

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:43:29 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • FOUND: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    FOUND: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:27:44 GMT
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and disappeared for hours.
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and disappeared for hours.
  • Police investigating Tampa boy's death as hit and run

    Police investigating Tampa boy's death as hit and run

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:11:54 GMT
    Surveillance image of SUV suspected in deadly hit & run. Courtesy TPDSurveillance image of SUV suspected in deadly hit & run. Courtesy TPD
    New surveillance video has Tampa Police investigating 4-year-old Marterrance Albury's death as a hit and run. 
    New surveillance video has Tampa Police investigating 4-year-old Marterrance Albury's death as a hit and run. 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:44:54 GMT
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • VIDEO: Cat vs. ham

    VIDEO: Cat vs. ham

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:59:09 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    If you have a pet, you've probably fed it a table scrap or two. So, you'll probably appreciate this video of a pudgy cat who has a surprising and humorous response when he's given a scrap of ham.
    If you have a pet, you've probably fed it a table scrap or two. So, you'll probably appreciate this video of a pudgy cat who has a surprising and humorous response when he's given a scrap of ham.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.