Founded in 1994, Northwest Surrogacy Center, LLC is the leading and most successful surrogacy center in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, our professional staff has 40 years of experience in facilitating adoptions. We have been helping create families for four decades.
“I like the fact that Northwest Surrogacy Center is a small agency and could be really sensitive to our needs, and that we had Sandy’s number and could call her any time. I would refer her to anybody, and I wouldn’t think twice about it. I wouldn’t even tell people to interview anybody else. I would just say, she’s the one you want to go with.”
The NWSC team has spent over 20 years leading surrogates and intended parents through the complex and rewarding medical, legal, and emotional experience of surrogacy. We understand the profound impact our work has on both surrogates and intended parents.
We are a caring and dedicated staff and we get to know each and every one of our clients, which means you will never be dealing with a stranger. We are proud of the experience, skill, and compassion we bring to our relationships with you.
Sandra Hodgson, J.D. is a Director and Founder of Northwest Surrogacy Center, LLC. She has helped form numerous families through surrogacy and egg donation, representing intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors for 20 years.
Sandra is licensed to practice law in Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Her areas of practice include surrogacy, egg donation, and adoption. She has been an attorney since 1985 and in private practice since 1988, before which she was a law clerk at the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals.
Sandra is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. She has authored book chapters and other materials on adoption and assisted reproduction, and has been a speaker at assisted reproduction and adoption seminars. In addition, she is a member of RESOLVE and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
Sandra feels extremely lucky to do the work she does, and is honored that her clients let her be involved in such a personal journey. When she’s not at work she enjoys cooking, hiking, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband and grandchildren.
What Sandra will do for you: Sandra directs the overall surrogacy program, from the big picture to the small. Her work includes providing potential intended families with information about the process, making matches, and conducting introductory meetings. She is available to intended families and surrogates throughout the process for support and guidance.
John Chally, J.D. is a Director and Founder of Northwest Surrogacy Center, LLC. He has 20 years of experience as a surrogacy attorney, with a focus on securing the legal relationship between intended parents and their children. He also has nearly 40 years of experience practicing in the areas of adoption and adoption litigation.
John is licensed in both Oregon and Washington. He has a Martindale-Hubbell rating of AV Preeminent, indicating the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards. He is ranked as a Super Lawyer. John has published numerous articles and book chapters on adoption and frequently speaks at adoption seminars. He was a member of the State of Oregon Task Force on Adoption Services and drafted legislation regarding Oregon jurisdiction in adoption proceedings, which was enacted by the 2003 legislature. He was also a member of the Oregon Law Foundation Adoption Committee, which developed legislation concerning access to adoption records that was enacted by the legislature in 2013.
John is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. He was one of the early promoters of open adoption. In 1985 he cofounded Open Adoption & Family Services, Inc., which is one of the largest adoption agencies in the Pacific Northwest and the leading agency promoting open adoption. He served on its board of directors for eight years.
John feels that he is doing the work he was meant to do. Outside the office he enjoys spending time with his three children and three grandchildren. He also hikes, kayaks, and practices yoga.
What John will do for you: John creates an overall vision for the program and oversees business operations. He answers client and staff questions and is known for delivering clear and honest information. He is particularly involved with our international clients.
Tabitha Lundberg Koh, J.D. first worked for NWSC from 2001 to 2004 as the office manager and bookkeeper. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley Law School in 2007, she served as a litigation associate at Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe. In 2009 she rejoined the NWSC team as an attorney, and now serves as the Director of Legal Services.
Tabitha is licensed to practice law in Oregon, Washington, and California. Her practice areas include adoption, surrogacy, and assisted reproductive technology, as well as estate planning and probate. She is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys , Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLS), and the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association.
Tabitha loves working with people and supporting her clients, and she is passionate about helping create families. She and her wife live in Portland with their two young children.
What Tabitha will do for you: Tabitha coordinates legal services for our families and surrogates and provides general support and guidance. She is also a great solver of problems.
Sam Chally graduated with a degree in philosophy from San Francisco State University. A Portland native, he lived and worked for many years in Mexico and Nicaragua, where he was a teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, and Sales Consultant. Sam loves working at NWSC and helping families make their dreams come true by helping them bring babies into the world.
Sam divides his time between our office in San Francisco and his home in Bend, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, two children and two very active dogs. When he’s not working, Sam enjoys mountain biking and skiing.
What Sam will do for you: Sam’s work is primarily focused on introducing NWSC to intended parents as they begin the process of surrogacy. He also assists with the development of our international and domestic programs.
Kaitlin McDonald graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2010 with a degree in psychology. During college, she was lucky enough to spend a semester traveling up and down the coast of Australia. After working in the legal field, she joined the NWSC team in 2014. She enjoys connecting with intended parents, and helping others complete their dream family.
Kaitlin lives in Portland with her husband and their unruly garden. She enjoys exploring local restaurants, and running.
What Kaitlin will do for you: Kaitlin schedules and coordinates with potential and current intended parents, and assists Sandy with daily operations.
Molly O’Shea has been at NWSC since 2005. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in political science and environmental studies. She came to NWSC with several years of experience in finance and administration, mostly at law firms. Molly is inspired by the women she gets to work with every day who so generously give the gift of surrogacy. She also finds it deeply rewarding to watch people who have worked so hard to have children finally get to be parents.
When she’s not at work, Molly likes to travel, hike, read and cook. She lives in Portland with her husband and son.
What Molly O. will do for you: As Lead Case Manager, Molly guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Carla Spencer graduated from Rhodes College in 2001 with a degree in fine art and anthropology. She worked as a fundraiser for nonprofits in Memphis, Tennessee and Santa Fe, New Mexico before moving to Portland in 2008 to be near family and enjoy the Pacific Northwest. Carla joined the NWSC team in late 2013. She loves being able to bike to work, getting to see newborns, and most of all, helping people realize their dream of parenthood.
Carla lives in Portland with her husband, three young daughters (including twins), dog, and cat. They enjoy picking berries, swimming, baking, cycling, making art, and dreaming about summer.
What Carla will do for you: Carla guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Heidi Martens attended Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for her graduate work in public history. She had several internships, including with the Indiana Medical History Museum, and also worked for the Indiana State Medical Association before moving to Portland and joining the NWSC team in late 2012. Heidi says that watching intended parents and surrogates connect over something as profound as the joy children bring to people’s lives makes her feel good about the world, and she feels lucky that her job is to participate in that.
When she’s not at work Heidi loves hiking and camping in national parks, going to museums, spending time with her family, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends from school. She lives in Portland with her husband and their daughter.
What Heidi will do for you: Heidi guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Katy Engberg studied at the University of Oregon and Portland State University, graduating with degrees in community health education and dance. Before coming to NWSC in 2014, Katy worked as a yoga teacher at a non-profit organization, and interned at the National College for Natural Medicine building a resource referral program for community clinic patients. Katy enjoys watching intended parents and surrogates come together to create something beautiful.
Katy grew up in the mountains of Colorado, and now lives in Portland with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, cooking, and gardening.
What Katy will do for you: Katy guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Erin Mays was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University (Go Boilers!) with a degree in political science and history. Before moving to Portland and joining NWSC in early 2016, Erin worked for the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana State Medical Association. One of her favorite parts of being a case manager is being there when intended parents meet their surrogate for the first time, and seeing the connection that will help build their family.
When she’s not at work Erin loves traveling to see the US soccer team play, reading historical fiction, watching science fiction and fantasy movies and TV shows, and checking out Portland’s amazing restaurants. Her favorite way to explore the city is by checking out all the historic neighborhood movie theaters.
What Erin will do for you: Erin guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Maria studied at Saint Louis University and Washington University receiving a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work. Prior to joining NWSC in 2016, Maria spent the past ten years working in adoption at Open Adoption and Family Services, an agency that was founded by NWSC’s director John Chally. Maria is excited to bring her experiences to surrogacy and continue to assist others in growing their families. It is truly an honor for Maria to guide people through such a pivotal and life-changing part of their lives.
In her spare time, Maria enjoys snow-boarding, surfing, and practicing yoga. She equally enjoys sleeping in and lazy Sundays.
What Maria will do for you: Maria guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Amy Vaniotis began working with NWSC as a freelance writer in 2011, and within a year had joined the team as a permanent employee. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2005 and spent several years as the writer and editor for a national animal nonprofit in DC before traveling across country and moving to the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not at work, she writes fiction and poetry for children and adults, and her work has appeared in several literary journals. Amy loves hearing surrogate’s and intended parents’ stories and watching them find happy endings.
In her spare time, Amy enjoys parks, storytelling shows, farmers’ markets, lifting weights, and going on the occasional hike, especially when there are wildflowers involved. She lives in Portland with her partner and their three cats, who are only slightly less demanding than children.
What Amy will do for you: What Amy will do for you: Amy oversees the team that recruits and screens surrogates. She has also written many of our print and web materials and is part of the NWSC marketing and communications team.
Mariah Swan was born and raised in Montana, and graduated from Gonzaga University in 2013 with a degree in biology. She joined NWSC in 2014 and helped open the office in San Francisco, California. Mariah loves hearing the stories of surrogates and intended parents and loves helping them through the complexities that make up the process of surrogacy.
In her spare time, Mariah enjoys staying active. She is an avid skier, climber, and runner, but also has a deep affection for Saturday brunches on her patio. She appreciates San Francisco for having a diverse landscape, great weather and an abundance of great food.
What Mariah will do for you: Mariah provides information and support to surrogates from the first time they contact us until they are matched with a family. She assists them through their screening and prepares them to be matched. Mariah also guides intended families and surrogates through the process from start to finish. She conducts match meetings with surrogates and families, coordinates with other surrogacy professionals, and provides support and information throughout the process.
Heather Barnes graduated from Lewis and Clark College with degrees in sociology and gender studies. She later returned to school and began a graduate program in biochemistry at PSU, which eventually led her into fertility lab work. She was lucky to work for many years at Oregon Reproductive Medicine in a variety of positions, both in the lab and working directly with patients. She joined NWSC in the spring of 2015 after an adventuresome year exploring Alaska. Heather is honored to continue to have the opportunity to help a diversity of people create families and is especially excited to help the women who generously choose to become surrogates.
Heather grew up in the greater Philadelphia area but has been happy to call Portland home for all of her adult life. In her free time she enjoys reading, paper craft, gardening, and taking advantage of the amazing restaurants Portland has to offer.
What Heather will do for you: Heather provides information and support to surrogates from the first time they contact us until they are matched with a family. She assists them through their screening and prepares them to be matched.
Rachel joined NWSC in July 2015 after finishing her Master’s degree in health communication. She has been immersed in the world of women’s health and patient advocacy for several years. Creating happy, healthy, and fulfilled families has always been a driving force in Rachel’s life. In graduate school she participated and contributed to research focusing on the health of women in the Portland area who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Rachel is excited to help families make their dreams come true, and to be a part of helping new lives emerge into this world. Surrogacy is an incredible gift and it touches her heart that there are people who want to share the beautiful gift of children with others.
When she’s not at work, Rachel enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors, specifically all of Oregon’s amazing waterfalls! She also enjoys cooking and creating healthy concoctions at home. Rachel is also involved in the yoga and dance community.
What Rachel will do for you: Rachel provides information and support to surrogates from the first time they contact us until they are matched with a family. She assists them through their screening and prepares them to be matched.
Heather joined NWSC in June 2016 after six years working with people experiencing homelessness. She graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in International Studies, with a focus on Women’s Studies and Spanish. After graduation, she served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, during which she developed a passion for doing work that impacts people’s lives in meaningful and lasting ways. After her cousin became a surrogate, Heather witnessed the amazing way surrogates help to create loving families and she is so excited to be able to work with other women who want to be a part of that experience.
In her time away from the office, Heather enjoys hiking and backpacking through Oregon’s beautiful wilderness. She’s also happy staying in with a cup of tea and a good book. She loves old sci-fi movies-the cheesier the better!
What Heather will do for you:Heather provides information and support to surrogates from the first time they contact us until they are matched with a family. She assists them through their screening and prepares them to be matched.
Krysta Vollbrecht graduated from Portland State University in 2003 with a degree in Women’s Studies and completed a master’s in Nonprofit Management in New York City in 2008. Krysta spent ten years working with nonprofits mainly in fundraising and marketing. She moved back to the Portland area to start a family and loves the many ways to be active outdoors here. In addition to her work helping nonprofits, she has also been involved in volunteer work to help vulnerable children in the foster care system. She loves talking to other moms and swapping birth stories and is thrilled to be working with amazing women who are helping other families grow.
In her spare time, Krysta enjoys Cuban salsa dancing, baking with her daughter, and is an avid reader.
What Krysta will do for you:Krysta provides information and support to surrogates from the first time they contact us until they are matched with a family. She assists them through their screening and prepares them to be matched.
Kelsey Lamb graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 with a degree in cultural anthropology. She spent two years in New York working for an events production company, before returning to Oregon and working for a nonprofit. Kelsey is excited to play a role in such a wonderful time in the lives of our families, and is amazed by the generosity of our surrogates.
Kelsey enjoys running, hiking, photography and taking advantage of the ample outdoor activities available in the Pacific Northwest. Although she has lived in Oregon for most of her life, New York gave her a new appreciation for the beauty of Portland, and she is eager to continue exploring all the city has to offer.
What Kelsey will do for you: Kelsey assists the Surrogate Coordinators with all tasks related to surrogate screening, including collecting and reviewing medical records, writing profiles, running background checks, and attending surrogate interviews.
Georgia Cary grew up in Connecticut and moved to Portland in 2008. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2012 where she completed degrees in religious studies and sociology, and worked as a research assistant. Before joining NWSC in 2013, she worked at an ice cream food cart and she still spends her free time sampling all the weird flavors of Portland’s ice cream shops. Georgia enjoys participating in the lives of so many loving families.
She spends her winters reading novels and blogs, and her summers biking around Portland and swimming at the river. She lives with four roommates and many tiny plants.
What Georgia will do for you: Georgia manages the day to day administration of client trust accounts, monitoring balances and making sure that surrogates get paid.
Terra Darrow graduated in 2002 from Lycoming College with a Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology and sociology. After graduation, she packed up her car and moved across the country from Pennsylvania to Portland. Terra has previously worked in garden centers and nurseries and most recently in the outdoor retail industry. She loves working at NWSC and being part of building and growing families. She admires the kindness and generosity of both surrogates and intended parents.
When Terra is not at work, she enjoys camping with her husband and two children, going to Portland Timbers soccer matches, seeing live music, and playing pinball. She also loves native gardening and growing orchids.
What Terra will do for you: Terra manages the day to day administration of client trust accounts, monitoring balances and making sure that surrogates get paid.
Molly Petersen grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and moved to Oregon in 2010. She graduated from Portland State University in 2015 with a degree in community health, and joined NWSC soon afterwards. While in school, she volunteered with a non-profit organization that works with Portland’s day laborer population, and completed an internship with an organization that helps mothers and families experiencing crisis. During this internship, she gained a special appreciation for pregnancy and helping families. In addition to working at NWSC, Molly has a job working with adults with persistent mental illness in a residential setting.
In her free time she likes to read, watch movies (especially old Hollywood ones), and she tries to stay active.
What Molly P. will do for you: Molly makes sure that surrogates get paid and assists Terra and Georgia in monitoring the trust accounts.
Susan Kubert combines 25 years of intelligent business management with a great passion for living yoga. She blends her skills of the corporate world with open, inquiring conversations of the heart and a commitment to exceptional service. Susan joined NWSC in 2016, after a new marriage and a move from Seattle to Portland brought her to this place which is now home. Susan loves the details and conciseness of math and takes pride in knowing that the work that she performs for an organization is of the highest quality, and represents value and efficiencies to the business. In bringing the mindfulness practices of yoga to the business world, Susan serves from the heart with both expertise and care.
When she’s not working, Susan and her husband are exploring the many yoga studios and restaurants of Portland and learning more about this beautiful city.
What Susan will do for you: Susan manages the day-to-day accounting functions of NWSC. She works closely with the finance team and case managers to reconcile trust accounts and insure prompt payments to surrogates and business partners.
Ryan Medley came to NWSC in 2014 after earning a degree in family studies and working in the technology support industry for several years. Ryan enjoys hearing the many stories of surrogates and intended parents and witnessing those connections being made.
On the weekends, Ryan loves camping (if it’s not raining), biking around town (often in the rain), and exploring what the Pacific Northwest has to offer (including the rain). As a Texan who defected to Oregon, he still marvels at the sight of the many mountains and trees nearby. He hopes to call Oregon home for a long, long time.
What Ryan will do for you: Ryan oversees technology support and building operations to keep things running smoothly. He can also assist you in planning travel to Portland and, if you wish, can suggest many fun and interesting places to explore while you’re here!
Elliot Townley graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. While there he had the unique opportunities to study in Amsterdam, present at a national sociology conference, and design and conduct his own research study. After graduation, Elliot moved back to his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, and worked at a therapeutic boarding school for young women suffering from mental illness. After moving to Portland, Elliot found Northwest Surrogacy Center. He is thrilled to work with such a motivated and passionate group of people, and is impressed every day by the kindness and enthusiasm of our surrogates and intended parents.
Elliot enjoys hiking and backpacking with his dog, playing music, and reading books in his hammock. He has developed a deep affection for the Pacific Northwest, and appreciates its natural beauty and the open-hearted nature of his fellow Portlanders.
What Elliot will do for you: Elliot works at the front desk, greeting incoming clients and making sure the center runs smoothly. He also helps the Surrogate Recruitment Team with our new surrogate applicants. He is always excited to greet new surrogates & IPs, and hear about your wonderful journey in making your family dreams come true.
Michael graduated from the International College at the University of Oregon in 1998 with a degree in Asian Studies. He worked in the tech industry for over 15 years designing and building software for both startups and large companies.
Michael grew up in Portland and still lives there with his wife, daughter and son. When he is not at work, Michael likes to travel, ski, bike and read.
What Michael will do for you: Michael works with all of our teams to understand and improve our services and create better experiences for our clients.