When considering surrogacy, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right agency to help you on your journey. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Here’s the information you need to start the process of selecting a surrogacy agency, so you can make an informed decision and feel confident in your choice.
Why Choose Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is often viewed as a “last resort” for those who desperately want to be a mom or dad, but that isn’t always the case.
People choose surrogacy for many different reasons, including:
Age: The ability to get pregnant and carry a child to term declines very quickly after a woman hits her mid-30s. However, more and more women are delaying childbearing until much later in life.
Fertility issues: Hormonal disorders, uterine conditions, and other structural issues can all affect fertility to the point that a woman is unable to conceive.
Medical conditions: Heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases can make pregnancy a health risk for both mother and child.
Same-Sex Couples: Same-sex couples, particularly males, also need a surrogate. The great thing about third-party reproduction is that gay or single men who want to be fathers have the option of using donor eggs and/or a surrogate so one partner can be biologically related to their child.
Services Provided by Surrogacy Agencies
Surrogacy agencies provide more than just a catalog of surrogates. A surrogacy agency provides a vast range of services to assist you during your journey.
Depending on the particular agency you choose, they should have the ability to help you with all aspects of third-party reproduction, including:
- Arranging necessary medical and psychological screening for every surrogate candidate to be sure they are suitable to proceed with a surrogacy journey
- Referral to a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility center
- Assisting you in finding the right surrogate through a personalized matching service
- Providing one-on-one support throughout the process
- Coordinating between doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals
- Offering counseling when needed
- Helping you find the right attorney to advise on legal matters
- Obtaining parentage orders and legal documents such as visas and passports
Things To Consider When Choosing an Agency
It’s absolutely crucial that your surrogate is everything you need her to be – which is why the right agency is so important.
Screening: A meticulous screening process is essential to ensure that your surrogate is physically and emotionally healthy. Your agency should have stringent criteria in place before they accept a surrogate into their program.
Support: Surrogacy can be a long and challenging process, and it’s best to work with an agency that cares for your well-being every step of the way. Having a licensed mental health professional on staff is essential.
Matching: Finding the surrogate you ‘click’ with couldn’t be more critical. You’ll be interacting with this person for a long time – and she’ll be carrying your baby! Ask about their success rate in the matching process and their timeframe for matching you with the right candidate.
Expertise: You need to be sure that your surrogacy agency knows what they’re doing! Their level of expertise will be reflected in their years of experience as an agency, the qualifications of their staff, and the number of journeys they’ve successfully assisted with.
Legal help: Your agency should assist you in finding a surrogacy attorney who helps you through the legal side of the journey and ensure all documents are in place. They should also ensure all medical professionals involved are following protocol and that all parties are protected throughout every process.
Reputation: You can learn a lot about an agency from client reviews. Check what their previous clientele have said about the agency on their Facebook page, Google business profile, and other social media platforms.
How To Choose a Surrogacy Agency
Do your research! Compare different agencies and how they operate.
Some important things to consider are:
- How long have they been established? Experience is key. You need to know they have successfully helped others in the past.
- How will they assist you along your journey? There’s a lot more to surrogacy than medical procedures.
- Will your agency provide advice and support throughout the other matters – such as legalities and counseling?
- How do they match IPs to surrogates? Do they take the time to make this as personal as it should be?
How Much Does It Cost To Use A Surrogacy Agency?
As you are aware, surrogacy involves an enormous amount of work and expertise, which is why it doesn’t come cheap. Depending on the agency you choose, costs range from around $80,000 to more than $200,000.
A fixed-cost program fee for surrogacy can provide enormous peace of mind for Intended Parents. Some agencies offer a fixed-cost surrogacy program that covers all the major expenses, from the surrogate’s base compensation to personal emotional support for IPs, as well as assistance with insurance and medical accounting. And more!
It’s important to note that there may be additional costs with any surrogacy journey, including international fees, fertility center expenses, medical, health, and maternity insurance, among other services. These will all be explained when you meet with your agency representatives.
Good Luck on Your Journey!
We hope this overview of how to get started with choosing your surrogacy agency has helped you understand how to find a reputable agency and how to evaluate the agencies you find.