You want a professional you can trust, a professional with a good reputation, and a professional that has your perfect match for a surrogate mother or intended parent. So how to find the best surrogacy agency?
Whether you are thinking about becoming a surrogate mother or building your family through surrogacy, you are about to start one the greatest adventures of your life.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone! A trusted surrogacy professional can help you get started, provide bountiful knowledge about the different steps and smooth the processes for both, surrogates and intended parents. Also, you can decide not to work with an agency and conduit an independent surrogacy process.
Choosing the right surrogacy agency is one of the most important decisions a surrogate mother or intended parent can make (you are committing to work a year or more with the same agency) and you need to be aware that the choices can be overwhelming. Before picking your agency it is important you make your own research, and remember research always takes time!
Here you will find several things to consider when picking your surrogacy agency to ensure that your journey is as positive as possible.
What kind of services are provided?
The top surrogacy specialists will serve as a one-stop shop for you, which means they will coordinate everything from the matching process to connecting you with a trusted family lawyer. Due to inconsistent surrogacy laws across the United States and Canada, having professional legal counsel is a vital factor to ensure a safe surrogacy process.
A professional agency should be able to connect you with experienced surrogacy lawyers familiar with the surrogacy regulation depending on your country/region/state.
Do you feel that the agency is transparent?
From your first interaction with a surrogacy specialist, whether that is via email or phone call, you should feel confident with them. If an agency appears to be withholding information from you about their processes or fees, use caution in proceeding before making any commitment, this is a bad sign. The agency needs to be able to explain you in a simple and detailed way the services provided and how the process works from the application to the delivery of the baby.
Additionally, you could request to speak with other clients they have to learn about their experiences (a reputable specialist will also be proud to present a selection of testimonials to prospective surrogates and intended parents). And finally, don’t forget to find out if the agency has ever been sued.
Are the screening and matching processes clear?
Before making any commitment with a surrogacy professional, you need to know what you are getting into. Be sure that your roles and the agency’s roles are clearly defined during the screening, matching, legal and medical process.
Perhaps, you may have specific services you want for your surrogacy process. Use this request to make sure that your goals and expectations are met by the surrogacy specialist. The best professionals should be ready to explain their procedures in detail and clarify any doubt you may have.
How does the surrogacy agency screen intended parents and surrogate mothers?
Most surrogacy specialists work with many surrogate mothers and intended parents in surrogacy-friendly states/provinces across the US and Canada. Normally, prospective surrogates and intended parents are broadly screened, and large pools of candidates provide a better chance of finding a match who fits certain qualities you are seeking.
On the other hand, if you are worried about how the matching process works, take a look at some profiles from intended parents or traditional/gestational surrogates to see how much information you will receive before being matched.
What type of support is provided for surrogates and intended parents?
Many people do not realize the importance of the emotional support for surrogates and intended parents. An advantage of surrogacy agencies is their psychological support during the whole journey and even beyond delivery.
How involved will you be in the surrogacy journey?
The best surrogacy professionals realize how important your surrogacy preferences are to your surrogacy journey. Whether you are a potential surrogate mother or intended parent, you probably have an idea of what your surrogacy journey will look like and the best surrogacy agencies take your goals and expectations into account to customize your journey around them.
Compile a list of questions to ask the agency
The agency you choose should welcome any and all questions you may have. Before committing to a certain surrogacy agency, all intended parents and prospective surrogate mothers should take the time to speak with the potential surrogacy professional and find out more about them. When you do so, there are some important questions to ask to the professional.
- How many years has the surrogacy specialist been in business?
- What is your success rate?
- How long does it typically take to match?
- How many surrogate mothers and intended parents does the agency have in your database?
- How many successful surrogacies do you have completed? How do you define “successful”?
- Do you work with people or accept intended parents/surrogates of diverse backgrounds?
- Do you work with traditional and/or gestational surrogates?
- Are you open to accept LGBT intended parents and surrogates?
- What is the medical and psychological screening process for surrogates and intended parents?
- What are the agency fees?
- Do you help coordinate legal paperwork?
- Are life insurance policies provided to surrogates?
- Is there someone available to answer emergency questions?
- Does the agency have former surrogates ore intended parents who are part of the team to offer more personalized support?
- Why should I choose you?
- Is the highest paying surrogacy agency?
When speaking with a surrogacy professional, have the list of questions on hand. Listen to the way they answer your doubts and evaluate their level of professionalism and honesty. Write down any other questions that could arise during your meeting or after your conversation is over. If necessary, schedule a follow-up interview.
Look for referrals
Finally, don’t forget the referrals. People who are thinking about starting a surrogacy process should speak to someone who has already been through this journey. Intended parents and surrogates can seek recommendations from the following:
- Ask people you know with experience with the surrogacy process
- Discuss surrogacy agencies options with their IVF physician, OB or GYN
- Speak with a lawyer experienced in reproductive law
- Speak with former surrogates for referrals
- Online reviews are an excellent resource (search for surrogacy agencies reviews)
- Surrogacy support groups
There are many outstanding surrogacy specialists out there to choose from so it is very important that all intended parents and prospective surrogate mothers do their research to define which type of surrogacy specialist meets their personal surrogacy objectives. At the end, the final decision will always be up to you and what is best for your family!
Attention! Surrogacy scams do happen, be suspicious of last-minute changes, and make sure signed agreements are in place before any medical or legal procedure.