Independent surrogacy (also known as Indy surrogacy or private surrogacy) is completed without an agency and usually only with a family attorney and fertility clinic
You can find a surrogate mother on your own or using a surrogacy agency (this is called Indy surrogacy, independent surrogacy or private surrogacy). If you decide to go Indy and look for an independent surrogate mother, it is highly likely that you will need to share your story, in order to find an appropriate match.
Whenever you ask a surrogate mother why she chose a particular family, she will tell you that her choice was informed by the feeling she had when reading and looking at the intended parents’ story.
Thinking about Going Independent? 11 Tips for Your Indy Surrogacy Search
We give you ten ideas for starting your Indy surrogacy journey and finding an independent surrogate mother on your own.
- The more information you share, the better. People really want to help but they need to emotionally connect with your story.
- Tell everyone you know. Share your dream of becoming parents with family and friends. Share your interest in pursuing surrogacy and ask if they know of anyone. These informal talks will also serve you to ask them indirectly.
- Talk with your fertility clinic and ask them if they know of anyone interested.
- Get in contact with your fertility lawyer and see if they know of anyone.
- Post about it on Facebook and Twitter. Also, you can create a Facebook page and asked friends/family members to share it or search for Facebook groups on Indy surrogacy.
- Set up a Google alert for surrogacy news and check out the articles in blogs and online newspapers regarding surrogacy. If they allow comments, post a comment indicating that you are looking for a surrogate mom and make sure you include your email.
- Create your own free blog with WordPress or Blogger and share your story
- Create surrogacy classifieds
- Check and/or post your story in surrogacy forums.
- Send your story to local newspapers and TV; if they publish it, you can open a lot of doors.
- Create a profile in an online surrogacy community (i.e. MySurrogateMom community). In this post, you will find tips on creating an Intended Parents Profile.
These ideas require you to be open about sharing your story, but if you want to find a surrogate mother in Canada and/or the USA on your own, you will have to get out of your comfort zone. If you can’t do it, you really might have to consider using a surrogacy agency instead.
If you need to find an independent egg donor you use an egg donor database.
Considerations When Looking for an Independent Surrogate Mother
There is no official regulation about who can and cannot become a surrogate mother, but there are common recommendations to consider:
- The private surrogate mother should be at least 21-year old
- She has given birth to a healthy child at least once (to ensure she understands the medical risks involved with pregnancy and childbirth)
- She must undergo a thorough medical exam to ensure she can carry a baby full-term. She must also get tested for various sexually transmitted diseases, including but not limited to HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, chlamydia, and Gonorrhea
- A mental health professional will carry out a psychological screening to determine if there will or will not be problems giving up the baby after birth
- She understands the responsibilities (like prenatal care, giving the baby up after birth, etc.) and the need to sign a private surrogacy contract (also in independent surrogacy).
Questions to Ask When Finding an Independent Surrogate
When pursuing an Indy surrogacy, you will have to take care of the prescreening of your surrogate mother. Asking the right questions is vital to make the best decision. To make sure you don’t forget any important points, you need to prepare a list of questions to ask in advance.
The big four questions that you should always ask are:
- How many embryos are you willing to transfer?
- How do you feel about selective reduction and abortion?
- Where would you want to deliver the baby (hospital, home, midwifery)?
- What kind of relationship/communication should we maintain before, during and after birth?
You can find 25 more pre-screening questions in the video below.
Keep the list with these questions close to you, and ask them periodically in your first few conversations. Being able to chat casually makes it a lot easier for the surrogate mother to open up and not give generic/easy answers.
Please, note that forums and online groups are a good opportunity to meet potential independent surrogate mothers for your Indy surrogacy journey. However, they are not regulated or monitored, so you need to use good judgment and do a rigorous screening.