4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Surrogacy Agency
Once you’ve made the big decision to become a surrogate, it’s time to explore the next steps. A gestational surrogacy agency will help you navigate the journey and well as matching you with intended parents. The agency will guide you throughout the medical and legal stages of surrogacy, and will provide support and feedback for the entirety of your journey.
If you don’t have experience with a surrogacy agency at all, it’s important to be on the lookout for specific agency services, their reputation, and how the agency handles your journey.
Read further for the types of questions that you’ll want to keep in mind while searching for a surrogacy agency.
Why should I work with an agency? There are risks associated with becoming an independent surrogate, without the expertise and guidance of an agency. For one, you won’t have the experienced and passionate team members of an agency to guide and support you. An agency will provide you with answers to your questions throughout the process, find you an appropriate match, and assist you however needed. Moreover, there are many crucial legal and logistical aspects to a surrogacy journey. A great agency guide you through each step—from legal contracts, to insurance, to establishing a separate escrow fund to manage the financial side of the process—and much more!
Does it matter where I live? You do indeed need to live in a state where surrogacy laws will allow you to become a surrogate, but you do not need to live in the same state as your agency. A good surrogacy agency is designed to work with surrogates and intended parents wherever they are located. The agency should be able to accommodate your needs remotely and take the time to meet with you via video chat or by phone. For medical needs, such as those offered by an IVF clinic, a surrogacy agency can work with those locations local to you and coordinate remotely to be sure the process runs smoothly.
Does the agency demonstrate transparency? From top to bottom, an agency should demonstrate all of the legal, medical, and financial compensation they will offer you throughout the surrogacy process. Pricing structures and medical details can be confusing. If an agency seems to be guarding the financing details a little closely, it might be wise to look elsewhere. In addition, surrogacy agencies should be registered as legal entities in the state where their corporate headquarters are located. Ideally, agencies should also be members of industry specific organizations such as the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS) and American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). With the ever-increasing number of surrogacy agencies out there, it’s important to verify that the one you are considering is transparent and reputable.
What is the agency's reputation? Beyond testimonials and experiences, the agency should demonstrate that they will not only provide for you medically, financially, and legally; rather they should also take a hands-on approach to your journey before, during, and after birth. Your agency should be your guide throughout the process. It’s important to know about the history of the agency and the people who run it. Who are they? How long have they been in business? Do they have a history of positive matches? What is their experience with surrogacy? Some agencies are staffed with employees that have participated in the surrogacy process as surrogates themselves. Knowing the surrogacy process intimately makes for well-rounded staff members that can help to assure gestational carriers have the best experience possible. Read more about our owner, Carey‘s experience with surrogacy and how it inspired her to start a surrogacy agency.
It’s overwhelming enough to decide to begin your journey as a surrogate. If you’re thinking seriously about your decision and would like to know more about how our agency could help you, check out our initial inquiry form here. We have guided hundreds of surrogates on their journey and we look forward to helping you as well.