Women considering becoming surrogates often know that surrogacy can be an involved and complicated process. Fortunately, there are many surrogacy professionals available to provide the surrogate services that you need to complete your process safely, legally and efficiently.
But, what are the different surrogacy services that you need to become a surrogate? And who can provide them?
In this article, we’ll list some of the necessary surrogacy services you may need during your surrogacy process. Of course, every surrogacy journey is unique, so you’ll need to determine which services are necessary for you based on your personal surrogacy goals and preferences. A surrogacy agency can be a great professional to help you identify those needs as you’re starting out.
In a typical surrogacy journey, there are seven different surrogacy services that may be needed:
1. Screening and Matching
Before you even begin the surrogacy process, you will need to make sure you meet any necessary requirements for surrogates. These are typically set by individual surrogacy professionals like surrogacy agencies and surrogacy clinics. To ensure that you meet these requirements, you may wish to contact these professionals and undergo preliminary screening. Most professionals will provide this surrogate service to women completely for free.
Once you have been cleared to become a surrogate, you’ll need to find intended parents to carry a baby for. While you can certainly find intended parents on your own, many surrogates choose to take a safer route by working with a professional who provides matching services. This way, you can be sure that every intended parent presented to you has been pre-screened and meets your personal surrogacy goals and preferences.
In general, a surrogacy agency is the best professional through which to find screening and matching services.
2. Marketing and Advertising
These specific surrogacy services often go hand-in-hand with matching services. If you are looking for intended parents with specific characteristics and surrogacy preferences that match your own, the marketing and advertising services offered by surrogacy agencies can help you find the perfect intended parents more quickly than you could on your own.
Often, the professionals with the largest marketing and advertising surrogacy services are national surrogacy agencies, which often have connections with fertility clinics and surrogacy lawyers across the country.
3. Medical Services
Every surrogacy requires the assistance of a medical professional for medical surrogacy services like the creation of embryos through in vitro fertilization and the subsequent transfer of the embryo to the surrogate’s uterus. While surrogacy agencies can provide almost all of the surrogacy services you need, you will likely need to work with a surrogacy clinic or a fertility clinic to complete the medical process of surrogacy.
Typically, when you match with intended parents, they will already have a relationship with a certain fertility or surrogacy clinic — and you will usually work with that professional to complete this part of the surrogacy process. However, once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will usually be able to work with a local OBGYN that you’re comfortable with to receive prenatal care. Remember, like all aspects of your surrogacy process, the medical expenses of surrogacy will be covered by the intended parents.
4. Legal Counsel
Another crucial surrogate service is the legal counsel of an experienced surrogacy attorney. Every surrogacy must have a legal surrogacy contract completed before the medical process can begin, and you and your intended parents will need to have separate surrogacy attorneys for the drafting of this document.
An experienced surrogacy attorney knows how to properly address all of the potential situations and liabilities of a surrogacy process, including each party’s responsibility, your surrogate compensation and more. A surrogacy attorney will also make sure that your intended parents take all the necessary steps to properly establish their parental rights — which is an incredibly important surrogacy service.
A surrogacy agency can often provide references to trusted surrogacy attorneys in your area, or you can search the database provided by the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys.
5. Financial Management
When you are a surrogate, you will not be responsible for any of the financial aspects of the surrogacy journey. Your intended parents will cover all of your surrogacy- and pregnancy-related expenses, as well as provide you a base compensation, if your state surrogacy laws allow for it.
It’s recommended that surrogates and intended parents work with a professional for the management of these financial expenses to ensure they are handled appropriately and disbursed fairly. Many surrogacy agencies will offer these surrogacy services themselves or work with a trusted escrow service to ensure proper management of funds during the surrogacy process. Before selecting a surrogacy professional to work with, make sure you ask them about their policies for surrogacy expense management.
6. Case Management and Education
Another important surrogate service for women like you is the proper management of your surrogacy journey from beginning to end. Surrogacy is a complicated process with many different steps, and these surrogate services can help ensure that you are comfortable with what is occurring and understand exactly what is involved during each of these surrogacy steps.
A surrogacy agency is one of the best places to find case management surrogacy services and support. These experienced professionals can provide almost all of the services you need to complete a surrogacy and will walk you through every step, providing referrals to any additional professionals you may need. An agency will also coordinate with those other professionals to ensure all necessary surrogacy services are taken care of.
7. Counseling and Support
Finally, one of the last surrogate services that many women need is counseling and support from an experienced surrogacy professional. Surrogacy is a process full of potential ups and downs, and it can be a difficult journey at times. However, having a trained professional who understands what you’re going through will often be a huge help.
Fortunately, you can often find counseling and support surrogacy services from a surrogacy agency as a part of their overall surrogacy program. Your surrogacy specialist can help you cope with any difficult emotions you may be feeling, as well as provide contact mediation to help you maintain a positive relationship with your intended parents. If you are completing an independent surrogacy, you can find these surrogate services from a trained social worker who is experienced in the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy can seem like an intimidating journey, especially to women who are considering becoming a surrogate for the first time ever. Fortunately, surrogacy professionals across the U.S. have developed programs that provide all of the surrogate services that you need to safely and securely reach your surrogacy goals. To learn more about which surrogacy services may be needed for your personal surrogacy preferences, contact a surrogacy professional today.