Surrogacy is an often complicated and sometimes stressful process to complete — especially if you will be a surrogate for the first time ever. You likely won’t understand all of the details and nuances involved in the surrogacy process, and it can even feel like you’re going blind into this life-changing experience.
Fortunately, there are surrogacy professionals designed just for these situations: surrogacy agencies.
Surrogacy agencies take the guesswork and the unknown out of the surrogacy process, making sure that you, the intended parents and the baby that you carry are legally, medically and emotionally protected from the challenges of surrogacy. When you work with a surrogate agency, you will know from the beginning exactly what to expect and have the support of experienced professionals every step of the way.
While there are no measured statistics about how many surrogates and intended parents work through surrogacy agencies to meet their goals, hundreds of surrogacy agencies exist today — which logically means that many people do choose this professional assistance when embarking on their surrogacy journey.
Learn more about surrogacy agencies below to find out whether one might be right for you.
What Exactly is a Surrogacy Agency?
Surrogacy agencies — also called surrogacy groups, surrogacy centres, surrogacy programs and surrogacy companies — are essentially “one-stop” shops for surrogacy. This is because the professionals at a surrogate agency are there to help you through every step of the surrogacy process, from beginning to end. Their expertise means that you will have the knowledge and protection you need to feel safe and comfortable throughout your personal surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy agencies’ wide range of services often includes:
- Medical and psychological screening
- Matching with intended parents
- Case management
- Emotional and practical support
- Contact mediation with intended parents
- Referrals to trusted surrogacy attorneys and fertility clinics
One important thing to know about surrogacy agencies: Unlike agencies that complete adoptions, there is no regulation or standards a company must meet to call itself a “surrogacy agency.” Because surrogacy is still a rather new family-building process, state laws have not established methods of regulating and certifying surrogacy professionals yet, which means that you should take extra care when choosing a surrogate agency that meets your needs and expectations. You can find some tips for doing so here.
Why Should I Work with a Surrogacy Agency?
As mentioned, surrogacy is a process that includes many detailed steps, and it can be overwhelming to try to complete all of those steps on your own, especially if you are a first-time surrogate. For many women, a surrogate agency is the perfect professional to help them reach their goals and allow them to focus on what’s really important — growing a baby and creating a genuine friendship with their intended parents.
The experienced professionals at surrogacy agencies will provide guidance through every challenge and accomplishment of your surrogacy journey. Over the years, surrogacy programs have created unique, well-crafted processes that address every issue of the surrogacy journey, which will make sure that every detail is appropriately covered. Compare this to an independent surrogacy, where you will be responsible for all of those details yourself, as well as coordinating with necessary surrogacy professionals and the intended parents.
Private surrogacy agencies also provide another advantage. Because every surrogate and intended parent is screened before matching, you can be sure that your partner through your surrogacy process is physically and mentally ready to begin their surrogacy journey with no delays. This is not often the case when you find intended parents on your own; you may find intended parents who seem like the perfect match but do not end up earning approval from an appropriate surrogacy professional.
For a quicker and safer surrogacy process, it’s recommended that all surrogates work with a surrogacy agency, instead.
How Do I Find a Surrogacy Agency?
With so many surrogacy agencies out there, how do you find the one that’s right for you?
First, all surrogates should seriously consider what they want from their surrogacy journey. Do you want to work with intended parents located nearby or intended parents from a different state or country? Do you want to meet your surrogacy specialist in person, or prefer to let them handle the details from afar? The more you solidify your surrogacy goals and preferences, the better you can determine whether a surrogacy agency can help you reach these aspirations.
Knowing these, you can ask surrogate mother agencies specific questions to address your goals and preferences. Because your choice of surrogacy program will dictate the rest of your surrogacy process, take the time to truly interview a potential surrogacy professional and think about whether they’re right for you before you commit to them.
To start your research, take a look at this list of surrogate agencies below:
Why Can’t I Find a Traditional Surrogacy Agency?
As you research your options for surrogacy agencies, you will find that there are a vast amount of gestational carrier agencies — and no traditional surrogacy agencies. Why is this the case?
A traditional surrogacy is a much more legally and emotionally complex surrogacy process than a gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate uses her own egg to create the intended parents’ embryo — which means that she is genetically related to the child she carries. This can cause additional emotional stress in giving the intended parents a baby that is actually biologically hers, as well as legal complications because she will have inherent parental rights to the baby.
Because of these potential complications, modern surrogacy agencies completely avoid the traditional surrogacy process. If you want to become a traditional surrogate, keep in mind that you will likely need to complete an independent surrogacy in which you have more responsibility over the surrogacy process as a whole. Traditional and independent surrogacy are not right for everyone, so it’s a good idea to at least speak with a surrogacy agency before choosing which surrogacy path to take. For most women, a gestational, agency-assisted surrogacy will be the way to go.