When you are thinking about becoming a surrogate, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to be a surrogate with the assistance of a surrogacy agency or a surrogate without an agency. Which path is right for you will be determined by your personal surrogacy goals and preferences, which is why it’s important to do extensive research into each path before choosing one that will affect the rest of your personal surrogacy journey.
There are many women who choose surrogacy with an agency and many who choose surrogacy without an agency, and both paths may not be an option for every woman. To help you make this personal decision, keep reading so you can learn more about how to be a surrogate without an agency and exactly what that may mean for you.
How Do You Go About Becoming a Surrogate Mother Without an Agency?
It certainly is possible to be a surrogate without an agency, but the process does come with additional responsibilities for you as a prospective surrogate. Whereas working with a surrogacy agency will give you professional guidance from the beginning of your surrogacy journey, completing an independent surrogacy requires you to handle and coordinate many aspects of the process on your own.
To become a surrogate without an agency, you’ll need to follow these steps.
- Decide Surrogacy is Right for You: The first step to becoming a surrogate mother without an agency is making sure this is the right path for you and your family. You’ll want to consider the pros and cons of this process (you can read more about those below), and it’s a good idea to speak with a surrogacy agency to better understand the services and advantages they offer. Only after extensive research should you commit to a surrogacy without an agency.
- Find Intended Parents: After you have chosen this surrogacy journey, you’ll need to start searching for intended parents on your own. Many surrogates who find intended parents independently do so through methods like online listings and social media, while others are connected through surrogacy attorneys and fertility clinics. When you look for intended parents in this way, you will be responsible for ensuring they have the same surrogacy goals and preferences as you, communicating with them to confirm a match, and making sure that they meet all the necessary requirements to be intended parents. While every surrogacy is different, it can take a good deal of time for most prospective surrogates to find intended parents on their own in these ways.
- Complete Screening: After you have found intended parents, both you and they will need to undergo pre-surrogacy screening to make sure that you are both mentally and physically prepared for the challenges and rewards of the surrogacy process. Usually, these screenings can be completed by a surrogacy clinic (which you and the intended parents will need to locate on your own, if they don’t already have one). Some surrogates may find that they or their intended parents actually don’t meet the requirements for surrogacy, which means they’ll need to start a new search to find another surrogacy partner and begin the process again.
From there, once you are both approved for the surrogacy process, you and your intended parents will be able to proceed with your surrogacy journey. You and the intended parents will need to manage the details of the surrogacy process, like finding and coordinating between professionals, managing financial payments and upholding your own contact agreements. Because of this, a surrogacy without an agency often results in a close relationship between intended parents and surrogate — but it also increases the likelihood that complications will arise requiring professional intervention.
What are the Pros and Cons of Being a Surrogate Without an Agency?
As you’re considering becoming a surrogate without an agency, it’s important that you contemplate some of the advantages and disadvantages of this decision. There are many unique circumstances associated with a surrogacy without an agency, and every prospective surrogate who takes this path should be aware of the additional responsibilities that will be required of her.
- Being a surrogate without an agency means that you may have a closer relationship with the intended parents, necessitated by the fact that you will need to directly coordinate with them and your surrogacy professionals throughout the surrogacy process.
- Independent surrogacy, completed efficiently, may save the intended parents money because they will not need to pay agency fees.
- You will only need to work with a surrogacy attorney and a medical professional when becoming a surrogate mother without an agency.
- Because surrogacy services will need to be obtained individually, professionals’ fees can quickly add up, and an independent surrogacy can end up costing intended parents more than an agency-assisted surrogacy.
- If you are unfamiliar with the surrogacy process, being a surrogate without an agency could open you up to increased risks and liabilities due to your lack of knowledge.
- You will not have the 24/7 case management and support that a surrogacy agency can offer, which can be incredibly important when encountering unexpected situations or delays.
- You and the intended parents will be responsible for obtaining and coordinating services, as well as direct communication about sensitive topics (like selective reduction, termination and financial issues).
- You will not have a professional protecting your rights and interests like a surrogacy agency would.
Of course, each person is different, and what may be seen as a disadvantage by some may be an advantage to others. It’s important to consider these pros and cons and others before deciding whether a surrogacy with or a surrogacy without an agency is best for you.
Is Surrogacy Without an Agency Right for Me?
Because every woman has different surrogacy goals and preferences that she’d like to meet, whether or not she is ready to become a surrogate without an agency will depend upon her own circumstances. So, if you’re asking yourself this question, it’s important that you do your own extensive research and talk with those affected by your surrogacy journey (like your family) before deciding on one path or the other.
To learn more about how becoming a surrogate mother without an agency differs from becoming a surrogate mother with an agency, we advise you to contact a surrogacy agency today.