Many prospective surrogates like you decide that they want to work with a surrogacy agency to help make their surrogacy dreams come true. But, with so many options available, how do you find the best surrogate agencies and then decide which one is absolutely right for you?
Finding the best surrogacy agency for you is important, because this professional will often dictate how the rest of your surrogacy journey will proceed. You want a professional who can offer all of the services you desire and help you feel comfortable and supported through every step of the long and complicated surrogacy process.
It may seem like a tall order to fill but, by following certain steps, you can find the best surrogate agency to help you complete the surrogacy of your dreams. With proper research and dedication, you will be able to narrow down the top surrogacy agencies to find the right one for you.
As you’re reviewing some of the best surrogate mother agencies available to you, consider following these three steps:
Look for Certain Criteria.
Unlike agencies in other family-building processes, a surrogacy program does not have to meet any regulations or certifications to call themselves a “surrogacy agency.” Therefore, it can be confusing to know which are the best surrogacy agencies, especially when many of these programs offer a similar range of services.
As you start researching and reading surrogacy agencies’ reviews, there are few important criteria to look out for:
- Clear outline of responsibilities and steps: Top surrogacy agencies are very detailed in explaining exactly which services they provide and which they outsource (including whether they help coordinate those other services). The surrogacy agency you choose should list the responsibilities, expectations and steps of the surrogacy process for all involved — surrogate and intended parent — before you ever commit to their program. Understanding a program’s process and offered services will help you determine whether surrogacy with that agency will be efficient, safe and organized.
- History of success: Because surrogacy can be so complicated, you will want to work with surrogacy agencies that have a proven record of success and expertise in this field. The best surrogate agencies can refer you to past clients who have successfully been a surrogate with their program. You may even request to speak with those former surrogates to learn more.
- Thorough screening process: One of the advantages of working with a surrogacy agency is the screening that takes place before you are matched with intended parents. When both you and prospective intended parents are confirmed to be physically and mentally ready for the surrogacy process before you even match with each other, your surrogacy process is more likely to proceed without delays. Therefore, you should look for a surrogacy agency that completes extensive screening to put you at ease.
- Experienced legal counsel: You will always need a surrogacy attorney to be a surrogate, and the best surrogacy agencies will refer you to a trusted lawyer. It’s much easier to work with a surrogacy agency that coordinates directly with your surrogacy lawyer, so look out for these mediation services when choosing a surrogacy agency. Remember, you and the intended parents will need separate surrogacy attorneys for the required legal process.
Compile a List of Questions to Ask Them.
Once you find a few surrogacy agencies who meet these criteria, it’s time do some more research. You’ll want to look at all their informational materials to learn as much about the company as possible. As you are viewing this information, you should also start writing down questions you have. These questions should address different aspects of your surrogacy goals and preferences and help you to determine whether a prospective company is really the best surrogacy agency for you.
Consider asking questions like:
- What is your screening process for intended parents and prospective surrogates?
- What are the services you offer intended parents and prospective surrogates?
- What is your agency’s history?
- How many intended parents and surrogates have you worked with? How many successful surrogacies have you completed?
- What are the requirements to be a surrogate with your agency?
- What states do you work in?
- What does your surrogate compensation package look like?
- What professionals do you work with for the medical and legal processes? Will you coordinate with those professionals?
- Will I need to work with any additional professionals not coordinated by you?
- How involved will I be in the surrogacy process?
- What kind of intended parents do you work with?
- How do you match surrogates with intended parents? How do you find surrogates and intended parents?
- How will I stay in contact with my surrogacy specialist?
- What support and education services do you offer?
- On average, how long does the surrogacy process take with your agency?
These questions will be integral in the next step: speaking with the professionals at these surrogacy agencies.
Conduct an Interview to Learn More.
Before committing to a specific surrogacy program, you should always have either an in-depth phone conversation or in-person interview with the specialists at that agency. This gives you the chance to get to know the program better and determine whether it can offer you everything necessary to be the best surrogacy agency for your journey.
As you speak with a surrogacy specialist, make sure to ask all of the questions you have and take notes. Write down any additional questions that come up during your conversation or after your interview is over. If necessary, schedule a follow-up conversation. Be prepared for the fact that a specialist will also have questions for you — so they can get to know you and make sure you’re a good fit for their program, too.
You should not choose a professional to work with unless you’re absolutely confident that it is the best surrogacy agency for you. Take all the time you need to research, speak to professionals and read surrogacy agency reviews. Only then should you be ready to commit to a specific surrogacy program.