Before you begin your surrogacy journey, you need to know the answer to one question:
Which is right for you: independent vs. agency surrogacy?
In general, you’ll want to work with a private agency (all surrogacy agencies are private, not public, because they don’t work with the state) if you want a surrogacy specialist to help you coordinate your surrogacy care before, during, and after your journey. If you prefer to coordinate your care and find all of your surrogacy professionals on your own, you may decide to pursue independent surrogacy.
If you already know you’d like to work with a surrogacy agency, you can contact us today to start your journey. But, if you want to find out the pros and cons of working with an independent or private agency for your surrogacy, continue reading.
Independent vs. Private Agency Surrogacy: What to Know
For many years, women have successfully become gestational carriers through independent and agency-assisted surrogacy. Both are viable options and can help you achieve your surrogacy goals. There is no “right” answer regarding independent surrogacy vs. private agency surrogacy — just what is right for you.
Considering that, take some time to review each path’s most significant pros and cons.
Independent Surrogacy Pros:
- Saves intended parent’s money: When you work with intended parents without the assistance of a surrogacy agency, they will not have to pay the extra costs associated with agency programs and services. The intended parents will still cover your surrogacy expenses, and you will have the right to surrogate compensation. But, choosing an independent surrogacy can alleviate some of the financial burdens for the intended parents you work with.
- Allows you more control and responsibility: If you’re considering independent surrogacy vs. private agency surrogacy, you should know that in an independent surrogacy, you and the intended parents are responsible for all the coordination, communication, and logistics that a surrogacy agency would otherwise handle. For some surrogates, this sense of responsibility is too much; for others, it is the ideal situation.
- Possibility for a closer relationship with the intended parents: With independent surrogacy, you and the intended parents will have to work closely together to manage the logistics and requirements of the surrogacy process. Without a professional taking care of those for you, you and the intended parents may find yourself building a stronger relationship through direct communication and shared responsibilities.
Independent Surrogacy Cons:
- Lack of professional guidance: Those who choose independent surrogacy should be ready for the responsibility of handling a surrogacy journey on their own. If you are unfamiliar with how surrogacy works, an independent surrogacy may not be the best first journey for you. You may be exposed to increased risks and liabilities due to your lack of knowledge.
- Increased fees for intended parents: While independent surrogacy does not require intended parents to pay agency fees, they will have to hire their surrogacy services a la carte from different professionals. This can sometimes create higher costs than if they were to obtain all of those services from one surrogacy agency.
Private Agency Surrogacy Pros:
- Professional guidance available 24/7: When debating independent vs. agency surrogacy, ask yourself this: Don’t you want a professional protecting your rights and interests the entire time? When you work with a surrogacy agency, you will work with a specialist who will advocate for your surrogacy needs and preferences from start to finish. You’ll have a professional on your side, which is not always the case in a private surrogacy arrangement.
- No extra fees: As a gestational carrier, you will not have to pay additional fees for the services a surrogacy agency provides. The intended parents will cover all these services — counseling, support, contact mediation, communication with other professionals, and more.
- A larger selection of intended parents: In a private agency-assisted surrogacy, your surrogacy professional will have an extensive network of intended parents. They will find intended parents who meet your preferences and needs and are already approved for the surrogacy process. This eliminates the lost time spent searching on your own in a private surrogacy arrangement.
- Pre-screening for eligibility: You will not be the only one undergoing pre-surrogacy screening when you work with a surrogacy agency; prospective intended parents will, too. Any intended parents you eventually match with are already cleared for and ready to start the surrogacy process. With independent surrogacy, you may match with intended parents who are later disqualified because they don’t meet intended parent requirements.
- A smaller sense of responsibility: Debating between independent surrogacy vs. agency surrogacy? If you are someone who wants to take on a degree of personal responsibility in your journey and have your hands in every aspect of your journey, an agency-assisted surrogacy may not be the right path for you. A surrogacy specialist handles all nuances in an agency-assisted journey, which may be a disadvantage for certain gestational carriers.
- No options for traditional surrogacy: If you want to be a traditional surrogate (in which you donate your egg to the intended parents’ embryo), agency-assisted surrogacy is not the right path for you. Because of the legal and emotional complications associated with this kind of surrogacy, surrogacy agencies do not complete this kind of surrogacy.
Next Steps to Deciding Which Surrogacy Journey to Start
Debating independent vs. private agency surrogacy is a conversation through which only you can guide yourself. Do thorough research before deciding which path is right for you and your family. Don’t hesitate to contact surrogacy professionals for more information about each option during your decision-making process. Starting with these agencies is a good start: