What to Consider When Choosing a Surrogacy Agency
Going through surrogacy is a big deal. It’s complicated; it’s emotional; and it’s life-changing. A good and reputable surrogacy agency will help you navigate the surrogacy process and many of the details that may be confusing and difficult to manage on your own.
There are many surrogacy agencies to choose from, but with a little preparation the search doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’ll give you some tips to find the best surrogacy agency for you.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Surrogacy Agency
Not all surrogacy agencies offer the same services. Before you begin your research to choose a surrogacy agency, there are some very important things to think about. We recommend grabbing a notebook, writing down some key questions to answer about potential agencies, and beginning your research.
Location of the Surrogacy Agency
You will likely be in very regular contact with your surrogacy agency. Some intended parents prefer to stick with agencies that have a physical presence near them.
If an agency has no office at all, that may be a red flag indicating that they are not an established and reputable business. However, some agencies have moved away from offices since the pandemic normalized remote work. If an agency has no physical location but has other means of proving they are a trusted organization, you may not want to write it off immediately.
The Agency’s History and Experience
While it’s not necessary to choose an agency that’s been around for decades, it might not be the best idea to choose one that’s brand new. Top-rated agencies tend to have many years of experience providing surrogacy services and should be happy to share their histories and how they conduct business.
Don’t be afraid to ask them hard-hitting questions, such as:
- How many surrogacies have you managed?
- What are your success rates, and how do you define “success”?
- How do you evaluate your protocols to ensure you stay up to date with changes in the surrogacy industry?
- What can I expect during my surrogacy when I use your agency?
- If I have an urgent question off-hours, whom can I contact?
Reputable agencies will want to answer these questions for you.
What Types of Surrogacy Services They Offer
Not all agencies offer the same services. Depending on the surrogacy agency, services may include (but are not limited to):
- Creation of detailed surrogacy plans
- Screenings of surrogates and intended parents
- Services to match intended parents with surrogates
- Surrogacy attorneys and legal services
- Connections to fertility clinics
- Services to help intended parents find egg and/or sperm donation
- Coordination of medical procedures (such as embryo transfers) and other details, if affiliated with an IVF clinic
- Staff counselors to support everyone during the process
Take some time to make sure you understand what services you really want and need before settling on an agency.
The Screening Process for Surrogates
Your surrogate will be bringing your child into the world, and you must feel certain any candidates have been properly screened. You may ask agencies specific questions about how they screen surrogates, such as:
- Do you screen surrogates before or after you match them to intended parents?
- Do you perform medical screenings of surrogates?
- Do you perform emotional/psychological screenings of surrogates?
- Do you perform background checks?
- Are there additional steps you take to screen surrogates?
Be aware that most agencies will also screen the intended parents. This is to ensure not only that the surrogate and intended parents are a good match but also that the child will be turned over to a safe and stable home. Screening processes for intended parents vary among agencies. Be sure to ask specifically what the screening entails so you’ll be prepared.
How they Match Surrogates to Parents
For many intended parents, a big part of working with a surrogacy agency is receiving help in matching with a surrogate.
Surrogacy agencies may use various criteria to create matches but will tend to try and pair up intended parents with surrogates who have similar values and desires for their surrogacy journey. Feel free to ask agencies what kinds of information they use to prepare their matches.
Their Surrogacy Fees and Costs
Surrogacy agencies may charge a fee for each type of service (e.g, matching, screening, counseling, legal contracts, etc.). The more the agency provides, the more you can expect to pay. However, should you need to go to an outside provider for certain services, you may end up paying as much or more in the end.
As surrogacy can be pricey, it’s best to ask about and discuss all surrogacy costs with any potential agencies upfront before you agree to begin the process.
Start Your Surrogacy Journey with Sunfish
Now that you have some tips in hand to find the best surrogacy agency, Sunfish can help you with the financial planning so that you can move forward with the agency you choose and begin your parenthood journey. We can set up a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help you plan for the costs with as little stress as possible. When you’re ready, we can also guide you to reputable agencies we partner with. Every agency is vetted, so you don’t have to bear the burden of researching agencies all on your own.