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Navigating Surrogacy: What Makes the Best Surrogacy Agency?

Surrogacy has become an increasingly popular and viable option for individuals and couples seeking to build or expand their families, whether they are having fertility challenges, are a part of the LGBTQ+ community or are international couples relying on surrogacy laws in the US to make their dreams of a family come true.

With the rise in demand, the surrogacy agency landscape has expanded, with many established and newer agencies offering a variety of services and support to intended parents and surrogates alike. Of course, with the swift increase in demand, and the creation of surrogacy agencies to meet this demand, not all surrogacy agencies are created equal. In this article we try to break down some of the most important aspects to consider when choosing the best agency for your needs. 

Embarking on the surrogacy journey as an Intended Parent or Surrogate is often overwhelming and one can feel confused, lost and a little helpless. There are many intricacies to consider and having the support to help guide you from beginning to end, and to point you in the right direction to find professionals and experts that are outside of a surrogacy agencies’ expertise, is crucial. Finding an agency with a strong reputation, experience, compassion, ethics, and transparent communication can help quell your fears by providing honest and open direction.

Starting out, one should employ a fertility clinic, as well as a surrogacy agency. The fertility clinic will provide all the medical procedures such as embryo creation, cryopreservation and embryo transfer. The surrogacy agency handles the non-medical heavy lifting such as vetting and matching the ideal surrogate, planning and organization of the finances so that everyone gets paid properly and on-time, facilitation of the connection and hiring of attorneys and assistance in obtaining the proper insurance for the IP’s, GC and the baby. 

One of the most critical factors in determining the quality of a surrogacy agency is its experience and expertise in the field. A reputable agency should have a proven track record of successfully facilitating surrogacy arrangements, with a team of professionals who are well-versed in the legal, medical, and emotional aspects of the process.

Many times this means that members of the agency team have gone through the surrogacy process themselves and have invaluable, insider perspectives of the process including the ups and downs that can occur. 

Having a group of people who can anticipate potential issues, have prior experience and know what avenues to address and where to look to quickly present options, information and get to the best possible resolution will be the best team for you.

There are many agencies that have been in business for a long time and you may associate that with success and a natural choice as “the best”. However, the biggest and longest-standing agencies are not always the best choice as there is a rise in new agencies, often started by experienced professionals who are wanting to offer a boutique experience that is very hands on and paying attention to details often overlooked when a case becomes a number.

Discounting an agency based solely on years of service could be disregarding a rising-star among agencies who have a strong collection of expertise trying to better the current surrogacy agency landscape where they will take better care of you and your surrogate’s needs. 

The best surrogacy agencies offer a one-stop shop with comprehensive services that guide intended parents and surrogates through every step of the journey. This includes assistance with matching (from their intensively vetted surrogates), assistance in helping couples connect with top-notch attorneys for their legal contracts, having relationships and knowledge of top fertility clinics for medical screenings and procedures, counseling and support from prior experience, and honest, reliable, and ongoing communication. You want an agency who can give you options to find those experts and facilitate working together.

It is important to know if your agency is going to help schedule medical appointments and help to ensure that the doctors used are in-network for the IPs and insurance. Will they handle all financial conversations between the IPs and Gcs’ so that they can focus on the most important issue at hand-growing and caring for a healthy baby?  Will they make sure important documents such as the parentage documents are prepared and sent by attorneys ahead of the birth so there are no issues at that crucial time? 

Ethical considerations should be at the forefront of any surrogacy agency’s practices. The best agencies adhere to strict ethical guidelines and prioritize the well-being of both intended parents and surrogates.

Transparency is also key, with clear communication about agency fees including what they entail and any possible additional costs, policies, and expectations from the outset. The best agencies will be transparent about their cost structure so you can make sure you know what your financial obligation will be up front.

They will explain potential setbacks and reasons for additional costs (like having to obtain new embryos, a lost pregnancy, etc) and confirming that your surrogate, once carefully chosen, will be fairly and generously compensated, and taken care of. 

Surrogacy is a deeply personal and sensitive journey, and working with an agency that operates with integrity and honesty is paramount.

Every surrogacy journey is unique, and the best agencies recognize this by providing personalized support to each client. This includes tailored matching services to ensure compatibility between intended parents and surrogates, as well as individualized support throughout the process. Whether it’s emotional support during the waiting period, logistical assistance with travel and accommodations, or guidance in finding the proper offices to navigate legal and medical complexities, a supportive agency can make all the difference.

A great agency will have staff that is kind, understanding, patient and are committed to providing a seamless and positive journey, answering your questions or directing you to medical or legal professionals who can answer questions honestly, directly and give you options when faced with questions or issues.

Word of mouth and testimonials from previous clients can be invaluable resources when evaluating surrogacy agencies. Seek out agencies with positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients who have successfully completed or are happily on their surrogacy journeys. Additionally, research the agency’s reputation within the surrogacy community including fertility clinics and legal representatives, and inquire about any accreditations or affiliations that demonstrate their commitment to excellence.

  • Level of contact between you and your coordinator as an Intended parent or surrogate. Are you given direct numbers to call? Are you only allowed messaging? Can you only contact them during business hours? What’s the contact procedure for an emergency? 
  • Comprehensive vetting/screening process of surrogates and IPs. Are surrogates fully screened before being presented to Intended Parents as a match? What kind of screening is done on the surrogates? What kind of screening is done on the Intended Parents?
  • Payment details/specifics-What are the total costs and what is included with your surrogacy agency fee for Intended Parents.  Are there payment schedules, do they disclose possible additional costs and are they up-front about the scenarios. What are the total costs and what is included with your surrogacy agency fee. For Surrogates, are her compensations held in house or with established outside Escrow companies?
  • If your surrogacy agency does not include legal and insurance services, are they able to connect you to qualified and professional entities and will they help facilitate those arrangements.
  • What are their success rates in matching Intended Parents with potential Surrogates, embryo transfer success, success with healthy pregnancies and births?
  • Agency’s match times 
  • Are you able to speak with current or former Surrogates or Intended Parents about their experience?

Choosing the right surrogacy agency is a crucial step for anyone embarking on the journey to parenthood or for a potential surrogate that is looking to help others achieve their dreams of having a family.

By prioritizing factors such as experience, comprehensive services, ethical practices, personalized support, and a positive reputation, intended parents and surrogates can increase their chances of a successful and fulfilling surrogacy experience.

Investing time and effort into selecting the best surrogacy agency can ultimately lead to the creation of strong, lasting relationships and the realization of long-held dreams of parenthood.

Low Angle Shot Of A Child Held by Woman and Man on On Each Hand Walking On An Unpaved Pathway Outdoors

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