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The Role of a Surrogacy Agency

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If you are deciding whether to work with a surrogacy agency, here is what you need to know: a surrogacy agency must do much more than find a surrogate for you.

A surrogacy agency must take time to carefully understand your needs, your budget, and the characteristics of your ideal surrogate candidate. Depending on your marital status, whether you are gay or straight, living in the United States or abroad, some states offer better legal environments than others.

The state where your surrogate delivers will determine when and how your parental rights will be secured. Each state has different laws (or lack of laws) and procedures regarding surrogacy. Some states prohibit surrogacy.

Surrogate candidates should be screened through interviews with surrogacy agency staff (preferably highly experienced staff) and completion of extensive intake forms and questionnaires to assist in determining potential matches with Intended Parents. Surrogate candidates should also assessed by licensed psychologists. Background checks should be conducted on surrogate candidates.

Your surrogacy agency should advise you on the importance of having adequate insurance coverage, options that are available and be able to direct you to several insurance options as there are options.

If you do not have a preferred fertility clinic, then as your surrogacy agency should be prepared to assist you in identifying and comparing various fertility clinic programs including guarantee programs, refund programs, financial assistance programs so that you are also matched with a clinic that meets your needs.

Your surrogacy agency should coordinate all psychological and medical screening appointments with your surrogate as well as with your egg donor and egg donor agency, if applicable.

Your surrogacy agency should spearhead the legal process and not merely refer you to outside counsel.  Your agency should be prepared to provide terms of agreement between you and your surrogate.

Your surrogacy agency should assist you in setting up an escrow fund for your surrogate’s expenses and reimbursements.

Your surrogacy agency should continually facilitate the process throughout the pregnancy.

Should there be a need for professional counseling support by a mental health professional during the process for you or your surrogate, your agency should be prepared to provide support and resources for identifying professionals with specific experience geared to the particular issue: one size fits all usually is not a good fit.

“Big” does not necessarily mean good. “Established” does not necessarily mean good service.

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