Why a Surrogate Needs an Agency
There are many independent matching sites and groups. The idea of independent matching and being able to jump right in and start meeting Intended Parents may seem exciting. Independent matching may seem much more personal and less bureaucratic than contacting an agency. An independent match may feel like a surrogate has much more control in the process. But independent matching is not all it may seem. A surrogate needs an agency. Having an agency by a surrogate’s side can actually result in a much more enjoyable journey with Intended Parents that is based on bonding, enjoying the milestones in the pregnancy and not having to deal with the business aspects because the agency does that.
Here are 10 reasons why a surrogate needs an agency:
- Matching with Intended Parents: A surrogacy agency can help connect a surrogate with Intended Parents who are a good match. The agency screens potential parents and ensures they are suitable for surrogacy, including assessing their emotional and financial readiness for the process. Many surrogates on an independent journey think they are matched with great Intended Parents only to find out that they are not financially ready months into the process or they simply decide not to move forward for other reasons months into the process. Agencies are working with seriously committed individuals and couples.
- Legal and Financial Guidance: A surrogacy agency can provide guidance on the legal and financial aspects of surrogacy. An agency will provide guidance to a surrogate so she understands her rights and responsibilities and is prepared for expectations and responsibilities that will be part of her contract with Intended parents. An agency will ensure that a surrogate receives proper compensation for her services.
- Handling the Business Aspects: An agency removes the burden of having to negotiate with Intended Parents on financial issues. If a surrogate’s compensation requirements are not within Intended Parents budget, the agency will screen for this ahead of time. Payments due to a surrogate according to the contract are overseen by the agency rather than Intended Parents. Any money due the surrogate is always deposited ahead of time with an escrow company.
- Insurance and Medical Bills: A surrogate as the patient and is responsible for medical bills during her pregnancy as far as providers are concerned. An agency makes sure that the surrogate is properly and adequately insured and that bills are paid so that the surrogate is not left with unpaid medical bills.
- Emotional Support: Surrogacy can be an emotional journey, and a surrogacy agency can provide emotional support and counseling to help a surrogate navigate the process. A good agency will provide ongoing professional, individualized counseling and support as well as group support with other surrogates and surrogate mentors.
- Medical Assistance: A surrogacy agency will provide guidance on medical matters, such as finding a reputable fertility clinics for the monitoring phase and coordinating medical appointments.
- Avoid Weird or Inappropriate Asks: A surrogacy agency will make sure that a surrogate is not asked to do something that is not in her best interests. A good agency will ensure that a surrogate is not asked to use public health benefits or be paid directly by Intended Parents who have not escrowed funds. An agency will step in if Intended Parents are overstepping reasonable boundaries.. The agency will mediate issues as necessary so that the surrogate is not alone in working through sensitive situations that may arise.
- Coordination and Advocacy: An agency will assist a surrogate in presenting her medical records to the fertility clinic that must approve her. An agency will help a surrogate navigate through the many appointments and steps required during the process. Clinics are very busy and staff are often not so easy to reach or surrogates may be left with questions. A good agency is there every step of the way and easy to reach so that when other professionals are not easy to reach, the agency smooths it out and gets the answers or fixes the problem.
- Hospital Plan: An agency will smooth the process during delivery at the hospital by setting up a hospital plan with case management staff and ensuring proper legal documents are on file, arranging separate rooms for Intended Parents and surrogate and ensuring the surrogate is comfortable with the delivery protocol.
- What, When, Where: Having a knowledgeable expert who handles surrogacy day in and day out and who is available 24/7 at the touch of button on your phone and who will guide you through each and every single step (and there are hundreds) takes so much stress away from what then can be an extraordinary experience in your life.
Lastly, a surrogate must choose an agency wisely. An agency has to feel right for a surrogate. A surrogate needs to know who in the agency is her advocate, make sure she feels safe and secure in her hands and knows that she is available 24/7. The last thing a surrogate needs is a revolving and ever evolving list of staff members who are available to help depending on the time of day, day of the week and particular issue.
If you are thinking about becoming a surrogate and would like to know if you meet basic qualifications, take 2 minutes to complete this questionnaire to see if you are eligible. If you want to reach out with questions and get to know us, complete this contact form and we will set up a time to talk.
- Preparing to Become a Surrogate
- California Surrogate Program Summary