Choosing the right surrogacy agency is one of the biggest decisions you will make on your surrogacy journey, as it can greatly affect your journey. You want an agency you can trust, an agency with a good reputation, and an agency that has your perfect match for a surrogate or intended parents. So how to choose the right surrogacy agency?
First, ask yourself: What do you want from an agency and surrogacy journey?
Do you want an agency that fully supports you throughout your surrogacy, offers frequent communication, has support groups in place? Would you rather have an agency that is a little less involved?
Location of the agency is not an important factor as it all boils down to the clinic the intended parents have chosen to work with. As an example: you (Surrogate or IPs) can live in Colorado and choose an agency in California and it won’t be a big deal. However, surrogacy is illegal and/or not recommended in some states, please check your state laws on surrogacy to make sure your state allows surrogacy agreements and grants pre-birth orders (or post-birth orders in some cases).
You want to make sure the agency you choose to be represented by is in good standing legally, ethically, and with the majority of their past surrogates and intended parents. You have every right to find out as much information about your potential surrogacy agency as possible; ask questions and look at reviews. Not everyone has the same experience with the same agency, so be sure to check out multiple sources.
How to Choose the Right Surrogacy Agency as Intended Parents
There are many surrogacy agencies available to work with, and each one will operate differently. Two main tips we recommend when looking into agencies are:
Ask around for referrals. Ask someone you know who has been through surrogacy and used a surrogacy agency, they would be the perfect person to ask first! As Intended Parents, ask your fertility doctor for any referrals or recommendations to agencies they may have contact with. Check with people any support groups you may belong to, this may bring a wealth of personal stories and information.
Research online. Run an online search for surrogacy agencies. Yes, the results that will come back are enough to make your head spin, but that’s why we’ve created the Agency Directory and Agency Rating and Review pages! The directory is always up to date with the latest information for surrogacy agencies (and fertility clinics) as each listing is owned by that agency (or clinic). On the Agency Ratings and Reviews page, we’ve compiled reviews of surrogacy agencies based on the answers from their previous surrogates on a survey we have available. All information is kept confidential, so surrogates feel free to answer honestly. We know it will help you on your journey!
Once you have done the initial research into surrogacy agencies and have listed a few you are interested in, you will want to find out more information to make your decision. Call the agencies, and/or set up a Skype meeting with someone from the agency to get a better feel for them. During these calls take the opportunity to ask a few important questions before you decide if they are the right agency for you.
Some great questions for intended parents to ask potential surrogacy agencies:
- How long has the surrogacy agency been in business?
- How many clients have they helped? Approximately how many clients do they work with on a yearly basis?
- Do they have any lawsuits against them? If so, what for? What was the resolution?
- What services are provided? (Is this a full service agency, or matching service?)
- What all is included in their fees? When are fees due?
- How does the agency handle financial transactions?
- How is their staff and customer service?
- What is the screening process for surrogates like?
- What happens if your surrogate fails to achieve pregnancy?
- Is there an opportunity to speak with former and/or current clients of the agency?
A good surrogacy agency should be able to easily and effortlessly answer all of the above questions and provide you with information and resources to back up their responses. Be sure to write down notes while speaking to each potential agency, and let your gut feeling play a deciding factor. When you’ve collected the information from all potential agencies on your list, compare your notes and narrow the list down.
Now get out a fresh sheet of paper… what do you want from a surrogacy agency, as far as services provided, support, communication? Write down what is important to you. Take that new list and compare it to the list of agencies. Does one stand out above the rest? That’s your agency!
How to Choose the Right Surrogacy Agency as a Surrogate
Surrogates are encouraged to review potential surrogacy agencies as well. We want to make sure you are signing up with the agency that is right for you! Although the recommended questions for intended parents are still good to ask and have answers to, you’ll be looking for different information as a potential surrogate.
As mentioned above, you first need to start with what you’re looking for out of your surrogacy journey, and what you want from a surrogacy agency. Review our Surrogacy Agency Ratings and Reviews page (compiled from trusted reviews from other surrogates) to see what other surrogates are saying about some potential agencies. You want to sign with an agency that is in good standing with its former surrogates, as it’s a good indicator as to how you’ll be treated as a surrogate.
Some key questions to ask/information to look into when looking to sign with an agency as a surrogate:
- When was this agency started? What brought the founder to start this agency?
- How many clients do they currently have?
- Has this agency had any lawsuits? If so, why? What was the end result?
- What is the base compensation as a surrogate? What else is covered?
- What are the screening and matching processes like?
- Does the agency take time to educate you on the surrogacy processes?
- Does this agency provide any resources, support services, or groups?
- Is communication with this agency consistent, or only when needed?
- Does this agency operate in a professional manner?
- Does this agency have a good reputation?
Good communication and a good reputation are two key factors in finding a good surrogacy agency to work with. Check out multiple sources for information on the agencies you are interested in signing up with. Take the time to research each agency individually. Do not rush into things, and always know what you’re signing up for with each surrogacy agency.
If you have any further questions or would like more help in finding an agency, feel free to contact us! All Things Surrogacy™ wishes you the best of luck in finding the perfect agency that suits all of your needs!