Surrogacy has been growing in popularity as a means for couples and single people, known as intended parents, to build their families. Gestational surrogacy (the surrogate is NOT the biological mother of the child) has become the norm, although traditional surrogacy agreements, in which the surrogate is the biological mother of the child, are still seen from time to time.
If you are just beginning the process of having a baby with a surrogate, it may be helpful to seek direction from people you know who have experience with surrogacy (i.e., support groups, reproductive endocrinologists, and attorneys experienced). In the process of your surrogacy journey you will assemble a team that may include, amongst others, IVF clinics and agencies that will help you match with surrogate mothers and egg donors.
Questions To Ask When You Choose A Surrogacy Agency
A surrogacy agency can be a valuable resource on the journey to becoming a parent. If you choose to hire one, here is a list of some questions you may want to ask:
- How long has the agency operated?
- How many surrogate arrangements has the agency facilitated over the last year or two?
- How long does it usually take to find a surrogate through this agency?
- What are the agency fees? When is the money due? Be sure to get a detailed breakdown of ALL COSTS involved with the agency (including money they pay for 3rd party vendors like lawyers or escrow management), not just an overall estimate.
- Are the agency surrogates pre-screened? Have they been administered the FDA-required medical testing and psychological evaluation? What level of access will we have to those results – full records or summaries only?
- How many case managers does the agency have and what is their typical caseload?
- Is there someone available to answer emergency questions 24/7? What is that process?
- Are counseling services provided to surrogates and our family?
- Is the money intended for the surrogate held in escrow?
- Has the agency ever been sued by clients or surrogates?
- Does the agency provide any legal services to us or surrogates?
- How does the agency recruit surrogates?
- Does the agency monitor, track, and pay surrogate expenses? How does that process work? Is there a cap for expenses?