In Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kris Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian both offered to carry Kim and Kanye’s third child. Even though the family wanted to help, the power couple decided to go to a surrogacy agency instead. Since this was the direction for Kardashian West, it triggered interest from fans on what people should look for in a surrogacy agency.
Once intended parents realize that surrogacy is the right decision for them, the next step in the process is finding the right agency to help them achieve those parenthood goals. With so many surrogacy and egg donor agencies to choose from, sifting through each one is a daunting task.
Early on, many will come to realize that not all agencies are the same. The standards of surrogates and egg donors can vary concerning the medical and psychological screening process – the more rigorous it is, the more elite the database.
While learning how an agency operates, it’s also highly recommended to research the type of care that it offers its surrogates. Examples of this are how well surrogates are compensated, types of benefits they receive, and support they have throughout the entire surrogacy. Intending parents will agree that their gestational surrogates are so incredibly special that they want nothing less than a gold standard of treatment.
“Surrogates really do give so much of themselves to help others. It’s important that they receive genuine care,” said Mario Caballero, CEO of Extraordinary Conceptions headquartered in San Diego County. “Intending parents should have peace of mind knowing that the women carrying their baby have ongoing communication with her case and care coordinators. It’s all about exceeding the level of care and compassion.”
Other areas intending parents should research are the following:
- What are the screening process of its surrogates and egg donors?
- Who are the fertility specialists and what are the success rates?
- Does the agency have referrals for third-party reproductive attorneys?
- If the agency serves international intending parents, do they have native speaking employees of that language on hand?
- Is the surrogacy and egg donor agency in good standing?
- Has the agency been in the industry for at least a decade?
- Does the agency have former surrogates who are part of the team to offer more personalized care for current surrogates?
- In what ways does the agency give its surrogates special care?
- How many intending parents has the agency helped over the years?
- At what point in the process does an intending parent need to make a financial commitment?
- What exactly are the agency fees?
- How often are surrogates paid?
- Are surrogates offered a life insurance policy since they are assuming a risk?
When speaking with an agency, have a list of questions on hand. Listen to the way the answers are delivered and assess their level of professionalism and sincerity. Surrogacy is a journey, so it’s important to partner with an outstanding agency and group of people who care.
As the choices begin to narrow, it’s also recommended to ask an executive team member of an agency why it was established in the first place. A handful may have a personal connection with surrogacy. For Caballero, his agency was founded after the birth of his twins who were carried by a surrogate. Caballero and his wife decided that their tool to fight back infertility was surrogacy.
“I am so grateful to our surrogates, and for all that they do. It’s because of them that we have a family,” he said.