The choices can be overwhelming for potential surrogates and intending parents when it comes to choosing a surrogacy agency. Here are some steps people can take early on in the research process.
Don’t Forget the Referrals
People who are thinking about becoming an intended parent or surrogate should speak to someone who has already been through the surrogacy journey. It’s a great start to finding the right agency.
Intended parents can seek recommendations from the following:
- Discussing surrogacy agencies with their IVF physician
- Speaking with a third-party reproductive attorney
- Scheduling consultations with surrogacy agencies
On the other hand, women thinking about becoming a gestational carrier are encouraged to speak with former surrogates for referrals. Another great recommendation can also come from her OB/GYN.
Sifting Through Online Reviews
Online reviews are an excellent resource. However, researching them may sometimes be a challenge. In other words, when sifting through those reports, people need to figure out what the person was rating in the review. Was it relevant to good practices at the agency?
The longer a surrogacy agency has been in business, more than likely not all reviews will be a five-star rating. Pay close attention to those negative reviews and decide whether the complaint was something outside or within the agency’s control.
If it’s a systemic issue, dig into those and see if there is a common complaint. Make a particular note of this if there is evidence.
Some review sites offer an agency the opportunity to respond. If so, did the company reply to a negative complaint. If the answer is yes, was their answer satisfactory and was the issue resolved.
Following through is essential for assessing reviews. And remember to check out infertility resources.
What to Ask a Surrogacy Agency
Whether a person is interviewing a surrogacy agency or wanting to become a surrogate, many of the questions they ask are similar. These questions will help determine the strength of a business.
Some of these sample questions include the following:
- How many years has the agency been in business?
- Does the company have official business headquarters that clients can visit?
- Does the agency serve international intending parents?
- How many intending parents have they assisted?
- On average, how many intending parents does the agency sign on per year?
- Do they work with attorneys specializing in third-party reproduction?
- How many surrogates does the agency have in its database?
- How many egg donors is in the agency’s database?
- What is the medical and psychological screening process for surrogates and egg donors?
- Do IVF clinics use the agency’s donor database?
- What are the agency fees and how are financial transactions handled?
- What type of support do surrogates receive?
- Are life insurance policies provided to surrogates?
These sample questions are just a springboard of ideas. It’s encouraged to ask as many questions as possible.
Research Takes Time
Surrogacy is one of the most critical decisions a surrogate or intending parent can make. With that said, take the time needed for due diligence so that the surrogacy experience will be the most incredible memory of all.