Whether you are looking to build your family through egg donation or surrogacy, or you are a potential donor or surrogate looking for an agency to work with, selecting the right agency for you is a big decision.
There is a ton of information available online and even more potential egg donor agencies out there, making it difficult to sort through all of it. To pick the right agency, it is very important to review their experience and industry knowledge to feel confident that they can manage any potentially serious complications that may arise. An inexperienced agency can match you with an ineligible or poor donor candidate or may not properly communicate with your doctor’s office. In the worst-case scenario, a serious error can occur such as mixing up a donor match.
How do you know whether an agency is reputable and good to work with? There are several factors you should keep an eye out for when evaluating egg donor or surrogacy agencies
When starting your research, look for an agency that is in compliance with the guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). You can also check out online reviews and ratings.
Egg donation and surrogacy is a form of tissue donation, which is strongly regulated by the FDA. The agency and its staff must be well-versed in the requirements to ensure that they are met when matching a donor or surrogate to Intended Parents. An agency that isn’t aware of these regulations may not have the experience needed in this field.
Size of their database
A reputable and experienced agency will have a large pool of donors or surrogates to choose from. They will have candidates located throughout the country and may even be available for international travel. This info is important for egg donors and surrogates as well, not just the Intended Parents.
Though it’s a beautiful process, egg donation and surrogacy can be intense and often has its own set of challenges. Both the Intended Parents and their surrogates or donors need support as they move through the cycle and its requirements. A good agency should have a strong support team built into their process. Having a licensed therapist available when needed is a crucial benefit.
In addition, as many egg donation and surrogacy agencies work with international clients, having translators or a multilingual staff is essential. While there are translation services available, having someone on staff and on site makes it that much easier to communicate with their clients.
Ideally, a dedicated case manager or case management team is available to work with their surrogates, egg donors and Intended Parent. They can help guide everyone through the complicated process. It’s even more beneficial if the case manager has experience either as an egg donor or surrogate, or in working with one personally. That personal experience enables them to relate to and understand the issues that come up during such an arrangement.
Follow Up Care
How is the agency when it comes to communication? Are they readily available to answer questions? There are many situations before, during and after the cycle where important questions or concerns may come up. It is vital to be able to get through to someone when questions arise.
Questions to Ask
Before committing to an agency, there are many questions to ask:
- How long have you been in business?
- How large is your database of donors or surrogates?
- How many donations/surrogacy cycles did you do last year?
- What is the fee schedule (important for both Intended Parents and egg donors/surrogates)?
- Why and when would a cycle be cancelled? What happens if that occurs?
- What type of support do you provide before, during and after the cycle?
- What is the screening process like?
- Can I see references or speak with a previous client?
Extraordinary Conceptions is very proud of the care it provides all of their clients: egg donors, surrogates and Intended Parents. If you are ready to get started on this journey, get in touch with us today!