The Top 7 Surrogacy Services and Where to Find Them
Surrogacy is not a process you complete alone. Find out more about the services that will be required for a successful surrogacy.
The surrogacy process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a variety of legal, medical, emotional and financial services available that can make the entire process easier to manage for intended parents and surrogates alike.
In this article, find seven essential services for surrogacy, as well as information about where to find each one.
1. Screening and Matching
Matching services help intended parents and surrogates find each other based on each party’s surrogacy goals and preferences, while screening services ensure each party is safe to work with and ready to commit to surrogacy.
Most surrogacy matching services involve a mutual matching process. Intended parents and surrogates each create their own surrogacy plan and profile, which gives a brief introduction of who they are and what they are hoping to gain from the surrogacy process. Surrogates will get an opportunity to review intended parent profiles and vice versa. When a surrogate and intended parents reciprocate interest in one another, they will have an opportunity to get to know each other before moving forward in an official match.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Some intended parents and surrogates choose to find each other through their own independent networking avenues, while others choose to work with a surrogacy agency. Agencies usually provide extensive screening services and use detailed databases to match intended parents and surrogates. These professionals can also offer surrogacy planning and profile development services.
2. Counseling and Support
Surrogacy can be an emotional roller coaster. Intended parents and surrogates may each experience a complex mix of emotions throughout the process, ranging from hope and excitement to stress and doubt, and it is vital to have third party support on difficult days.
Counseling and support services are highly recommended, even in identified surrogacy situations and other situations in which the intended parents and surrogate have a positive relationship. Included in a professional’s support services are often contact mediation services, which can be especially beneficial in facilitating and maintaining a positive relationship between the intended parents and the surrogate.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Surrogacy agencies often employ licensed social workers with years of experience in surrogacy, adoption and infertility. Intended parents and surrogates who choose not to work with an agency may be able to find counseling services through an independent social worker, counselor or psychologist, though they may not have the same expertise with surrogacy issues.
3. Case Management and Education
Surrogacy is complicated, especially for first-time surrogates and intended parents. It is helpful to have a professional who can walk each party through the process and provide the necessary education and coordination services along the way.
Surrogacy professionals have extensive experience in the surrogacy process and can provide all of the information and resources intended parents and surrogates need to understand surrogacy. These professionals can oversee the entire process from start to finish, ensuring each step is completed safely and legally. In addition, these professionals can coordinate the events of the surrogacy, from legal contracts to medical procedures.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Surrogacy agencies are the best choice for these services. Many steps of the surrogacy process can be completed by the agency, and they also maintain relationships with fertility clinics and assisted reproduction attorneys, making it easy to coordinate any services the agency does not offer. Surrogacy attorneys often do not provide case management and oversight, and intended parents and surrogates often need to schedule medical procedures and coordinate other services on their own.
4. Legal Counsel
Every surrogacy involves extensive legal work, and each party will need an attorney to negotiate their surrogacy agreement contract, which outlines each party’s responsibilities, surrogate compensation and more. The legal process will vary depending on the state where the baby is born, as well as each family’s individual circumstances. In some instances, additional legal steps, such as consent and relinquishment, stepparent adoption or second parent adoption, will be necessary.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Each party will need an attorney to provide the necessary legal services. When the intended parents and surrogate are working with an agency, the agency can coordinate attorney services, and the intended parents and surrogates will not need to contact an attorney separately.
5. Medical Services
Medical procedures are another significant part of the surrogacy process. Surrogacy involves IVF treatments and fertility medications for the surrogate, as well as prenatal care and delivery services. The intended mother or egg donor may also need to undergo fertility treatments and the egg retrieval process to create the embryos to be transferred.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Intended parents and surrogates will likely work with the fertility clinic of the intended parents’ choice for the initial fertility treatments and embryo transfer process. Depending on her surrogacy agreement, the surrogate may be able to work with her own OBGYN to receive prenatal care throughout her pregnancy. For intended parents and surrogates who need help choosing a fertility clinic, OBGYN or sperm or egg donor program, a surrogacy agency can coordinate these services. In addition, surrogacy agencies may be able to assist intended parents and surrogates in obtaining the necessary insurance to cover the fertility treatments, as well as the surrogate’s pregnancy and delivery.
6. Financial Management
Because of the number of services and professionals involved in the surrogacy process, it can be expensive for intended parents. It is important that these funds, as well as the surrogate’s compensation, are handled fairly.
A surrogacy professional can set up a fee schedule and escrow account to transfer the intended parents’ funds to the surrogate. This protects both parties by ensuring the surrogate is compensated fairly and the intended parents are financially protected.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Most surrogacy agencies and attorneys can assist intended parents in setting up an escrow account. Before choosing a surrogacy professional, intended parents and surrogates should ask about the professional’s financial policies and fee schedule to learn more about how the money will be handled throughout the process.
7. Marketing and Advertising
Many intended parents and surrogates overlook the importance of a surrogacy professional’s advertising and networking services. These services play an important role in the number of surrogacy opportunities a professional has available.
Working with a professional who offers good marketing and advertising services can decrease each party’s wait time and increase their chances of finding the perfect match.
Where to find this surrogacy service: Large national agencies can often offer the widest variety of surrogacy opportunities. These professionals generally have the largest advertising networks and can reach prospective surrogates and intended parents across the country.
These surrogacy services can help intended parents and surrogates legally, safely and successfully reach their surrogacy goals.
Surrogates and intended parents who are interested in sourcing these services on their own from a variety of professionals may be interested in pursuing independent surrogacy. However, intended parents and surrogates who are looking for a “one-stop shop” of surrogacy services should work with an agency, which can provide most of the services necessary throughout the surrogacy process.
It is up to each intended parent and surrogate to determine the surrogacy services that are most important and to find the best surrogacy professional to meet their needs.
Are you interested in learning more about surrogacy or starting the process? Complete our form to request free surrogacy information now.