The Pros and Cons of Surrogacy Without An Agency
Here’s what you need to know about the responsibilities of working without an agency, including how to find a surrogate without an agency.
While many people find the benefits of a surrogacy agency to be well-worth working with one during the surrogacy process, there are others who choose to pursue surrogacy without an agency. But why do they choose this path, and is the decision worth it?
As with all other aspects of your surrogacy journey, whether or not you use a surrogacy agency will be entirely up to you. However, because surrogacy without an agency is a huge commitment to make, it’s important that all prospective surrogates and intended parents fully understand what this decision will mean for them before they move forward with this path.
If you’re considering surrogacy without an agency, read on to learn more about what responsibilities and repercussions this decision will have for your surrogacy journey.
Why Do People Choose Surrogacy Without an Agency?
Everyone has the right to create the surrogacy journey that’s best for them, whether or not that involves the assistance of a surrogacy agency.
For most first-time surrogates or intended parents, surrogacy without an agency is not an advisable option. There are so many complex parts of the surrogacy process that, if handled incorrectly or inefficiently, can dramatically affect the outcome of your surrogacy journey — by leading to legal or medical complications that can delay or even stop your surrogacy process entirely. If you’re new to the surrogacy process, surrogacy without an agency may not be the best choice for you.
However, there are many women who have already been surrogates that decide to be a surrogate without an agency for their second or third surrogacy journey. After going through the process once with an agency, they understand it in much more detail and are more comfortable with the idea of pursuing another surrogacy without the constant guidance of a surrogacy agency. In becoming a surrogate mother without an agency, these women may be able to offer their intended parents a cheaper overall surrogacy cost, as long as their independent surrogacy process is still completed thoroughly.
Some intended parents may choose to pursue surrogacy without an agency because of the lower cost involved or because they already have found a surrogate without an agency’s help. Often, this is because a trusted friend or family member is choosing to be their surrogate, which eliminates the need for an agency’s matching services.
If you’re considering surrogacy without an agency, either as a prospective surrogate or intended parent, you should consider the following pros and cons to decide whether this is the right path for your surrogacy goals and expectations.
The Pros of Surrogacy Without an Agency
Perhaps the greatest reason that people choose an independent surrogacy is because of the potentially lower cost of a surrogacy without an agency. When intended parents work with an agency, they have to pay certain agency fees, which usually run in the tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, prospective surrogates and intended parents may choose to pursue surrogacy without an agency to save money. However, while these agency fees can be expensive, they do offer unparalleled management services for surrogates and intended parents (discussed in more detail below).
A surrogacy without an agency also offers more control and responsibility for intended parents and prospective surrogates, which some see as an advantage and others see as a disadvantage. For those who like being responsible for every aspect of this important journey, an independent surrogacy gives them that control they crave, especially if they chose not to use a surrogacy agency for this reason. Intended parents and surrogates who enjoy being in charge may find this a crucial advantage of surrogacy without an agency.
The Cons of Surrogacy Without an Agency
While some may see the above aspects as advantages of surrogacy without an agency, others will consider them extreme drawbacks to pursuing an independent surrogacy. In general, surrogacy without an agency requires much more coordination by intended parents and surrogates, which can add an additional level of stress to an already-stressful process.
First and foremost, when you choose to complete an independent surrogacy, you will be responsible for finding a surrogate without an agency (or finding intended parents without an agency). This can be a nerve-racking process, especially with the potential for fraud or misrepresentation. Many intended parents discover how to find a surrogate without an agency online successfully, but there is always the risk that a woman is not medically or mentally fit to be a surrogate. Without the screening that a surrogacy agency provides, intended parents may invest time and money in a match that ends up failing.
Along the same lines, when you work without a surrogacy agency, you will be responsible for all the services that a professional would typically provide — coordination between medical and legal professionals, emotional counseling and support and every other little detail needed to successfully complete a surrogacy. You will need to find all of these professionals on your own, and the costs to employ these professionals separately can quickly add up — sometimes even at a more expensive cost than an agency’s flat-rate fees for managing the same services.
Working without a surrogacy agency also prevents intended parents and surrogates from receiving the support they need from an outside source during the process, especially if they’re new to how surrogacy works. An experienced surrogacy agency will not only guide you through every step of the process, but also take care of the little things that can add up over time — like the instrumental screening process. In a surrogacy without an agency, you will be responsible for making sure not only that your intended parent or surrogate is ready for surrogacy but also that the surrogacy professionals you choose meet necessary standards and can provide you all the services you need. For some intended parents and surrogates, that risk is too overwhelming to chance.
So, What’s Best for You?
Ultimately, you’re only one who can decide if a surrogacy without an agency is the right choice for you. Whether or not you’ve already been through the surrogacy process, it’s not a bad idea to contact an experienced surrogacy agency to learn more about what services they offer, whether they can meet your surrogacy goals and whether you think you can complete this process on your own. Even if you have already found an intended parent or prospective surrogate on your own, you may find that you can still benefit from the other services that a surrogacy agency may provide you in this life-changing journey.
As with every other aspect of your surrogacy, it’s encouraged that you do as much research as possible on this subject to discover what the best choice is for you and your family.
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