What Should We Look for in a Surrogacy Professional?

As intended parents, you will need to choose a surrogacy professional for your parenthood journey. This choice will dictate your entire surrogacy process.

As intended parents in the beginning stages of the surrogacy process, one of the first steps you will likely take is deciding which surrogacy professional you want to work with. The professional you choose will be your partner throughout the process, and it is important to choose one that can meet your needs.

The type of surrogacy professional you choose will depend largely on the type of surrogacy you are pursuing. Generally, there are two main categories of surrogacy professionals: surrogacy agencies and surrogacy attorneys. Both professionals have different strengths, and each offers different services.

Here, learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of surrogacy agencies vs. attorneys as you decide which professional will work best for you.

Surrogacy Agencies

Full-service surrogacy agencies are experienced in providing most or all of the services and support necessary throughout the surrogacy process. These professionals often work with gestational surrogates across the country and intended parents from around the world.

Surrogacy agencies are the most popular choice of professional for intended parents, largely because of the wide variety of services they offer. Many agencies are “one-stop shops” for intended parents, offering services such as:

Why work with a surrogacy agency?

Because the surrogacy process can be somewhat overwhelming, it can be advantageous to work with one professional from start to finish. There are many additional reasons to consider working with a surrogacy agency, as well as some disadvantages to take into account. Here are some of the top surrogacy agency pros and cons to consider:



Finding a Surrogacy Agency

Every surrogacy agency is different in the programs it offers, the costs of its services, its requirements for intended parents and more. There are many factors to consider when choosing the agency that is right for you, and it is important to do your research and choose an agency that fits your particular needs.

If you have decided that working with a surrogacy agency is the best choice for your family, there are several questions you may want to ask prospective surrogacy professionals before making your final decision:

Surrogacy Attorneys

Surrogacy attorneys are necessary in every surrogacy arrangement to draft legal contracts and ensure all laws are followed throughout the surrogacy process. These services will be coordinated for you if you choose to work with an agency, and you will not need to consult with an attorney separately.

However, for intended parents pursuing independent surrogacy, an attorney may be the only professional (aside from a fertility clinic) necessary in the surrogacy process. While attorneys generally do not provide as many surrogacy services, some may provide additional services for intended parents, or they may refer the intended parents to other professionals who can provide necessary services at an additional cost.

Why work with a surrogacy attorney?

While there are some challenges to independent surrogacy and working with an attorney, there are also some benefits that can make it an appealing option for some families. Here are some of the most common advantages and disadvantages of working with a surrogacy attorney:



Finding an Attorney

If you decide to work directly with a lawyer to complete an independent surrogacy, you will want to choose an attorney you can trust to help you through every step of the process. There are many factors to consider as you weigh your options, and it is important to compare many attorneys before deciding which one is right for you. The American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA) is a wonderful resource to help intended parents find local attorneys with a focus on surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technologies.

Here are some questions you may want to ask the law firms you are considering before committing to a surrogacy attorney:

Choosing a Surrogacy Professional

Whether you have decided on the type of surrogacy professional you’d like to work with or are still struggling to choose, here are some tips to keep in mind when weighing your options:

Surrogacy agencies and attorneys each provide valuable services to intended parents. Which you choose will depend largely on your individual needs and circumstances. If you are seeking an independent surrogacy arrangement, an attorney may be the only professional you need. However, for many other families who require additional education, matching, screening and other surrogacy services, an agency may be a more logical choice.

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