This month, in the spirit of Halloween, we've been talking about fears, concerns and frights when it comes to third party family building.
If you've been reading our blogs this month (and I hope you have as well as sharing it with your friends!), you're learning that there are a lot of misconceptions about surrogacy and egg donation. No, it's not as easy as you think and yes, it IS more than just a nice paycheck!
What I want to discuss today though is something that isn't mentioned enough in my opinion. There is often a lot of focus on who is donating the eggs, who meets the criteria for an ideal surrogate, and how much the intended parents may need to spend. While these are all important, vital factors, I can't help but feel that all of the professionals you will need to depend on for this journey need to be part of equation as well.
What does that mean you ask? I've tried to impress upon you that not anyone can donate eggs or be a surrogate; that there is a very high bar for both. My point is the same goes for your lawyer, doctor, and agencies.
I know more than anyone how expensive using donor eggs or hiring a surrogate can be. I can completely appreciate the need to look for ways to cut costs but, using a lawyer as an example, you sincerely can't use any ol' lawyer when it comes to fully understanding a surrogacy contract or even an egg donor contract. That means if you have an attorney you know or have used to in the past for another matter, he or she can't also do you a favor and write up a surrogacy contract. You absolutely need to 100% find a lawyer who specializes in third party reproduction law and contracts. Bottom line: Just because someone happens to be a lawyer doesn't mean they are the right lawyer for you in terms of family building.
And this goes for every other professional along the way. You need a psychologist who has experience and an understanding in how to do a proper psych evaluation. You need an Ob/Gyn who is comfortable handling a surrogacy pregnancy. Not all of them are. No matter what resource you require to build a family or be part of building a family, this is not the time to cut corners or lower the bar. Third party family building, like it or not, involves knowing the medical, mental, physical, and legal implications and you are going to want to make sure you're working with people that know what they are doing backwards and forwards.
This also very much applies to surrogacy and egg donor agencies. If you were to search either online, you would come up with a whole mess of pages to go through on Google. As much as this physically pains me to say this, there are some in this industry that may not have the best interest of everyone involved at heart. There may also be some that, quite honestly, lack the experience and skill to help. I've heard more stories than I ever would want to of good people being taken advantage of and it deeply upsets me.
It's so incredibly important that you do as much homework as possible on the agency you're considering working with. Speak to a local clinic or doctor you trust about them, do your research, ask for testimonials, go on chat boards, and ask the agencies themselves questions to ensure you're in good hands. Do they have a street address and owner names on their website? If not, why not? Did they NOT ask you a lot of questions and didn't really vet you? If they didn't make every effort to get to know you and make sure they know exactly what you need and want, they aren't really doing the homework THEY need to do. These are a few questions and red flags to look into.
Even if you never work directly with Family Inceptions to help you on your family building journey, we still offer you this advice. This is too big of a deal and there are too many potential pitfalls that even if you're not in our hands, we want you in solid capable, trustworthy hands to guide you!
For some, building a family is so much more difficult than for others. It's understandable to be overwhelmed, scared, and all around intimidated. That's why having a team of professionals you can rely on can make this journey smoother than if you tried to do it on your own.
As always, if you have any questions on any of the above or anything related to third party family building, please contact Family Inceptions. We're happy to alleviate any of your fears!