Tips on Family Building through Surrogacy
The first step in building your family of choice is deciding if surrogacy is right for you, and if so, if you’ll use a surrogacy agency or choose to embark upon this endeavor on your own. Because you’re here, we’re going to assume that you’ve chosen to look into enlisting an agency to help you. We think that this is a great choice. Here are some tips on finding the right agency for you.
Full Service vs. Matching
The first thing you’ll want to do is look into what the agency offers. There are two basic levels of service. A matching agency − which only helps you find your surrogate− and then lets you navigate the journey on your own, and a full-service agency. A full-service agency will likely cost you more in agency fees but rest assured that this is money well spent. Consider it an insurance policy for your experience.
A full-service agency will help you not only find your ideal surrogate, but also help navigate the search for an egg donor (if applicable), navigate legal contracting for your entire experience, assist with scheduling medical appointments, establish and help you with an escrow account, and help develop and strengthen your relationship with your surrogate. A full-service agency will be with you every step of the way, from your initial consultation until your post-partum experience.
Family Inceptions is a full-service agency.
Many prospective parents will arrive at surrogacy with a preferred IVF clinic already in mind, or potentially, already in the process of IVF. If you have a preferred clinic, you’ll want to make sure that the agency you are considering enlisting works well with this clinic. Some agencies and clinics work exclusively with one another, while other combinations of agency/clinic are not possible.
If you don’t already have a preferred clinic, know that most surrogacy agencies will be able to introduce you to clinics that would be a good fit for you.
We think it’s important to see what other people are saying about agencies. That’s why we’re proud to give you not only written reviews submitted to us by our past clients, but we’ll also offer to put you in touch with these people one-on-one. This gives you the chance to ask direct questions about experiences with a live person. Be wary of agencies that won’t connect you with past clients.
In addition to user submitted reviews, seek out professional affiliations as well. A reputable, ethical agency will have a history that speaks for itself. Look for associations with third party agencies like SEEDS (Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy) or the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) as a metric for ethical business practices.
As much as we hate it, families of choice aren’t inexpensive. You’ll want to inquire about cost and price point at each agency that you speak with. Some costs should be set and predictable; things like agency fees, transfer fees, and surrogate compensation, for example. Other things will be variable and unique to each journey. Be wary of any agency that is unwilling to give you a cost window or explain why it can vary.
We also encourage you to realize that family building through surrogacy is an emotional process, and some agencies will try to gain your business by capitalizing on this. Some will purposefully set their price higher than the competition to sell you on a luxury, higher quality experience. Others will try to undercut their price in order to gain the business of those on a stricter budget. What you need to know is that the most expensive option isn’t always the best, and the most inexpensive option doesn’t always save you money. It’s more important to compare financial price points based on what they include, and what you’re most comfortable with.
Finally – you have to trust your gut. We understand that finding an agency can feel overwhelming. We encourage you to speak to many agencies until you find one where you feel comfortable. Surrogacy is an intimate experience, and these are people who will be a major part of your daily life for 12-24 months. More than price point, more than experience level, even more than overall success rates – being comfortable with the people at the agency you choose is the most important factor in choosing your agency.
As you begin to speak with more agencies, you’ll likely bond or attach with one more than the others. In surrogacy, it’s so important to trust your gut. When you find the agency that feels like a match, don’t downplay your instincts. They’re important!
We sincerely hope you’ll consider Family Inceptions in your surrogacy agency search. We offer free consultations and would love to speak with you. Send us an Email, and we’ll be in contact with you soon.