The choice of a surrogacy agency, to which you want to entrust your own destiny and your family, is just as important as the choice of a surrogate mother with whom you share this fate. The agency should be one of the most important tools in achieving your cherished goal - to become parents!
But before you begin the search process, decide for yourself what type of surrogacy is most preferable to you. If you have already chosen a potential surrogate mother on the recommendation of your relatives or friends, you can simply hire a lawyer to draw up a legally competent contract and professional support in the process of its implementation. However, if you choose gestational surrogacy as a more popular and effective method, the agency in this case is your best assistant in providing services that meet your needs.
Here are at least five questions to which you should know the answer, before moving on to the choice of agency:
- How does the agency select candidates for the surrogacy program?
Most agencies work with a large number of potential surrogate mothers and prospective parents in all regions of the country. The larger the database of applicants, the greater the chance of finding a woman who meets certain, important for you, personal qualities. In a reliable professional agency, usually no more than 1% of applicants remain after extensive screenings, which include interviews, mandatory and additional medical examinations and reports. This ensures that the agency offers you proven candidates who have a high potential for a successful outcome.
- What set of legal services does the agency provide?
Due to the contradictions in the surrogacy legislation of any country, the presence of professional lawyers is a key component of successfully completing the entire journey. Professional agencies should be able to provide you with an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the laws of your country of residence and international law in this area. If the agency has its own specialists or works in close cooperation with leading experts on reproductive law, then you can count on successful protection of your interests as future parents at all stages.
- How transparent is the agency?
From your first contact with an agency, whether through a website or by telephone, you must be sure that you are given comprehensive information. If the agency avoids speaking directly and openly on topics related to the services provided or their costs, be careful and consider whether to continue. In order to make the interaction process as trusting and comfortable as possible, the agency should provide you with comprehensive information about the program, ranging from reading the terms of service to the birth of your baby. One of the first obligatory stages of this program is usually a long (for less than one hour) interview, available in different languages, during which you will be able to understand what to expect in the future.
- Do you understand the content of clarifications and approvals?
Before you make a deal with an agency, you must be clear on what you are going. Make sure that there is a clear distinction between your responsibilities and those of the agency. If you are worried about how the process of selecting potential surrogates goes, look and compare the profiles of surrogate mothers from the catalog in order to know whether you will receive enough information. A reliable agency will always provide a personal manager who is professionally oriented in the selection of surrogate mothers and prospective parents. This specialist will accompany you at every step and, if necessary, will provide you with medical and legal assistance.
- Is psychological support provided to surrogate mothers and prospective parents?
Many do not realize the importance of emotional and psychological support for surrogate mothers and prospective parents. The advantage of professional agencies is a great experience and knowledge of the psychological side of surrogate motherhood throughout the process and after it. The agency you choose should treat any of your questions and doubts with exceptional understanding and responsibility.
Editorial board of the ECSM Information Service