You’ve decided that surrogacy is how you’d like to grow your family. Now you must decide whether or not you’d like to work with a surrogacy agency, or embark on an independent surrogacy journey.
While undergoing an independent journey may be more cost effective, if you’re new to surrogacy, it is recommended that you work with a surrogacy agency. Working with an agency can help reduce the stress and uncertainty in a surrogacy journey.
A surrogacy journey is like a detailed puzzle, the two most important pieces of which are trust and honesty. Working with an established, flexible, and reputable agency make this process much less intimidating.
5 Reasons You Should Work with a Surrogacy Agency
1. You don’t have to be a surrogacy expert.
Surrogacy, by nature, is a very complicated process. At any given time, there are many moving pieces that need to be managed or attended to. A tremendous amount of coordination and planning goes into a surrogacy journey, as well as legal contracts. A surrogacy agency is filled with experts who work with intended parents each and every day. By letting the experts focus on managing and guiding your journey, you can focus on enjoying the experience and preparing for the arrival of your baby!
2. You have someone to sweat the small stuff…and the big stuff.
While our hope is that every journey goes as smoothly as possible, the reality is, very few pregnancies – traditional or surrogacy – are ever picture perfect. Having your agency of experts supporting you means they help navigate any bumps in the road – no matter how big or how small. You’ll never be alone on your journey, and you’ll always have someone to help guide you with decisions at every milestone.
3. You don’t have to be a legal expert
Chances are, surrogacy law is not something you do on a daily basis. Knowing and understanding the legal side of surrogacy is important in having as smooth a journey as possible. Critical components in a surrogacy journey are contracts and legal needs. You’ll want to work with an agency who has lawyers experienced in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) law. At Circle Surrogacy, we have a team of knowledgeable lawyers in-house. Having a team of legal representatives on staff streamlines communication between the program coordinator and the legal professionals, and keeps the guidance of your journey all under one roof.
4. An agency manages the entire process – so you don’t have to.
Managing a surrogacy journey can feel like a full-time job…because it is! Working with an agency provides services that help to create a safe and trusting relationship between the egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents.
A surrogacy agency provides services such as:
- Surrogate and egg donor screening and matching. Agencies such as Circle Surrogacy will screen all surrogates and egg donors and ensure they meet our strict criteria. Circle will also match intended parents and surrogates meeting specific legal, geographical and personality criteria.
- Coordination with medical providers. You will be working with medical provides outside of your fertility clinic, including: the clinic where your surrogate does her local monitoring, her OB/GYN and the hospital where your baby is born. There is much coordination of appointments and payments that will need to be made. Your agency manages all of this for you.
- Full-service support. Your journey coordination team consists of your program coordinator and manager, your lawyer and your accountant. Each of them are dedicated to your journey and passionate about your success. They are there for you at every step to answer questions or be a sounding board.
- Legal and insurance. We spoke above about how important the right legal expertise is, and the same goes for insurance. A surrogacy agency will help you secure insurance coverage for the pregnant and your child(ren) post birth.
- Prepare you for birth. While part of the preparations for birth include getting a nursery ready at home and purchasing all of the newborn items you’ll need, you’ll also need to prepare for your trip to the hospital, your stay during delivery, all of your baby’s documents, and your travel home. The arrival of your baby is a very emotional time – the last thing you need to stress about is managing last-minute details. Your agency will do that for you.
- Detailed accounting and financial support. We’ll manage your money and ensure your surrogate and your bills are getting paid.
5. Your money is well managed, and you know where it’s going.
When you work with an agency, you will pay an agency fee, something you wouldn’t have to pay in an independent journey. This agency fee covers the costs of your agency to manage your journey (including legal fees), and can help control costs in the long run. Look for an agency that is transparent about their costs, so you don’t find surprise costs along the way. Agencies such as Circle believe in giving their intended parents an accurate picture of the cost of the entire journey upfront so they can make appropriate financial plans. Circle also offers a Journey Protection Guarantee Program which fixes surrogate, agency and legal costs to a designated amount – if costs end up being more, Circle will cover them. Plus, they have relationships with many fertility clinics, and can help advise on fertility plans to help control costs.
Beyond their experienced teams and breadth of services, surrogacy agencies provide numerous other benefits to intended parents.
Part of the reason some surrogacy agencies cost more than others is the level of service you receive. The best surrogacy agencies will help you find a good match for a surrogate and, if necessary, an egg donor. They’ll also offer you counseling, legal and billing support, and help intended parents develop a good relationship with their surrogate (if so desired), which reduces potential conflicts and increases the likelihood of a successful and enjoyable journey. Overall, they will support you and manage what can be a complex process to parenthood.
Going without an agency may appear to save you money in the short term, but can be much more expensive if an issue should arise. An agency’s expertise is invaluable when intended parents hit a bump in the road, such as a failed transfer, complications during pregnancy, or a miscarriage.
If you do not have a surrogate and/or egg donor lined up already, going through an agency will also save you a lot of time by offering matching services that are based on their experience. But before embarking on your journey, make sure you do your due diligence and thoroughly research your options so you choose an experienced agency that aligns with your values.
Deciding whether or not to use a surrogacy agency for your surrogacy journey is a very personal decision. Doing your research and speaking to other intended parents who have both done independent journeys as well as worked with an agency will help you make an informed decision.
Circle is also happy to speak with you to talk about your surrogacy expectations and to help you make the decision that’s best for you. Reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions.