Surrogacy is a monumental and exciting way to grow your family; however, surrogacy journey costs can be between $100,00-$160,000+. With a price tag that large, finding the right agency with the right experience is critical to ensure you are spending your money wisely and achieving success. It is incredibly important to evaluate a surrogacy agency’s success rates prior to signing on for your journey.
Surrogacy agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and are located all across the United States (and across the world!). Choosing a surrogacy agency is a personal decision. Intended Parents find it helpful to create a list of what they’re looking for in their surrogacy agency and their surrogacy journey.
Three criteria that you can use to help you determine a surrogacy agency’s success are:
- Surrogacy agency experience
- Surrogacy process and protocols
- Baby success rates
Each of these is important in determining if an agency is the right fit for you and your surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy Agency Experience
A surrogacy agency’s experience can be defined in different ways. Often, it’s a combination of a few different criteria that make up an agency’s total experience.
- Years of experience.
- Professional staff.
- Number of journeys completed.
The number of years an agency has been in business can contribute to their success. That’s not to say that an agency who has only been in business for a few years is not successful; this simply means that the more years an agency has been in business, the more intended parents they may have worked with, the more surrogacy journeys they have managed, and the more experience in certain aspects of surrogacy they may have.
You can also look at an agency’s staff. How many staff members do they have? Does their staff have professionals such as Reproductive Lawyers and Social Workers? Does the staff have personal experience in surrogacy? At Circle Surrogacy, we have professional staff in-house, including a full legal team, accountants, medical billing, licensed social workers and journey coordinators. Also, 40% of Circle’s staff has personal experience with surrogacy (as a gestational surrogate, intended parent or egg donor), IVF and adoption.
Lastly, the number of journeys an agency has managed help to contribute to their level of expertise. Each surrogacy journey is unique, with its own celebrations and (sometimes) bumps in the road. With each bump or challenge, the agency staff gains experience and learnings for future journeys…and the learning never ends! For example, Circle has grown almost 1,500 families…and we still haven’t “seen it all”! We’ve experienced many different challenges along the way, and each has taught us something that we now apply to other journeys. It’s also broadened our network of clinic partnerships.
Surrogacy Process and Protocols
An agency that has done many surrogacy journeys, has gained knowledge and experience from each and every one. Agencies can then take these learnings and apply them to their process, making changes and optimizing so that intended parents and surrogates can have the most rewarding – and successful – journey.
At Circle Surrogacy, we have taken 25 years of experience partnering with parents, surrogates and egg donors to evolve our process and approach. Our current process is a team approach, consisting of staff members from the coordination, accounting, social work, legal and medical billing teams lending their knowledge of the process to each journey.
Over the last two decades, Circle Surrogacy has also created processes that increase the success for intended parents, including our Surrogate Screening Process and our Matching Process.
Surrogate Screening Process. When interviewing agencies, you can ask them what their surrogate screening process is. Do they fully screen surrogates prior to matching them with intended parents? What types of background checks are done? What type of psychological testing is done?
Circle Surrogacy facilitates a full screening of their surrogates prior to matching with intended parents. This means that each and every surrogate that is ready to match has been fully vetted in our 3-step screening process. We do this because our intended parents’ security – and the safety of their future baby – is our number one priority. Our surrogates must undergo Prescreening (with an experienced carrier), a Social Work screening (with an in-house licensed Social Worker whose sole job is to screen surrogates) and a Psychological Exam through the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) which is interpreted by a licensed psychologist.
Matching Process. Surrogacy is an intimate relationship between the gestational carrier and intended parents. You want the match to be right to help ensure the success of the journey. Intended parents can create a list of what’s important to them in a surrogate. Agencies will use what you share, plus other criteria, to help determine the best match.
Circle Surrogacy uses 3 main criteria for matching intended parents with surrogates: appropriate legal fit, personality fit and surrogacy expectations, and expectations surrounding selective reduction and termination.
Baby Success Rates
Some intended parents who come to surrogacy aren’t starting their journey to parenthood, as they’ve been facing challenges growing their family on their own and are simply continuing their journey on a new path. Other intended parents come to surrogacy first. No matter how intended parents decide to pursue surrogacy to grow their family, how successful they will be in bringing home a baby is very important! Knowing your surrogacy agency’s success rates are valuable insights and can help manage expectations.
It’s perfectly okay to ask a surrogacy agency (or IVF clinic) what their success rates are!
Circle Surrogacy’s goal is to get as many intended parents as possible to the “finish line” – aka: delivery day of their baby! In order to do this, we have created exclusive Fixed Cost surrogacy programs that provide financial security and eliminate surprise costs throughout the journey. Circle also follows strict guidelines for surrogate and egg donor screening to ensure successful matches. But most importantly, Circle Surrogacy is invested in each and every journey working hard to achieve success.
Circle Surrogacy has a 99.3% success rate for parents bringing home a baby.
Over the past 500+ surrogacy journeys, Circle Surrogacy is proud to share the success rates for surrogacy journeys where intended parents brought home a baby:
- 95.4% success rate for journeys with at least one transfer
- 98.4% Success rate for those who had a baby from their first transfer, or completed at least two transfers
- 99.3% Success rate for those who had a baby from their first two transfers, or completed at least three transfers
It is not uncommon for intended parents to have to do more than one embryo transfer to achieve a viable pregnancy. For intended parents who are able to continue on their journey and complete 3 or more transfers, they will see success!
Finding a Successful Agency That’s Right For You
There are many factors to consider when researching surrogacy agencies and each surrogacy agency’s success. Ask lots of questions, make lists of what’s important to you. Ask to speak with parents through their program to help you get a better sense of the process and what to expect.
You can also use this Surrogacy Agency Checklist to help guide you through your research and agency interviews. Every agency is different, and you may not find an agency that meets all of your criteria. Think about what’s most important to you in your agency: Journey management? Fast match times? Costs? Legal expertise? This will help you narrow down your options.