How to Choose the Best Surrogacy Agency and Clinic?
If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you’ve decided that surrogacy is the right path for you. But choosing surrogacy isn’t an easy choice. We’re sure that you have carried out all the necessary research and discussed coming to this decision with your physician, friends, and family. Now, the next thing to do is to choose a reliable surrogacy agency and figure out which surrogacy clinic to partner with.
A simple Google search for ‘surrogacy agencies’ or ‘surrogacy professional’ will show you that there’s a huge variety of agencies and fertility clinics that you can use. Many hopeful families have chosen to work with us because of our experience in the field, friendly staff, devotion to employee and customer satisfaction as well as our extensive network of partnering surrogacy clinics.
This article will help you to choose the best surrogacy agency and clinic for your journey by providing some important criteria and questions.
- Expertise in the field
- Selection and screening of Surrogates
- Meeting arrangement of your potential match
- Transparency of the matching and screening processes
- Legal assistance and services
- Agency transparency
- Support for Intended Parents and Surrogates
- Doctors and Staff
- Questions that you need you to ask yourself
Choosing the surrogacy agency
A surrogacy agency takes care of the support and resources needed to make your surrogacy journey seamless. Clearly, choosing an agency that aligns with your parenthood goals, makes you feel prioritized, and is always ready to provide the best guidance in any situation is utterly important.
However the question is, how do you find out if a particular surrogacy agency fits your needs or not?
As a trusted information provider in the field, we’ve compiled the factors that impact the capabilities of an agency. The following questions and discussion will help you choose the best surrogacy agency to partner with.
Reputation of the agency
- How long has the agency been in business?
- What do their previous clients and employees say about them?
Learning about the reputation of the agencies you’re looking at is a good starting point.
- Does the agency look legitimate? What type of awards or accomplishments have they earned?
- Are they certified?
The last question is an important one. You should make sure that the agency you’re choosing to sign with follows the guidelines for surrogacy stipulated by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. With hundreds of surrogacy agencies available all around the country, filtering out the unpopular or unqualified ones will help narrow down your search.
A good way to gauge an agency’s reputation is by checking out their reviews on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites. This is not to say that you should judge an agency based on the number of their reviews, but the quality instead.
Go through each comment left by Intended Parents and Surrogates explaining their experience with the agency. Some social media websites also allow you to leave comments on reviews, so you can ask past clients any questions you may have.
Expertise in the field
As important as reputation is, an agency’s expertise is equally valuable. Ask:
- What does their screening process look like?
- Who works there?
- Do they work together with legal experts or fertility agencies?
- Who are the experts that determine the suitability of a gestational Surrogate?
It’s important to find out exactly what work the agency does, and where their expertise lies. Begin with their Surrogate screening process and requirements –
- What criteria do they consider when choosing their Surrogates?
- Do they allow them to have separate legal counsel, or do they have to use the company’s counsel?
- What costs are they willing to cover?
- What is their framework for contracts between Intended Parents and Surrogates?
These are all questions that’ll have different answers depending on which agency you apply to. It’s important to already have an idea of what kind of expertise you’d like the agency you’re signing with to have and then look for one accordingly.
A successful baby delivery and healthy Surrogate experience both depend on the way an agency treats the parties involved. For the agencies you’re considering, check their LinkedIn pages to know more about their past work and client profiles. See what other agencies employ.
For example, it’s a good idea to check what law firms and fertility clinics that surrogacy agency works with. If the other companies have a lot of experience and expertise, chances are the surrogacy agency will too!
Our agency is the only physician managed surrogacy agency in the nation that offers a full OB/GYN managed surrogacy journey to ensure the baby’s health. Steer clear of agencies that do not list the companies they work with. Surrogacy is no easy business to be part of, and you should make sure that you’re not dealing with inexperienced people.
- What are the agency fees you will have to pay?
- How comprehensive is the agency’s team?
- How many tasks do they outsource to be “comprehensive”?
- Are there any protections in place for both Intended Parents and Surrogates?
Instead of asking how much the surrogacy cost is, ask for the value of the services rendered by the agency. This is because a lot of planning and resources go into the surrogacy process, and it can sometimes be pricey.
For example, agencies carry out fertility tests for potential surrogates to find the best one for you. Try to find out what costs the agency will cover, so you can plan accordingly.
If you’re wondering about the Surrogate mother cost, don’t take on too much stress! A top surrogacy agency will walk you through all the expenses incurred during the process and let you know what they cover and what they don’t. Sometimes they’ll just provide you an overall cost but will happily tell you what their price breakup is.
When you’re comparing surrogacy fees and prices between agencies, don’t forget to balance it out with the brand’s reputation and expertise. Needless to say, the same goes for the surrogacy clinic.
You may also want to consider what additional services the agency will provide you with.
Some agencies, like ours, don’t ask for upfront payments. This means you won’t have to pay any fee to sign up with them; all fees are paid only after you have been matched to a Surrogate. If an agency is asking you to pay a fee beforehand, that’s usually a big red flag.
As the largest surrogacy agency in the country and having partner clinics nationwide, our Intended Parents also enjoy the benefit of no wait time. Our priority is getting your process started as soon as possible. On average, we take only a week to match our Intended Parents with a Surrogate. So, if you’re in a hurry, it’s a good idea to look for an agency with low wait times.
The average cost of surrogacy can also be quite high, and many unprofessional agencies will attempt to scam you out of more money than you need to pay. A professional agency would rather offer absolute pricing to ensure you never pay beyond what is necessary. These pricing strategies make the surrogacy process more affordable and bring the average cost of surrogacy down considerably.
Here are eight important questions you need to ask yourself before selecting the best surrogacy agency for you:
1. How does the agency choose and screen Surrogates?
One of the most interesting parts of a surrogacy program is choosing the person who will be carrying your pregnancy.
This important step indicates that you are proceeding fully in your journey to growing your family!
Ensure that your chosen surrogacy agency offers a lot of options and has a comprehensive candidate screening process.
Your agency should provide prospective surrogates with a strict medical evaluation, including physical and psychological screenings. Certain countries have stringent guidelines regarding who is eligible to be a Surrogate.
Remember, following thorough screenings, that include background checks, interviews, and additional medical and health evaluations, only a small percentage of the applicants are typically accepted into a program.
At Physician’s Surrogacy, potential Surrogates undergo extensive screening, and with a large candidate pool, you stand a better chance of finding a woman whose personality traits match what you are looking for.
Hence, it’s always good to ask what surrogate screening processes are carried out at your chosen agency.
2. Can they arrange candidate meetings?
Meeting your would-be surrogate for the first time can be nerve-wracking.
Ensure that your chosen surrogacy agency gives you the option to meet with several candidates.
Also, think about how much time you are going to need with a potential Surrogate to know if she’s the right one. Don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns or reservations you have with your surrogacy agency.
3. Are the matching and screening processes clear?
You need to be sure you know what you are getting yourself into before committing to an agency.
Ensure that the distinction between your role and that of the agency is very clear. If you are worried about how the matching process works, look at a sample Surrogate’s profile so you’ll have an idea of what to expect before being matched.
4. How well is their communication?
Communication is very important.
A right surrogacy agency is one that makes you and your family feel prioritized. Ensure that your chosen agency has a great reputation and a wealth of experience as well as staff that you are comfortable with. A good surrogacy agency will assign someone who will be in charge of your case.
5. What sort of legal services are provided?
The inconsistencies in surrogacy laws across the U.S. and overseas make professional legal counsel very important in order to ensure a successful journey. Having an organization experienced in such matters helps to avoid problems and easily navigate the legal minefield out there.
Professional surrogacy agencies must be able to refer you to seasoned attorneys who are familiar with the laws, depending on where you reside. Some agencies, such as Physician’s Surrogacy will provide legal counsel for both the Surrogate and Intended Parents.
6. Do I feel like the surrogacy agency is transparent?
You need to feel confident in the communication with the surrogacy agency right from the first interaction, be it via a phone call or on their website. Proceed with caution if an agency appears to be hiding information about costs or processes.
To make the surrogacy process as transparent as it can get, you should work with an agency that’s honest about the services they offer and how the surrogacy process works, from the application stage to delivery of the baby.
7. What kind of support is provided for Intended Parents and Surrogates?
A lot of people don’t know the value of good emotional support for both the Surrogate Mothers and Intended Parents. One of the benefits of an agency is their vast knowledge and support emotionally and psychologically throughout the process and after the baby is born.
You should choose an agency that welcomes you and is ready to answer any questions you might have.
8. Do they have doctors on staff?
Surrogacy is a medical process, which is why we believe that you should have full medical support during your pregnancy. While other agencies are managed by previous Surrogates or past Intended Parents, we are an OB managed agency.
Former Surrogates and past Intended Parents may understand the emotional aspects of surrogacy. However, they often lack the clinical background and business skills to manage the complexities of a pregnancy process.
Other important questions that you need you to ask yourself
- Do they have a proven track record of providing comprehensive agency services?
- Do they employ rigorous and evidence-based pre-screening protocols (in-house physician review of records, preliminary lab testing prior to referral to IVF center)?
- What is their success rate, and can you talk to past Surrogate Mothers of the agency?
- Based on the size of their program, how long will you have to wait for a potential match?
- Do their screening criteria meet or far exceed FDA standards?
- Are they following guidelines set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)?
- Are they accountable for all facets of the process?
- Does their program have physician management and oversight from selection to beyond delivery?
- Do they offer peer-to-peer physician communication: physician liaison to IVF clinic and OB providers?
The last question is crucial.
If your surrogacy agency has partnering fertility clinics near you and the surrogate’s residence, it will save both of you time and expenses while making the journey more convenient.
Physician’s Surrogacy works with highly-reputed clinics where the team will be ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the process as well as the concerning laws. This is one reason you need to select a clinic that suits you and your family.
However, in case your chosen surrogacy agency does not have such a facility, or you wish to find a surrogacy clinic on your own – be cautious!
Choosing the right fertility clinic is essential for a successful surrogacy journey as the surrogacy clinic is where the actual medical processes, such as, egg retrieval, embryo transfer, PGS/PGD take place.
Needless to say, there are a lot of options out there, which can make the whole surrogacy process seem overwhelming. Hence, knowing how to select a clinic that best fits the needs of your family can help make the entire process easier.
Here are some factors to help you choose the best surrogacy clinic for your journey
- Medical expertise
Location of Your Surrogacy Clinic
Location is one important factor to consider when it comes to selecting the right surrogacy clinic.
Should you look for a clinic near you or undergo an international surrogacy through an agency, such as Physician’s Surrogacy? Of course, both of these, have their advantages.
Some clinics offer a process that doesn’t need you to travel to their location. Looking for a clinic with this kind of flexibility can save you a bundle and a lot of time.
Plus, bear in mind that the location of your chosen clinic is safe to travel to if need be.
Knowing where the clinic’s main office is, can help eliminate the fear and stress of your appointments. With that said, the surrogacy agency and the clinic located in another state or country will also do their best to make you feel calm and relaxed.
Surrogacy laws differ from country to country, state to state, and in some cases, legal solicitation varies in different counties.
Every country has its own set of laws regarding surrogacy that can make the process easier or more difficult. For instance, some countries consider the Surrogate Mother as the legal guardian of the baby until some legal processes are complete. In many countries, non-citizens are not allowed to have a Surrogate Mother.
Even in the United States, Canada, and Australia, surrogacy laws vary by state/territory. Hence, if you are planning to go for gestational surrogacy, acquire good knowledge about surrogacy laws in your country as well as international surrogacy laws, if that is what suits you.
The differences in surrogacy laws all around the world can sometimes make it difficult for the baby to apply for citizenship and get a passport. It can also cause unnecessary hardships or stress not only for the Intended Parents but also for the Surrogate.
This is why it’s essential that even if you don’t live in one, your surrogacy clinic is located in a country or state where surrogacy is allowed and has favorable surrogacy laws.
Legality of Surrogacy for gay and single parents
Based on the needs and circumstances of your family, some surrogacy clinics will be more suitable than others.
couples), there may be a need to travel. Make sure the surrogacy laws in the country or state your clinic is located in suit your situation completely.
Single or unmarried Intended parents
Some states and countries don’t recognize common law marriage and require that hopeful parents be legally wedded. Hence, if you are unmarried or single, ensure that both your chosen surrogacy agency and clinic has handled situations like yours in the past.
The surrogacy laws local to a particular clinic will determine whether or not to allow same-sex couples for pursuing a surrogacy program there.
Some countries and states only require that the couple be married to qualify for surrogacy programs. Whereas, others require that hopeful parents be of the opposite sex.
Don’t be discouraged by these.
Physician’s Surrogacy is located in California where surrogacy laws are a lot more progressive than other states. We also have plenty of experience working with such cases and offers a hassle-free surrogacy journey for homosexual couples and single parents.
Regardless of the surrogacy clinic you decide to work with, there’s a high probability that the process is going to cost you a considerable amount of money. So, you need to be better prepared for the likely expenses.
You should consider the costs of transportation to and from your chosen surrogacy clinic. Ensure that the agency and the clinic are happy to accommodate you not having to visit frequently, and if possible, facilitate a process closer to your home should you not want to pay for travel expenses.
Also, find out how health coverage and insurance laws regarding surrogacy works within the country or state of your chosen clinic.
Knowing these things can help you prepare ahead and plan finances for the surrogacy process.
Chances are that you have undergone what seems like a lot of tests and treatments during your surrogacy journey already.
However, you may require a few more of that depending on the situation.
The surrogacy clinic you choose should be providing a relaxing, stress-free environment to visit while going through the remaining procedures.
Your chosen surrogacy agency also needs to have the necessary equipment to monitor the surrogate’s health all through the pregnancy.
The clinic also needs to have the necessary equipment to monitor the surrogate’s health all through the pregnancy.
What treatment options are available at the surrogacy clinic
Select a clinic that will assist you with each aspect of the surrogacy program. Choose a clinic that is well known for its medical advances and surrogacy programs. Be sure that the clinic you choose has vast experience with surrogacy processes, IVF, and cryobank technologies. There are many treatment options you need to know about.
In Vitro Fertilization
The backbone of all surrogacy programs is in vitro fertilization or IVF in short
Although the procedure has been around since the late 70s, it is important that your surrogacy clinic (whether you choose them on your own or through your agency) understands innovation within this reproductive procedure.
Medical science keeps changing every time, and your chosen surrogacy clinic needs to be aware of any advances in the technologies in use.
Basically, cryobank technologies give you the chance to store both your genetic material and your stem cells.
You have probably heard that collecting and storing the umbilical cord blood can be important for your baby’s health in the future. Moreover, cryopreservation options ensure that the unused eggs or embryos can be preserved on site without a delay, for using them later.
Surrogacy clinics and surrogacy agencies that have partner fertility clinics that offer genetic material storage can be very helpful in case several cycles of IVF are needed.
Why Choose Physician’s Surrogacy
1. Accelerated Timeline
With the largest surrogacy program in North America and extensive resources, our Intended Parents enjoy little to no wait time. Our all-inclusive service model allows us to reduce the average time of an Intended Parent’s journey by 200% or more.
2. Stringent Surrogate Screening and Selection
Our selection standards are much more stringent than the widely accepted FDA standards. Prior to our Intended Parents spending money on travel and medical screenings, we require a preliminary diagnostic screening to ensure physical readiness and commitment of the Surrogate.
The process also includes a medical records review by an OB physician, medical screening, psychological evaluation, and a background check. This eliminates drop-off rates and disappointment.
3. Physician Monitored Pregnancy
One of our experienced physicians will closely monitor the Surrogate and baby through reports and physician-to-physician interaction with their OB and IVF specialist. Detail reports will be sent to the parents who can communicate directly with our in-house physician.
4. Clear Legal Guidelines
All parties are represented by independent legal counsel, eliminating any conflicts of interest. The contract created will establish clear terms and guidelines for both the Surrogate and Intended Parents.
Our independent counsel will also assist in the establishment of parental rights puts your name on the birth certificate.
5. Dedicated Personal Support
We understand that needs may differ for each party, which is why we provide both parties with 4 distinct support teams, who work together to ensure a successful outcome for all parties involved. Intended Parents enjoy multilingual support from their dedicated case manager.
The Surrogate enjoys support from a dedicated team that is responsible for constant communication and dedicated support. Our clinical team works directly with the IVF clinical coordinators to ensure adherence to protocols. Also, our team of psychologists monitors Surrogates to ensure continued emotional stability and healthy lifestyle.
Also at Physician’s Surrogacy, we are transparent about surrogate mother costs and fees.
Considering the number of available options, selecting the “ideal” surrogacy agency is a matter of choosing the one that is best for you and your family. You would want to work with an agency that treats both the Intended Parents and Surrogate with respect and fairness. With our range of multilingual staff and absolute pricing, we guarantee an excellent surrogacy experience from finding a surrogate mother to good and reliable surrogate mother costs and fees.
If you’re interested in becoming a parent with Physician’s Surrogacy, please schedule a consultation so we can reach out to you and get you set up. If you have questions you can also chat with us to find out more about how to become a parent through surrogacy.Schedule A Consultation