What Is Independent or Private Surrogacy? Pros and Cons of Independent Surrogacy

What is Independent Surrogacy What Are the Pros & Cons

What is independent surrogacy?

Independent surrogacy, also referred to as private surrogacy, is a surrogacy agreement completed without the help of an agency. In this case, both the Intended Parents and Surrogate Mother only work with a surrogacy attorney and a fertility clinic.

Since surrogacy can be a long and complex process, most hopeful parents turn to an agency to help them manage the process since agencies offer the necessary surrogacy services and support. But there are also people who opt for private surrogacy, where there is little guidance and the Intended Parents have to coordinate most of the surrogacy process themselves.

Although medical and legal experts are all that is needed to complete the technical aspects of surrogacy, most independent surrogacy arrangements often ignore the importance of having 3rd-party support during the process. And only a surrogacy agency can provide such services.

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Most of the surrogacy agreements are through agency though…

Most Intended Parents and Surrogate Mothers prefer to work with a full-service surrogacy agency. These experts offer all the services needed to complete the process, including advertising, screening, matching, counseling, surrogacy planning, and case management. They also help coordinate all the necessary medical and legal processes.

In this type of surrogacy, the hopeful parents would need to outsource these important services to the right professionals themselves.

Who goes for independent surrogacy?

Since it’s usually difficult to find a Surrogate without using an agency’s help, many hopeful parents who pursue independent surrogacy already know who will be their Surrogate Mother and hence are doing an identified surrogacy. In cases like these, the parents and Surrogates can work directly with a lawyer to complete the surrogacy process.

First-time Intended Parents and Surrogates should not go for it

Everybody has the right to decide the kind of surrogacy arrangement they want to be in, whether that involves a surrogacy agency or not.

However, surrogacy without an agency is not advised if you are a first-time Surrogate or Intended Parents. The surrogacy process has many complex parts that, if not correctly or well handled, can significantly impact the outcome of the whole surrogacy journey by resulting in medical or legal complications that can set back or even completely stop the surrogacy process.

Hence, independent surrogacy may not be the ideal option for you if you are undergoing the surrogacy process for the first time.

Why do people choose independent surrogacy?

With that being said, there are many past-surrogates who would like to be a Surrogate again, but this time, without using a surrogacy agency.

Since they have already completed the surrogacy process once with an agency, they know it well and often like the idea of going on another surrogacy journey without continuous guidance and monitoring of an agency. These women can also help Intended Parents lower the overall surrogacy cost by becoming a Surrogate without a surrogacy expert.

Hopeful parents may decide to pursue independent surrogacy because it is usually the cheaper option or because they have already met with someone who will be their Surrogate without a surrogacy agency’s assistance. It can also be that a trusted family member or friend is willing to help them carry their baby, eliminating the need for matching services offered by surrogacy agencies.

If you’re thinking of embarking on surrogacy without an agency, whether as an Intended Parent or as a Surrogate, you need to consider the pros and cons to know if this is the ideal way to meet your surrogacy goals and expectations.

Independent surrogacy vs. agency surrogacy

When hopeful parents choose to grow their families using independent surrogacy, they miss out on three important services rendered by surrogacy agencies. These include matching and screening, counseling, and case management. In private surrogacy, Intended Parents will need to handle these services themselves or overlook them completely.

A good understanding of surrogacy agencies’ services is needed in order to know the difference between independent and agency surrogacy:

When hopeful parents choose to grow their families using independent surrogacy, they miss out on three important services rendered by surrogacy agencies. These include matching and screening, counseling, and case management. In private surrogacy, Intended Parents will need to handle these services themselves or overlook them completely.

A good understanding of surrogacy agencies’ services is needed in order to know the difference between independent and agency surrogacy:

Matching and screening services:

Typically, surrogacy agencies have a wide network of Potential Surrogates that they can easily match with Intended Parents based on the plans, expectations, and preferences of both parties. Intended Parents and Surrogates who decide to work with a surrogacy agency usually undergo a strict screening process.

These services are very important for hopeful parents who are looking for a Surrogate or working with an unknown Surrogate. A lot of parents who opt for surrogacy without an agency are also completing identified surrogacy, which means that they already have a Surrogate (and possibly know her personally – a close friend or relative).

It is very hard to find and screen a Surrogate when you are not working an agency, so independent surrogacy is not advised if you don’t have a Surrogate yet.

Surrogacy planning, coordination, and case management:

Intended parents also benefit from surrogacy planning and case management services when they work with an agency. The surrogacy experts will personally handle each parent’s case and manage the whole surrogacy process. They will also help the intended family look for the right medical and legal professionals and provide the guidance and education needed to navigate every step of the process.

Counseling and support

Surrogacy is not only an emotional and social process; it is also a medical and legal one.

Often, individuals and couples pursuing surrogacy ignore the importance of having emotional guidance and support during the process. These support and counseling services can be extremely important for Surrogates and Intended Parents, as they maintain their relationship while undergoing the emotionally-draining surrogacy process. Such services usually include contact mediation and facilitation.

For Intended Parents who are not working with a known Surrogate, agency services can allow both parties to know each other personally. They can also be helpful in identified surrogacy since it will be easier for a 3rd-party expert to pass information about surrogacy expenses and contract disputes to prevent arguments between family members or friends.

A surrogacy agency also eases finding a legal professional and a surrogacy clinic as they already have multiple surrogacy partners working with them. Hence, having a good surrogacy agency greatly helps to draft the surrogacy contract and partner with a nearby, reputed fertility center.

Although hopeful parents can also get these services through an independent counselor, it may be hard to find a social worker experienced in surrogacy matters that does not work with a surrogacy agency.

However, you can still pursue independent surrogacy if you fully understand the surrogacy process and are sure you can pull it off without a surrogacy expert’s assistance.

The pros of an independent surrogacy

1. Reduced surrogacy cost

The lower surrogacy cost is probably the most prevalent reason why people decide to pursue an independent surrogacy. Intended Parents need to pay agency fees when working with a surrogacy professional, which can be up to tens of thousands of dollars. Hence, Intended Parents and Surrogates may decide to embark on a surrogacy without an agency to reduce cost.

However, while agencies may charge a lot of money for their services, they render unparalleled management and coordination services for Intended Parents and Surrogates.

2. Intended Parents have more control

A surrogacy without an agency also gives the parties involved more responsibility and control over the process. An independent surrogacy offers people who like to be in charge of all aspects of surrogacy all the control they desire, especially if this is why they decided not to use a surrogacy agency. So, if you are someone who likes to be in control, you will find this an important advantage of independent surrogacy.

But while some consider this an advantage and others might see it as an added hassle.

The cons of an independent surrogacy

Generally, an independent surrogacy requires more coordination from Surrogates and Intended Parents, which can make an already-stressful process even more stressful.

1. It might be a scam

First of all, when you opt for surrogacy without an agency, it will be your responsibility to find a Surrogate Mother that doesn’t work with an agency (or Intended Parents who are not working with an agency). This may be a challenging process, especially with the possibility of being misrepresented or scammed.

2. The surrogate may not be screened thoroughly

A lot of Intended Parents are successful in their search for a Surrogate without an agency, but there is every possibility that the woman won’t be medically or psychologically “okay” to carry a baby for another person.

Aside from seeing you through every step of the process, an experienced surrogacy agency will also handle every little thing that may be important for a successful surrogacy journey, such as the screening process. Without the medical and mental screening services that agencies offer, hopeful may waste their money and time in a match that eventually fails.

In independent surrogacy, you will be the one to ensure your Surrogate or Intended Parent is ready for the journey and that the surrogacy experts you select up to standard and can offer the services needed. This may be too big a risk to take for some Intended Parents and Surrogates.

Also, you will have to handle all the services typically offered by professionals, including coordination between legal and medical experts, emotional support and counseling, as well as other services needed to complete a surrogacy journey successfully.

Moreover, you will need to look for all these specialists yourself, and the costs of hiring these experts separately may add up and might even be more than what agencies usually charge for providing the same services.

4. Emotional support

Intended Parents and Surrogates also miss out on external emotional support when working without a surrogacy agency, especially if they are unfamiliar with how surrogacy works.

Agency or independent surrogacy: what is best for you?

In the end, you are the only person who can decide whether or not independent surrogacy is right for you. Even if you have already completed the surrogacy process, it will be good to contact a reputable, experienced surrogacy agency to know more about the services they provide, how they can help actualize your surrogacy goals, and if you will be able to complete the process independently.

Whether or not you have already met a Potential Surrogate or an Intended Parent yourself, you may discover that the agencies’ services may be beneficial for you in this rewarding, life-altering journey.

Before making any decisions, it is advised that you carry out as much research as possible on this topic to know what is best for you and your family.

We have helped countless Intended Parents realize their dreams and are right by your side to offer all necessary support and resources. To see how surrogacy can be your family-building solution, simply schedule a complimentary consultation.

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