Why Choose An Agency for Surrogacy
Perhaps the first choice a potential surrogate will make is to either work with an agency for her journey, or to try and navigate it on her own. The latter is an option referred to as having an “independent” journey. While successful journeys can happen without the assistance of an agency, there are many reasons that working with an agency can provide a better experience overall.
One of the main pros for working with a well-respected and established agency includes the availability of resources. Here is a sampling of the resources available to you through most respected agencies.
Reputable agencies will provide surrogates with psychological counseling at all stages of the journey. This support network of professionals ensures that you fully understand your role and have emotional support through each phase of the experience. They can also provide you with coping tools and support if you experience unexpected reactions to your decision.
Experienced Legal Representation
Due to the vast variations of surrogacy law from state to state, it is incredibly important to work with a legal team that specializes in reproductive law specifically. Major agencies manage hundreds of surrogacy cases per year, and work exclusively with respected lawyers who have successfully navigated these cases. This ensures that your interests are represented by a legal team with vast specialized knowledge.
Additionally, attorneys who specialize in reproductive law will also have a heightened sense of awareness surrounding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). This act forbids an employer from treating a pregnant employee any differently than they would treat an employee with any other form of short term medical issue. While most employers are supportive of surrogacy, it is important to have a legal team who knows your rights working for you. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.”
Financial regulation is also important. When working with a reputable agency, someone who is not intimately associated with the pregnancy will manage the financial aspect of your journey. This team, many of whom have education in the areas of accounting and fiscal matters, will create a trust account that is funded by your Intended Parents. This financial team will then pay covered expenses for you. This means that you do not have to discuss fiscal matters with your intended parents, or worry about prompt, on time payment. As the accounts are often funded before any cost is incurred, there is also not a fear of inadequate funding.
Many agencies, Growing Generations included, provide surrogates with an on call nurse to help navigate the IVF and early pregnancy experience. As many surrogates have never experienced IVF or the multiple medications that come along with it, an on call nurse who you are familiar with can offer a direct line to answers, support, and peace of mind.
Working with an agency often entitles you to a personal specialist who will follow your entire journey. At Growing Generations we call this person a Case Specialist. This person can offer advice, insight, and a consistent source of mediation between your intended parents and yourself. These are people who know surrogacy inside and out. There is nothing you can ask them that they haven’t been asked before. This resource takes the guesswork out of what is likely a very foreign subject to you.
Apart from availability of resources, well respected agencies will also have a long running record that can offer you peace. Knowing that you’re working with experts in the field who have years of experience means that you’re not in this alone. With experts guiding your every step, all you need to do is enjoy your experience.