5 Things to Look for in a Surrogacy Agency

The surrogacy agency you choose to help build or grow your family through intention is just as important as the surrogate you’re matched with. An agency can be a valuable resource on the journey to becoming a parent.

 

But even before you begin the process, first decide what type of surrogacy you prefer. If you have already chosen a potential surrogate through your network of family and friends, you could simply hire an attorney to draft a surrogacy contract and help you through the process. However, if you are pursuing gestational surrogacy – the more popular and effective method – an agency is your best choice to provide services that cater to your needs.

 

Ask yourself these five questions before choosing the best agency for you:

 

  1. How does the agency choose surrogates?

Most agencies work with a large number of surrogates and intended parents in surrogacy-friendly states across the country. Surrogates are extensively screened, and large pools of candidates provide a better chance of finding a woman who matches certain personality traits you are seeking. At Growing Generations, we only accept 1% of applicants following extensive screenings that include interviews, background checks and additional health and medical evaluations. This ensures that we offer a dedicated pool of surrogates for potential matches.

 

  1. What kind of legal services are provided?

Due to inconsistent surrogacy laws across the United States and abroad, having professional legal counsel is a key component to a successful surrogacy journey. Professional agencies should be able to connect you with experienced attorneys familiar with the laws based on your place of residence. Growing Generations works with the International Reproductive Law Group, and we’re proud to say all of our clients have successfully received their parental rights through pre-birth judgments, post-birth judgments and other forms of parental orders.

 

  1. Do I feel like the agency is transparent?

From your first interaction with an agency, whether that be on their website or via a phone call, you should feel confident in the communication. If an agency seems to be withholding information from you about their processes or costs, use caution in proceeding. To make the process as transparent as possible, you will want an agency that is upfront about their services and how the process works from application to the delivery of your baby boy or girl. At Growing Generations, the first step of our program is a 60-minute consultation, available in a variety of languages to help you know what to expect moving forward.

 

  1. Are the screening and matching processes clear?

Before you commit to an agency, know what you’re getting into. Be sure there is a clear distinction between your roles and the agency’s roles. If you’re concerned about how the matching process works, take a look at sample profiles from surrogates to see how much information you will receive prior to being matched. At Growing Generations, our full-service surrogacy and egg donation agency provides a personal case specialist for all surrogates and intended parents. These specialists guide you through the steps and connect you with necessary medical and legal help.

 

  1. What kind of support is provided for surrogates and intended parents?

Many people do not realize the importance of increased emotional support for surrogates and intended parents. A benefit of agencies is their wealth of knowledge and support for the psychological side of surrogacy throughout the process and beyond delivery. The agency you choose should welcome any and all questions you may have. Growing Generations provides a friendly team of professionals and a free online resource center with articles on everything from international surrogacy laws to tips for meeting your surrogate for the first time.

 

If you’re interested in becoming a parent with the help of Growing Generations, check out our full program overview.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.