Why Social Apps Aren’t Great For Finding Surrogates & Donors

Technology has changed the way we all live. You can shop for homes, book travel, order dinner, and pay your bills all without even leaving your couch. And, of course, there are the dating sites. They make it very easy to browse people swiftly by allowing you to, “swipe right” when someone catches your eye. The swiping phenomenon has caught on even beyond the dating world, and recently has found its way into assisted reproduction. It’s a fun concept, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to find your future egg donor or surrogate.

 

These apps work by allowing a variety of users to sign up for a free account and then create profiles about themselves, not unlike dating apps. These profiles allow hopeful parents, egg donors, sperm donors, and surrogates to browse each other on a surface level quite easily. Then, if you’re interested, you reach out and open a line of communication.

 

We completely understand why apps and programs like this would appeal to intended parents. It’s quick and easy to sign up, they’re typically free, and, in a matter of hours, you can go from considering egg donation or surrogacy to staring at hundreds of faces of hopeful women all vying to help you create your family. This approach is fast, simple, non-intrusive, and offers pretty immediate positive reinforcement.

 

However, the very ease of access that makes these apps appealing is the very reason we don’t advocate using them. When you retain the services with a respected agency, you gain access to a pool of top-notch, partially screened, prestigious women. Every single one of our approved surrogates and egg donors have to go through a strenuous application and significant screening. This safeguards everyone involved. With this method, we greatly decrease the chances of finding a donor or surrogate that seems perfect at first glance, but is ultimately unfit for the job.

 

Additionally, when using an agency, the profiles of surrogates and donors that you’ll be presented with are not just “window shopping.” They’ve talked with us extensively. We’ve looked into their medical history, their financial and criminal backgrounds, and their motives for wanting to do this. We’ve ensured that everything about them lines up to make them ideal for your journey. We know that they’re serious about helping, and they’re ready to go. When you find your match through an agency, there is less wasted time, even if it takes a bit longer to get started.

 

Working with an agency is like hiring a bodyguard to safeguard your interests, both emotional and financial. When you work with an agency, you are represented by professionals who have seen it all, done it all, and helped to create thousands of families already. You benefit from their experience and commitment to comply with ethical standards established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

 

Becoming a surrogate or an egg donor is a big decision. Women who are serious about this choice are likely to seek out the help of professionals. Pairing with these women to create or grow your family is an equally big decision for you. These life-changing choices deserve a team of dedicated professionals to help ensure that things go smoothly. It’s worth the time and administrative overhead to do it right. When you’re ready to take that first step, we’re here and ready to help.

 

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last 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 of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, 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 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 created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.