Different countries have varying rules and regulations with regards to the surrogacy process, the couple, as well as the surrogate mother. In most countries, the surrogate mother needs to be healthy, should not have any medical complications, and should not have a history of more than one miscarriage. The potential surrogate mother often undergoes a thorough medical checkup before she is impregnated.Finding the right surrogate is a very crucial step for the intended parents of the baby. It is one of the biggest decisions that they could make in the entire process of surrogacy. After all, this woman will be carrying the couple’s child, and her needs will definitely take priority over the couple’s own needs. She will be carrying their child for nine months. The couple will be placing a lot of trust in her to carry their hopes and dreams and deliver the baby successfully to them.
Finding a Surrogate
How exactly does one find a surrogate mother, then? How does the process work? Some people prefer finding a surrogate mother through their personal connections; a friend or a relative who is ready and willing to carry the baby for them. Others rely on agencies to find them a surrogate mother, according to all the requirements that the intended parents have. The agency acts as a middle man; they match the requirements of the intended parents and find a suitable surrogate mother for their child, while charging a commission. Whether the surrogate mother is found through personal connections or through an agency, it is of utmost importance that there is a comprehensive legal contract between them that specifies the responsibilities of both the parties and their expectations from each other in multiple scenarios. These scenarios could be if the surrogate mother has any medical complications or if she goes on a bed rest, etc.
How exactly does an agency work then? Typically, an agency has its own screening requirements, including an in-home assessment to check if the couple is meeting their criteria for surrogacy. Once the initial assessment is done, the agency works on building the couple’s surrogacy plan. A professional guides the couple through the surrogacy planning process. The couple is first asked about their preferences and what exactly they are looking for. The next step is to find suitable candidates for surrogacy based on the client’s budget, their desire for how intimate they want to be, the surrogate mother’s experience, and the amount of involvement that the couple wants throughout the process. An intended parent profile is then completed, which further explains the couple’s goals and expectations. All of this information is further matched with the profiles of the surrogate mothers and then potential suitable matches are found.
Once this happens, the couple then selects the match that they deem the most suitable. If the surrogate reciprocates the interest in the couple too, they meet and discuss the surrogacy in more detail, after which a contract is officially signed. A lot of websites help couples find the perfect match, differing from country to country. Having an agency find a surrogate mother is an expensive process, where the charges varying from place to place. This is due to the fact that there are charges for the doctor, lawyer, the surrogate mother herself, and the commission of the agency. Finding a surrogate mother through personal contacts can significantly reduce the cost.
Benefits of Choosing a Surrogacy Agency
The biggest advantage of allowing an agency to select a surrogate mother for a couple is that agencies are experienced. They have been doing this for years and so they know how to guide the couple through the entire process and let them know what they should be expecting. They maintain extensive databases and can perfectly match opportunities based on the surrogacy goals and criteria set by the couple. In addition to that, agencies also have a lot of other services to offer, including parental education, surrogacy guidance, medical assistance, the necessary support for surrogate mothers, couple counseling, etc.
Disadvantages of a Surrogacy Agency
There can be some drawbacks when working with a surrogacy agency. The agency can become way too expensive for some people to afford. There is also a long waiting and processing time involved with such agencies. The process of finding potential matches is so detailed and tedious that it can take a lot of time till the couple actually finds the right match. Apart from that, not all agencies can be trusted. Couples should do thorough research and find out which agencies are the best ones and then make their decision.
Other Options for Surrogacy
Finding a good match through personal connections is a good alternative to hiring an agency. A few methods that could be used here involve going through one’s own social network, surrogate finder websites, attorney referrals, and ‘surrogate wanted’ print advertisements. In this case, the cost is significantly low. The entire process is more personal and hands-on because the contact happens without the presence of a professional. The only professionals needed in this scenario would be legal and medical experts.
Whether one chooses to find a perfect surrogate match independently or with an agency, the task can be quite challenging. It is a tough decision that the couple has to make because the surrogate mother will be carrying their baby for up to nine months. So the couple should take their own time, think about what they would want to do, and then take the final step.