One of the first and most important decisions you will have
make when you begin the surrogacy process is whether you want to work
an agency or pursue an independent arrangement. This is an individual
and may be based on numerous factors, the most common being finances.
couples simply cannot afford or do not want to pay for the added
of the agency's fees. Likewise, most surrogates who choose to go
do so because they feel that it is another way for them to help their
by saving them money. If you have decided to pursue an independent
you could probably list several reasons for your choice.
However, the purpose of this article is not to compare
arrangements vs. independent arrangements. It is simply to offer a few
suggestions and words of wisdom to those of you who have chosen to go
independent. Many couples and surrogates have successfully arranged
their own surrogacies
without the assistance of an agency. It CAN be done!!! However, if you
choose this path, you should be aware of the potential pitfalls and be
to work a little harder in order to avoid them.
Don't Rush In - Find The Right Match For You
When a person decides to pursue surrogacy, it is perfectly
for them to be excited and to want to get started right away. Before
jump right in and begin the process, however, you must find the right
or couple to work with. Choosing who you will work with will be the
most important decision you make throughout the process. In an
arrangement, it may be even tougher. Someone is not going to come in
say, "Here are all the surrogates/couples who fit your criteria. Which
do you want?". There is alot more involved when you are pursuing an
arrangement. You have to be willing to do the legwork yourself and it
going to take some time. Be patient! Don't rush into an
with someone who you are not compatible with or you can't trust. Sadly,
it is hard to know who you can trust these days, so Please be
cautious! Check references and take it slow. Make sure that you are
on the major issues pertaining to surrogacy. Some important factors you
discuss with your prospect are ...
If you agree on the issues above and any other issues that are
to you, then take the next step and move on to the psychological
evaluation. If all goes well, proceed to the medical examination. If
the medical examination
goes well and you feel you are compatible with and can trust your
you have probably found your "perfect match"!!!
- Reasons for pursuing surrogacy
- Desired timeframe for starting/completing the surrogacy
- Family's feelings about surrogacy
- Type of surrogacy (AI or gestational)
- Feelings about abortion
- Feelings about selective reduction
- Feelings about multiple births
- Number of cycles you would be willing to attempt
- Surrogate's fees and expenses
- Insurance (medical and life)
- Amount of contact desired
Set High Standards
One of the most important things you can do in your effort
a successful surrogacy arrangement is to set your standards high! When
are using an agency, you know that everyone involved has met the
and psychological standards that the agency sets out. Just because you
pursuing an independent arrangement doesn't mean you should lower these
standards. Any surrogacy, whether arranged by an agency or
independently, should involve legal, medical and psychological
to help guide all parties through the process. If you settle for less,
suffers and the potential for disaster grows.
A psychologist or counsellor, preferably with experience in surrogacy
arrangements, should meet with everyone involved before the contract is
to insure that they are all prepared for and can deal with the stresses
may arise in a surrogacy relationship. This is a vital step in
the intended parents as well as the surrogate and her partner.
it will assure everyone that a good match has been made.
If a disagreement should arise at some time during the
process and it becomes necessary to involve a neutral third party as a
your counsellor may serve as such. In addition, a counsellor should be
to the surrogate throughout the pregnancy as well as after the delivery
she need someone to talk to.
Both of the intended parents and the surrogate and her partner should
disease testing (including HIV) before signing the contract and
before beginning the medical procedures. The surrogate should also be
by a medical professional who can verify her ability to become pregnant
and carry the child to term.
Both parties should be represented by legal counsel who can
the details of the contract to them and help them address any concerns
may have pertaining to the contract. A third party, perhaps one of the
legal counsellors, should handle the escrow account containing the
fees and dispense them as appropriate according to the guidelines
upon in the contract. This allows the couple and their surrogate to
on the personal, medical and emotional aspects of their relationship
than concern themselves with money issues.
Regardless of whether you choose to use an agency or
an independent arrangement, surrogacy is an extremely complex process.
relationship is intense and can be stressful at times. At times, the
process may seem a bit overwhelming and without end. Don't
is a light at the end of the tunnel! With patience, preserverence, and
a helping hand when you need one, surrogacy really can work! Best of
all of you in your search for the "perfect match" and a successful