Surrogacy Agency vs. Independent
- Find a Surrogate
- Find a Psychologist
- Find a Lawyer
- Set up an escrow account for payments
Agency vs Indy
You may be asking yourself should I go through a Surrogacy Agency or can I do this on my own? If you are very shy and can do not like to deal with confrontation then it might be better to go through an Agency. If you are a real go getter than Indy is a great option for you. But you don't have to be a "go getter" to do the Indy route. Lets take a look at each path.
A Surrogacy Agency will help you in almost every step of the surrogacy process. Of course it depends on the Agency, some are more involved than others. Some Agencies will take care of every detail, some will only help with the paperwork or contracts. Do your research on several Agencies before picking one. Typically Agencies will have a database of potential surrogates or IPs who have been "pre-screened" by the Agency. This does not mean any surrogate or IP in their database is right for you. You still need to talk with several and make sure you "click" with one. Surrogacy is a long and emotional process, it is extremely important to be able to feel 100% comfortable with your Surrogate or IP. A good Agency will stand by their clients until the end making sure all went well and helping resolve issues if any arise. Agencies usually have psychologists and lawyers or know where to find them. They also take care of payments for the surrogate. There is a fee associated with Agencies. Some fees are more than the Surrogate fees.
Going the Independent route is more of a hands on approach that can be a little scary. You don't know this stranger and yet you have to trust them to carry your most precious cargo... your baby (or babies). You have no control over what they do or what they eat. You must trust your surrogate completely or it will drive you crazy for the next 9 months. And for surrogates, you have to totally trust in your IPs. This comes with taking the time to get to KNOW each other. And both sides need to communicate and don't be afraid of asking questions!! You will have to find a Lawyer who has dealt with Surrogacy and knows the laws and how to file paperwork (pre birth order) so you will be on the birth certificate at birth and not have to adopt your own child. You could do your own contract, but I highly recommended having a good lawyer to handle all the paperwork. Even if you think you have thought of everything in the contract chances are pretty good you have left something out. If you think you can handle doing it yourself there are a few places on the web that have classified ads to help in the search for your IPs or Surrogate. Be aware, as with everything, there are scammers out there. Do NOT give any money PERIOD, before contracts are signed. A good surrogate will not expect any money before hand. This is not to say if she has to pay out of pocket for parking or such that you can't out of the goodness of your heart pay for it. Fees are much less going indy as well. Not the surrogate fees, but over all because you do not have to pay the Agency as a "middle man". So if you go Indy you will need to find a surrogate, find a lawyer, find a psychologist and set up an escrow account for payments to the surrogate. Most RE (reproductive endocrinologist) will have a list of psychologists and lawyers for you to check out. It may sound intimidating, but going Independent can be a much more personal experience and is really quite simple. I went indy and never had a bit of trouble, but its not for everyone.