Some couples encounter significant hurdles when deciding to start a family. While many people can go the traditional route of a woman allowing herself to become pregnant and give birth nine months later, this isn’t always an easy path for others. Some women have medical conditions that make pregnancy risk or even impossible, and surrogacy is a popular alternative in these cases.
Surrogacy is when another woman that has previously been medically evaluated agrees to become pregnant for a couple that wishes to start a family. Once the pregnancy has run its course and the birth occurs, the newborn is then united with the hopeful couple so their new life as a family can begin. However, surrogacy is a complex, drawn-out alternative that requires a lot of coordination and, most importantly, trust. It’s also something that can’t be done alone, so the more people onboard to help, the better the chances of success.
A surrogacy agency can often be a crucial lynchpin in all of this, but finding the right agency can be a challenge. Here’s what couples should consider and look for when searching for a trustworthy yet affordable agency.
The Trust Factor
First and foremost, working with a surrogacy agency can be essential to a successful surrogacy experience, but only if you are working with the right agency. A good surrogacy agency that will provide a good experience that satisfies everyone has two primary roles. They are looking out for the protection of the interests of the hopeful couple, but they hold an equal interest and priority in protecting the surrogate mother, as both her physical and psychological well-being are important to her as a person, as well as the safe development of the baby. An agency that does not respect these two factors can often lead to an imbalance that may eventually create problems for everyone involved. Both the couple and the surrogate mother must be respected and protected.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re making a good choice here is to be diligent about research. It’s easy to go to a search engine like Google and compile a list, but that list must then be whittled down with a closer look at the candidate agencies. Of particular importance is the past track record. An agency that has satisfied clients over the years—or even decades—will have the history and testimony of past clients to back up its claims.
In some cases, you may even encounter surrogate mothers who have worked with an agency before and are collaborating with them again. This is always a good sign as an experienced surrogate mother increases the odds for success, and her willingness to work with the same team means she believes in their ability to do a good job supporting her throughout the surrogacy journey.
Know Your Needs
Another important factor in finding the right surrogacy agency is clarity about your surrogacy needs and finding potential agencies—or even clinics—compatible with this. For example, some couples will prefer an “altruistic surrogacy,” where the surrogate mother agrees to take on her role voluntarily, with no expectation of financial compensation. There is a clear divide between agencies providing candidates for this type of surrogacy versus “compensated surrogacies,” which provide significant financial recognition for the surrogate mother.
The couple may also need to look at the specific type of surrogacy they want to have, which will determine which agency is better to work with. Couples that want a traditional gestational surrogacy where the surrogate mother’s egg is used for fertilization have many agency options to go with. However, if the desire is to have an in vitro fertilization or IVF surrogacy, this is a much more involved and elaborate process. A surrogacy agency that acts as a clinic may be a better choice in this instance since collaborating with experienced medical teams is necessary at some point to ensure successful implantation.
The final factor beyond trust is cost-effectiveness or affordability. One of the most efficient ways to solve this issue is to consider taking surrogacy abroad, to another country entirely. Couples in the United States face extremely costly expenses associated with medical facilities and staff in the US. Meanwhile, those in the United Kingdom may not have access to compensate surrogacy options if that’s their wish.
However, an even bigger factor is often differences in currency. Countries like Georgia, for example, rely on their own money outside the US dollar, British Pound, or even Euro. These currency differences can mean even greater savings, but because the surrogacy agencies and clinics in a country like Georgia still offer world-class levels of service and medical expertise, couples don’t compromise on treatment quality, even making some savings.
For this and other reasons, a trustworthy, affordable surrogacy agency may sometimes be found outside your country of residence if you’re willing to expand your search parameters.