4 Reasons Why You Should Use An Agency for Surrogacy
Whether you’re a surrogate or an intended parent, surrogacy can be a big financial commitment. Some people resort to independent surrogacy, which is a surrogacy arrangement without agency assistance, because of its perceived lower cost and effort. But independent surrogacy comes with its own unique set of challenges and risks.
In this post, we’ll review the various reasons why you should choose to work with an agency, and why independent surrogacy can make the surrogacy process much more challenging.
1. Agencies filter for high-quality surrogates
Before a gestational carrier is chosen, she must first undergo a series of screenings. First, surrogates must have certain qualifications before being accepted by an agency. Some are biological, such as age, while others are lifestyle decisions, such as a refusal to smoke. Here is the full list of required qualifications for a ConceiveAbilities surrogate:
- Age between 21-39 years old
- BMI between 18-34
- Not currently on government financial support
- Must have given birth to and be raising at least one child
- Must provide OB/GYN records and a clearance letter
- Uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries as documented by prenatal and delivery records
- Non-smoker living in a non-smoking home
- No history of criminal activity
- No history of clinical mental illness
- Surrogate (and partner, if applicable) must agree to psychological testing
- Must agree to a home visit with all persons and pets currently residing in the home
- Stable, responsible lifestyle
- Financially sound
The end result is a surrogate who is highly qualified – which, in turn, means she has a better chance of a successful delivery compared to a relative or friend.
2. Agencies provide legal assistance
Surrogacy can be a legal labyrinth. In fact, the legal status of surrogacy remains contentious in different countries and in different states. With an independent surrogacy, the legal confusion can be even worse, because many independent surrogates won’t even have a contract. Just last year, Australian couples saw their surrogate-born children stuck in legal limbo just days after Thailand had shuttered its doors to commercial surrogacy.
Without a lawyer to properly assist you through the contracts and obtain parentage documents you run the risk of fighting for parentage of your child in court. Agencies walk you through all the contracts so you understand the protections afforded to you, and the limitations of the arrangement. ConceiveAbilities offers a wide range of legal services to provide the best and strongest legal protections for both surrogates and intended parents.
3. Agencies are experts at matching surrogates and intended parents
It’s not enough to simply pair an intended parent with just any gestational carrier. There’s so much that goes into making the first match the right match that ConceiveAbilities has developed its own proprietary technology, aptly called Matching MattersTM. ConceiveAbilities’ unique approach to matching is so successful that it can cut the typical 18-24 month engagement down to 13-18 months.
4. Agencies provide ongoing support and counseling
Surrogacy is an emotional journey regardless of whether you’re a parent or a surrogate. If you’re a parent, it can be difficult letting go of control and trusting someone else to carry your child. If you’re a surrogate, you may experience the various struggles that are involved in most pregnancies, such as mood swings, reactions to certain medication, and more. With an agency, you can rest assured that you’ll have a team of mental health and reproductive professionals guiding and supporting you each step of the way.
We understand that independent surrogacy may seem appealing, but when you take a look at the purpose and benefits that an agency provides, you’ll find that agencies are the best way to proceed. To find out more about the risks of independent surrogacy, check out our post, Why You Shouldn’t Find a Surrogate on Your Own. For a primer on what you should look for in choosing a surrogacy, read our post, How to Choose the Best Surrogacy Agency.
As always, to read about the latest developments in the surrogacy industry, or some helpful guides to get you on your own surrogacy journey, follow the official ConceiveAbilities blog today.