Conferences aren’t always the most exciting events to attend, especially on a weekend that you could be relaxing or going off on another adventure; however, they can be absolutely invaluable for forming connections, growing a deeper understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding surrogacy, and for future planning. Not only can Surrogates, Egg Donors, and Intended Parents alike find agencies to work with that are best suited to their particular location or vibe, but individuals can also create lasting connections with other Surrogates, Donors, and Intended Parents, which can play a pivotal role when it comes to finding support through their journeys.
Connecting With An Agency
When it comes to choosing the right agency to work with, regardless of whether you are an Egg Donor, a Surrogate, or Intended Parents, it’s important to ensure that they work with your geographical location, that they have the experience you’re looking for for your particular situation, that their views align with yours, and that overall you are as compatible with them as any Intended Parent and Surrogate should be.
This can be a daunting task when searching online for agencies with so many different options popping up; how do you really know which is best for you? By attending a surrogacy conference, you’re able to meet with different agencies in-person (or connect with agencies via virtual one-on-one sessions) and get a better feel for what it would be like to work with them.
Another benefit of meeting with agencies at conferences is receiving candid answers to many of your questions up front, rather than sorting through a generic FAQ page. Assurances are also important, and gauging an agency’s confidence in its ability to guide you through your journey is much easier when speaking with an employee face-to-face.
Forming a Support Network
Conferences are all about connections and networking, but it goes beyond business connections for Surrogates, Intended Parents, and Egg Donors; surrogacy can be a strenuous journey, particularly for individuals or couples who are already mentally and emotionally burnt out after trying to become pregnant for years without success. Connecting with other individuals on the same path can lead to strong, lasting bonds that provide the support you need along your journey.
It’s incredibly important for Surrogates to create a support network as well; while many women who choose to become a Surrogate likely have a support network of other women who have given birth, those women may not be Surrogates and therefore may not fully understand the emotions a Surrogate goes through while growing another individual or couple’s child. Agencies are very careful to vet Surrogates thoroughly so that they do not become emotionally attached to the child they are carrying, understanding they will be giving the child up after delivery, along with ensuring that Surrogates have professional support every step of the way, but that deeper connection with another woman who has gone through the process provides a very different and necessary type of support.
Finding Your Potential Match
For Intended Parents, conferences could provide the perfect environment to actually meet their future Surrogate and/or Egg Donor! Meeting a number of different individuals looking to fill the role of Surrogate or Egg Donor in-person allows Intended Parents to get a much more candid feel for the individual that they choose to help them grow their family, and may open them up to individuals they may have passed on on paper.
Of course, it is important to ensure that all parties are compatible matches through thorough vetting with an agency, even if each party feels they’ve met the perfect match.
Getting All of Your Surrogacy Questions Answered
There is A LOT of information on the internet surrounding surrogacy, and regardless of which role you are looking to fill (Surrogate, Intended Parent, Egg Donor), it can be as difficult, if not more so, to sort through all of the information out there to answer your questions as it is to find the right agency.
With conferences, the majority of your questions can be answered with the plethora of panels that many conferences schedule– from panels with experienced Surrogates and parents who found success through surrogacy, to professionals such as doctors and lawyers specializing in surrogacy– you’ll find a variety of different panels you can choose to attend that best suit your needs!
Additionally, attending these panels could provide you with answers to questions you hadn’t even thought of yet and could decide the approach you take on your journey. Be open-minded when it comes to sitting in on panels that aren’t exactly what you were looking for, as they could turn out to be exactly what you needed!
2022 Surrogacy Conferences
So where should you start when it comes to attending a surrogacy conference? Pre-Covid, the majority of conferences were strictly in-person, or if they offered virtual attendance options, they were very limited in their capabilities; now, if in-person attendance is not a possibility, or if the particular conference you are looking at attending is not geographically viable, you will likely be able to tune in and still connect with many other attendees, presenters, and booths with virtual one-on-one meetings and live-streamed panel sessions.
Be sure that the conference you are looking to attend is somewhere you are able to get to if you are aiming for an in-person experience, and that, if you are staying for longer than one day, you are able to get accommodations nearby and at a price-point you can afford. There may be specific agencies you already have in mind that you would like to work with– you can often look at a list of presenters or exhibitors beforehand to see if they will be at a certain conference, or look at that agency’s website to see which conferences they will be attending that year.
Below, we have also provided a list of upcoming conferences in 2022. Please keep in mind that dates are subject to change, and more conferences will pop up throughout the year!
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