What Does an Agency Do?

What kind of Journey do I want, Independent or Agency managed?

That question is asked by almost every Intended Parent and surrogate as they start a surrogacy journey. While both options are good choices depending on what each party is looking for, there is a distinct advantage to having an agency on your side and looking out for your interests. While we may be biased on this particular point, Simple Surrogacy also intricately knows the pros and cons of using a surrogacy agency.

When going through an independent journey, there may be less of a financial commitment, but there is also less guidance and expertise from a party that is well versed in the process. 

To properly make a decision, it’s best to be completely informed. Here is a quick analysis of what a surrogacy agency does.

Matching

One of the most challenging parts of surrogacy is making a match with a surrogate. Unless an expectant couple has a friend or family member interested in being their surrogate, independent journeys must go through online groups and forums to find a match. It can be challenging to filter through potential matches to find someone who meets your clinic’s standards and aligns with your views on the pregnancy. It’s also easy to be swayed by someone who may not have your best interests at heart, or who might not be qualified to carry a pregnancy and be preying on your vulnerabilities of wanting to have a child.

Several difficult topics come along with the surrogacy process that can make for uncomfortable conversations between the members of a new match. Subjects like termination, communication & involvement, and core values can break a match as quickly as it is formed. From a Surrogate’s point of view, an Intended Parent might not understand the commitment it takes a surrogate to undergo a surrogate pregnancy, and might not want to compensate a surrogate fairly. An Agency can handle all of the complicated financial questions in a fair manner.

A major task a surrogacy agency takes on is matching surrogates with Intended Parents. While waiting for a match, only profiles that match the preferences of the Intended Parents and surrogate are shared. That way, the Intended Parents and surrogate can focus on getting to know each other and establishing a relationship instead of the nitty-gritty details. Likewise, any surrogate that Intended Parents find through an agency is screened, verified, and ready to begin the process.

Medical Clearances & Management

There are a lot of appointments, medical clearances, and timelines to keep track of throughout a surrogacy journey. The agency will keep everything organized and on track, another pro to going through an agency journey. 

With an agency, the Intended Parents and Surrogate are sure they have been cleared by a fertility clinic that meets its standards. This is a massive endorsement for the health and emotional qualities of a surrogate and embryos, as surrogacy agencies work closely with fertility clinics every day.

Rather than spending a lot of time coordinating schedules and ensuring each step of the process happens correctly, the agency will ensure everyone can attend appointments. This can be a big relief for Intended Parents who are nervous about their bundle of joy and for surrogates dealing with hormones, pregnancy, and any side effects of surrogacy.

At Simple Surrogacy, we take coordination further by assigning each party their own coordinator. This person takes care of the surrogate or Intended Parents specifically. Their expertise keeps everyone on track and ensures they do not forget something.

Legal and Financial Processes

When doing surrogacy without an agency, especially for the first time, it’s unclear what to look for or expect in a legal surrogacy contract. A surrogacy agency has lots of experience in this department and can coach you on what to look for and ask for. In addition, laws pertaining to surrogacy differ from state to state, and sometimes even county to county. Having the expertise of a Surrogate Agency on your side ensures that you end up the legal parents of the child at the end of the process, and not fighting a legal battle for your own biological child after the birth.

There is a lot of room for long-term issues in this department, as anything not mentioned in the contract is not binding. For example, a first-time surrogate may not realize that they want lost wages compensation until they are put on bedrest in their third trimester. At that point, it may be too late to put it in the contract, and the parents would not be required to pay for those wages.

An Agency will also ensure that the Intended Parents fully fund the escrow account to make sure the money is available to pay the surrogate’s compensation. In an independent journey without escrow, there is no one to ensure the surrogate’s money is there to pay her or make sure the bills after delivery are paid.

The representatives at Simple Surrogacy are familiar with what to look for in a surrogacy contract, and can ensure both the Intended Parent’s rights and the surrogate’s needs are both equally balanced.

Knowledge and Advice

Surrogacy can be a lonely process with a lot of trauma attached. Most people seeking surrogates have been fighting infertility for years and are in a complex emotional place going into this pregnancy. Without the benefit of a built-in mediator, this can be a difficult hurdle to navigate.

One of the biggest benefits of going with an agency is access to their wealth of information about the surrogacy process. Representatives of an agency are well-versed in all aspects of surrogacy. At our agency, most coordinators were surrogates, and they know what their clients are going through.

Representatives at a surrogacy agency will also have a line on support groups and communities for Intended Parents and Surrogates. This is a fantastic resource, as this process can be complicated emotionally for anyone involved.

Finance & Insurance Information

One of the primary functions of a surrogacy agency is to assist Intended Parents with funding their surrogacy journey by using their knowledge of lending agencies and fundraising methods to relieve some of the financial burdens.

Likewise, the surrogacy insurance industry is getting increasingly complicated the more familiar the practice gets. It’s worth having someone who understands what to look for in an insurance policy to help you get secured.

As you can see, the agency is deeply involved in every stage of the process and provides a benefit every step of the way. The knowledge that an agency brings to the table alone is worth it, but scheduling, matching, and more benefits can bring a lot of relief throughout a stressful time. For surrogates, signing on with an agency is extra worth it, as they can be assured that they have an advocate.

If you have questions about surrogacy, please reach out to Simple Surrogacy here.

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