Why do you need an agency for your surrogacy journey?

Guest post by Warda Baig from Patriot Conceptions
“Patriot Conceptions is a veteran-owned surrogacy agency providing unsurpassed, comprehensive and unique surrogacy solutions. We pride ourselves in building customized experiences driven by the individual needs and preferences of our clients as well as the incredible surrogates we work with. We offer an extensive support system for everyone involved through our collaborative team of experienced staff and highly qualified experts."

Starting out with the process of surrogacy can be intimidating owing to the sheer number of options, steps and legalities involved. There are several different important players involved each performing a uniquely important role but in this post we wanted to specifically highlight the role of surrogacy agencies and how they help facilitate this incredibly complex process.

What is a surrogacy agency? 

A surrogacy agency is a one-stop solution for those seeking to conceive a child via surrogacy. Finding a carrier willing to act as your surrogate is not the only challenging part about surrogacy; the process of screening surrogates, medical clearance, legal obligations, health insurance, IVF procedure monitoring, establishing parental rights and all the intricacies in between help make surrogacy an extensive process best dealt by industry professionals.

A surrogacy agency helps iron out any issues that may arise during your surrogacy journey through their expertise in all key areas of third party reproduction. With their help, intended parents are able to focus on the most important parts of their family building journey and prepare for the arrival of their child. 

What services does a surrogacy agency offer?

Most surrogacy agencies offer a wide range of case management services to clients such as coordinating between medical facilities, attorneys and other key players for ensuring a smooth, hassle-free experience. 

Although each surrogacy agency has its own unique mix of offerings, their core value addition lies in their expertise to screen and match surrogacy candidates, along with coordinating the whole process end-to-end in order to not deal with any extenuating circumstances.

Why should I work with a surrogacy agency?

With the number of legal, medical, and procedural requirements that entail surrogacy, in the absence of an agency, all the paperwork, compliance, communication with the surrogate, medical information and countless other ad hoc requirements would all need to be addressed by the intended parents exclusively which can get impossibly tough to manage on your own.

Additionally, another important role that most surrogacy agencies play is that of ongoing support and counseling. Surrogacy is an emotionally intensive journey for both the intended parents and the surrogate. For the former, relinquishing control of the pregnancy process to a certain extent can be challenging and at times, completely alien if one is going through secondary infertility troubles. Having to trust a stranger to carry your biological child for you and not being able to track their progress physically can get emotionally difficult, which is why surrogacy agencies make sure that there's seamless communication between the surrogate and the IPs and also options for support and healing. 

For a surrogate, bearing a child for someone else might be tricky as you cannot afford to get attached to the unborn baby. In gestational surrogacy the surrogate does not have any genetic connection with the baby however, if the surrogate is also the egg donor, she is partially related to the child. In all such scenarios, it is important to have a team of experienced mental health practitioners available to guide you along the way, which is where a surrogacy agency plays a critical role. 

How can I find a surrogacy agency?

It's always advisable to do extensive research when scouting for a surrogacy agency. This entity will guide you in making the most important decision of your life, so make sure you know your preferences and needs when picking the right option for you.

A quick online search can yield results about agencies in your state as well as those serving across the country. It's probably a good idea to short-list a few and then interview/visit each of your narrowed down options to find the best fit for you. After all, you will be spending a year or more working with this team so it should be someone you feel comfortable and at ease with. 

Can I look for a licensed surrogacy agency?

At the moment, there is no licensure arrangement available for surrogacy agencies owing to the rather dynamic and ever-evolving nature of laws governing third party reproduction, which is still a fairly new territory for many countries. However, there are still certain protocols and standards that surrogacy professionals should strictly abide by, such as those set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Additionally, if the agency has a panel of psychological health experts, make sure they are certified and licensed to practice as per the state's laws.

Choosing a surrogacy agency is a decision that will dictate your entire experience of surrogacy which is why it’s crucial to find the best fit for you by weighing all your options and needs. Ultimately the decision to pick an agency for your surrogacy process or going the independent surrogacy route is completely yours however, there is no harm in contacting a couple of agencies around you to get an idea about their range of services and how they align with your surrogacy goals. Once you have all that information available, it will be easier to make a well-informed decision. 

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