Deciding to participate in Surrogacy is a huge step whether you’re an Intended Parent, or the Surrogate Mother, herself. It is a huge decision that probably came with months, if not years of weighing options and doing research. For some IP’s (Intended Parents), finding a surrogate can land close to home when a family member or friend approaches to carry their child, but what about situations where you need to find someone to carry your child and you DON’T know them? For women who want to be surrogates, what if you don’t know someone who could use your help? You are both placed in this vast world of “now what?” Here are five reasons why choosing a surrogacy agency like Surrogate Alternatives is a route that will be less stressful, and a more enjoyable journey for all.
1.) Surrogates and IP’s are pre-screened and must meet strict requirements
Surrogacy comes with all different avenues of trust, trusting the IP’s that you have been matched with to be as involved as they said they would be and the IP’s trusting the Surrogate Mother to take good care of herself and your child she is carrying. It’s a scary arena to step into that puts both parties in a vulnerable state to one another. SAI pre-screens all Surrogate Mothers and IP’s before moving into contracts, so each party can rest assured that the other will have passed a psychological evaluation, criminal background check, and state mandated medical screenings. By having these IP and surrogate mother requirements, we significantly reduce the risk of there ever being any unfortunate incidents and help both parties to feel more comfortable in this process and focus on the joy of the journey instead of adding worry to the equation.
2.) Assistance with legal contracts
Most people do not have a law degree, and reading and going over a contract for a surrogacy arrangement by yourself can be extremely confusing. Some agencies will direct you to a trusted lawyer to assist you with your contracts. When I went through contracts for my first surrogacy I was so grateful to have the legal assistance that SAI provided. I think I called or emailed the office 4-5 times with various clarification questions, and they were always patient and happy to help explain. The lawyers who work with SAI have a combined 30 years experience with surrogacy specifically. You’d be hard pressed to find that kind of legal expertise in this arena anywhere else.
3.) Medical benefits for those without
If you are seeking surrogacy without an agency, you may be required to use your personal medical insurance to cover the pregnancy. However, if your personal medical insurance does not cover surrogacy, you (the surrogate) would be responsible for all medical costs not covered by your insurance and the IP’s would then be expected to reimburse the surrogate for all medical expenses. Outside of a surrogacy agency, this type of situation can get extremely complicated and uncomfortable for both parties. If you don’t have a third party that both the Surrogate and IP’s are held accountable to, the risk of not being reimbursed goes way up. SAI is an agency that will help provide medical insurance for surrogates who do not have the coverage needed for a surrogate pregnancy. By doing this, we ensure that the IP’s and Surrogate are both medically protected, and that the stress of extra costs is minimized.
4.) Matches based on mutual expectations
At SAI, part of the initial application process and profile creation for both the Surrogates and IP’s is writing what your expectations in terms of communication, relationship, and delivery are. The team at SAI takes these expectations and the knowledge they have of both the IP’s and Surrogates, and match them based on their desires for a similar journey. When seeking a match outside of a surrogacy agency, there is a risk that the surrogate and IP’s journey expectations may not match up, and that may not be discovered until further down the road when it may be too late to end the match. SAI works hard to ensure that those questions are answered and discussed pre and post match with an IP and Surrogate.
5.) Constant individual support for both IP’s and surrogates
What does a surrogacy agency do to ensure that all the needs of their IPs and surrogate mothers are being met? At SAI we provide an extensive support group and system for our surrogate mothers. This includes the office manager who is reachable after office hours in case of an emergency, a monthly support group where surrogates are able to meet and support one another throughout their journey and after, a pregnancy wellness program where the surrogate receives access to acupuncture, massage therapy, counseling to handle stress, nutritional guidance and other treatments aimed at her general health and wellness throughout pregnancy. SAI is most involved with IP’s in the beginning stages of the surrogacy journey, but are continually present for IP’s throughout the pregnancy and afterwards to offer support and answer questions as they arise. Participating in a surrogacy outside of an agency means that both the Surrogate and the IP’s miss out on this kind of support. It’s just not something found outside of a surrogacy agency.
Written by Corinne Oestreich