Many intended parents select a surrogacy agency to help them through the surrogacy process. An agency usually provides extra safeguards for both the intended parents and the surrogate herself. Many agencies consist of wonderful, caring professionals who believe in the work that they are doing and do it for all the right reasons with all the right steps in place. However, there are agencies that cut corners and focus on profit. To make sure that you are selecting an upstanding, respected agency that fits your family’s unique needs, ask plenty of questions like these.
Question 1: Are your estimates close to the actual end cost?
Ask the agency if the estimate that they provide during the initial meeting is close to the final cost for the intended parents. If the agency doesn’t give you a straight answer backed up with facts and figures, consult reviews and ratings of the agency to find out if its clients are happy with the total price that they paid. Keep in mind that an agency cannot say for sure how many extra fees may come up, since those additional costs may come from unexpected complications during the pregnancy. However, a reputable agency should quote you a price that’s fairly close to what most of its intended parents actually pay.
Question 2: How many families have you served?
While a startup agency may seem appealing, you are more likely to have a positive experience with an agency that has been around for a while. Find out how long the agency has been in existence and how many clients it has helped during those years. The agency and its employees need to have plenty of experience dealing with surrogates, intended parents, and all the complex details of the surrogacy process.
Question 3: How many clients are you working with right now?
A large agency, though efficient, may not be able to give you the individual care and attention that your family needs. A smaller agency may not have the staff or expertise to offer you enough support. Make sure the agency you choose has a detailed client servicing program and sufficient staff to meet your needs.
Question 4: Has your agency ever been sued?
This might be an awkward question to pose, but you need to know whether the agency has had legal trouble with a surrogate or client. If there is a suit pending, the agency representative will not be able to go into detail, but you may at least get an idea of the issue that caused the lawsuit.
Question 5: May I choose my own lawyer?
Ideally, you should be free to choose your own lawyer. If an agency limits you to specific legal representation that they have chosen, you should step back and reconsider using that agency. You need the security of a lawyer whom you have selected yourself, independently. However, the surrogacy agency may know of some lawyers in your city who are experts in the area of assisted reproduction law.
In addition to these five key questions, you will need to find out exactly what the agency takes care of for you and which services they offer. Ask about the surrogates, including the states in which they live, the requirements and assessments they undergo, and how the agency chooses them. If you have doubts about the surrogacy agency you are considering, talk to an assisted reproduction attorney in your area. Your lawyer may be able to suggest an agency with a good reputation so that you can pursue your dream of family-building.
Get Instant Access To My Free Surrogacy Guide
Discover how to avoid a stressful and heartbreaking surrogacy journey (and tips for finding the right surrogate for your journey)
About Nicole K. White
As a mother via gestational surrogacy, Nicole is passionate about helping her clients experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of their own through third party reproduction. Her knowledge and experience as an attorney and as an intended parent mean she knows firsthand what you will go through and what you will need – understanding, ongoing support, guidance and a smooth process.