How to Find the Right Surrogate Quickly
The best way to find a viable surrogate (a gestational carrier) is to work with someone who knows how and where to find them. I would like to clarify the difference between a 'traditional surrogate' and a 'gestational carrier'. A traditional surrogate is genetically related to the child she is carrying; it is her egg that has been fertilized. Twenty years ago it was the only type of surrogacy available but medical technology has evolved to the point that a fertilized egg from another woman can be implanted in the uterus of a surrogate (gestational carrier).
Because of the potential psychological and emotional issues of traditional surrogacy, few psychologists or reproductive endocrinologists are in favor of assisting with traditional surrogacy. Today, a surrogate is almost always a gestational carrier. She is providing a healthy uterus (but not her own genetics) to help intended parents have a baby when the element that they are missing in the baby-making equation is a viable uterus.
I created Donor Concierge six year ago after having worked in both egg donor and surrogacy programs for 10 years. I am a Harvard-trained counselor with a passion to help intended parents find what they need to form their own families. To that end, I have developed relationships with over 30 surrogacy programs across the country. When I work with a client in need of a surrogate, I search each surrogacy program to find an available surrogate.
When I worked within agencies, I learned that many surrogacy agencies require you to sign up with them before they reveal whether they have a surrogate who is available and suitable. While I understand the philosophy behind this approach, my concern is that the intended parents are then bound to work with that agency and they may need to wait for an available surrogate with whom they feel comfortable. I've seen many cases where the surrogacy candidates that are presented don't meet the reproductive endocrinologist's requirements.
When I work with intended parents who need a surrogate, I contact all of the agencies with which I work to review the surrogates they currently have available. I review the surrogate's profiles to make sure that they meet the standards that most REs prefer and then I send the profiles to my clients to consider. In all cases, the intended parents and the surrogate must agree to work together and the surrogacy agency will require the intended parents to complete an application and sign contract to work with their agency in managing the logistics of the surrogacy process. The difference at this point is that you know that the agency has a good surrogate available for you to work with.
In most cases we can find viable surrogate candidates who have:
- BMI of less than 30
- Had healthy pregnancies
- Had easy deliveries
- No more than two C-sections
- Children living at home with them
- No more than 5 pregnancies
- It should be at least a year since they last gave birth
- A supportive family
Most intended parents are able to find a surrogate in 8 weeks from the time they contact Donor Concierge. All of the agencies we work with are well established and have excellent reputations. We work independently and, therefore, have no vested interest with regard to which agency you choose to work with. During the selection process, we help our intended parents by educating them on the steps, terminology, and costs involved in surrogacy as well as make referrals to all of the professionals they will need to be able to move forward with building their family.
There are a lot of issues to sort through when planning a family when you require a surrogate to make things work. We make the process much easier.