What makes a great surrogacy agency?
We're breaking down the signs to look for so you can find the best surrogacy agency for your family.
One of the most common questions we hear from hopeful parents is: how do I know I can trust the agency I’m matching with? There are approximately 250+ surrogacy agencies in the US, so how do you know you’re matching with the best surrogacy agency for your unique needs?
At Donor Concierge, we work with over 70 of the best surrogacy agencies in the US. Since 2006, we’ve been matching our clients with agencies that we know and trust. We have a rigorous review process and really get to know our agencies, their policies and track record in the field of surrogacy, before we even start reviewing their surrogate profiles. Our business is built on our reputation for excellent care and the strong agency partnerships we’ve created. We don’t take those relationships lightly, and we know it is a key consideration for hopeful parents as well.
To help you find the best surrogacy agency for your family's unique needs, we asked our expert team to share the most important signs to look for in a surrogacy agency.
As Bonnie McKinney Douglas, Senior Surrogacy Case Manager at Donor Concierge, points out, “We really value the agencies who approach every hopeful parent with good communication.” Communication with intended parents and surrogates can be a make or break factor in finding the best surrogacy agency. Donor Concierge’s founder, Gail Sexton Anderson, echoed this point: “The surrogacy agency should establish good communication with the intended parents throughout the relationship to make sure the IPs know what to expect throughout the journey.”
Since there are multiple parties and moving parts involved in surrogacy, the need for communication on all sides is heightened. Your surrogacy agency should not just communicate clearly, but take charge and facilitate communication with you and your surrogate. Once a match call is set up between the intended parents, the agency, and the surrogate and her partner, it’s important for surrogate agencies to lead the discussion and guide the conversation so there is no awkwardness or discomfort. Having an expert agency partner who can guide you through the process will ensure all parties are comfortable.
Another key factor in finding the best surrogacy agency fit for you is transparency. This goes hand in hand with communication, and will maintain a trusting relationship between surrogacy agency, surrogate, and hopeful parents. Kylee Warren, the Donor Concierge Surrogacy Program Manager, shared her thoughts on transparency. “There should never be a feeling from intended parents or surrogates that they don’t know what’s going on. Communication and transparency is crucial during the surrogacy journey.”
As you search for a surrogacy agency, you can gauge their transparency by asking important questions. How they screen their surrogate candidates, what type of refund policy they may offer, what you can expect from the surrogacy process, and more are all good places to start. Your surrogacy agency should be forthcoming about their policies and the processes involved in surrogacy.
Finding an agency who can provide the right level of support will also help you choose the best surrogacy agency for your journey. You can get a sense of their level of support by inquiring about some of their policies early, and ensuring they will be there to help if any complications arise. Bonnie says the best agencies really shine when things don’t go as planned. “In the unlikely event that the match ends up getting canceled, the agencies that offer a rematch within a reasonable time or a partial refund are really the ones we like the best.”
And support isn’t just important for you – the agency should have a solid, supportive relationship with your gestational carrier as well. Gail spoke on this, saying, “The surrogacy agency should offer ongoing support to the gestational carriers throughout the pregnancy and accompany them to appointments, particularly any landmark appointments during the pregnancy.”
Surrogacy can be an emotional journey for hopeful parents and surrogates, requiring trust and support on all sides. Your agency should be there to offer supportive suggestions and help as needed. As Bonnie says, “we want agencies who are caring and professional, who will work as a team to look after our clients.”
As mentioned before, screening is a very important step in achieving pregnancy via gestational carrier. All candidates must pass strict requirements in order to be able to carry a surrogate pregnancy. Much of this medical screening will be conducted by your fertility clinic, but surrogacy agencies typically conduct a screening during their intake process of surrogate candidates. The best surrogacy agencies meet their surrogates via video, explain the surrogacy process, and make sure that the surrogate is doing this for the right reasons.
Ideally, you will work with a surrogacy agency who has screened their candidates prior to matching them with hopeful parents. This is a good question to ask your surrogacy agency, and will hopefully help limit any potential surprises or issues as you move forward with medical screening at your clinic.
There are many moving parts to keep in mind when considering a surrogacy agency, but our best advice is to seek out an agency partner who is communicative, transparent, supportive, and thorough in screening and educating their surrogates. We hope this was helpful as you begin your surrogate search or surrogacy agency search. If you need help finding a surrogate or vetting a potential surrogacy agency, our team of caring experts can help match you with a surrogate candidate and make agency introductions. Any questions? Feel free to book a free consultation and speak with a Donor Concierge team member.
Interested in building your family with Donor Concierge? Schedule your free consultation today.