You do not have to use a surrogacy agency, but there are advantages. Primarily, the agency will do the screening, money handling, and run interference between surrogate and intended parent if necessary. Get recommendations from either your reproductive endocrinologist or your attorney.
- How long have you been in the business of finding surrogates for third party reproduction?
- How many surrogacy arrangements have you facilitated in the last year? In the last two years?
- How long does it usually take to find a surrogate for intended families such as ours?
- How much does it cost and when is the money due? Ask to see a full break out of total cost, including how much is the surrogate paid and how much is administrative/agency cost.
- When during the pregnancy is the surrogate paid and what percentage?
- If the IVF cycle fails, how are compensation and fees handled?
- What type of screening is done before accepting a surrogate into your program? (psychological, medical, background check, drug or alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases) Is the surrogate’s husband also screened for supportiveness and prepared for what is expected of a surrogate?
- Can intended parents receive a full copy of all psychological screenings, not just a summary?
- What efforts are made to get all medical records from previous pregnancies of the surrogate?
- Is ongoing counseling support offered to surrogates and do the intended families have to pay extra for this service?
- Are support groups available for the surrogate?
- Is the money intended parents pay for the surrogacy arrangement held in a licensed and bonded escrow account? Can you provide the intended parents or their attorney with a copy of the bond insurance policy? In essence you want to make sure that any money you pay is safe in case the agency goes out of business or tries to play fast and loose with your money.
- Does the agency have Errors and Omissions Insurance?
- How many case managers are employed and what is their caseload?
- Is there someone on staff to answer emergency questions after work hours or on weekends?
- Name and contact information for intended parents that have used the agency in the last year.
Image credit: Stefan Baudy