Are you keen on starting a family via surrogacy but aren’t sure about which surrogacy agency to work with? Perhaps you’re a woman who would like to give the gift of life to a couple or a single intended parent. Regardless, finding a suitable surrogacy agency to work with can be an uphill battle. Armed with the right information you’ll be in a better place to make informed decisions. Right, so let’s get right into it.
One of the very first questions you need to address at the onset of your research is the legality of surrogacy in the state you’re currently living in. Find out if your state is friendly towards the process or you may have to travel to another state to begin your surrogacy journey. While the United States is one country, the 50 states don’t carry the same surrogacy laws with some states completely outlawing the practice.
California is by far the friendliest surrogacy state in the country. It was one of the very first states to draft up surrogacy laws and include them into the state’s Family Code all the way back in 2013. By virtue, it makes sense that most surrogacy agencies would be based here. However, this also complicates matters. Faced with so many choices how are you expected to find the right fit? Fortunately, we’ve put together a series of steps that are geared at helping to simplify the process.
1. All Surrogacy Agencies In California Aren’t Created Equal
First things first, some surrogacy agencies California are just decidedly better than others in every area – professionalism, communication, compensation plans, and support. Whether you’re an intended parent (IP) or surrogate mother, you’ll find Joy of Life one of the premier agencies to work with because of our custom approach, commitment to all involved in the surrogacy journey, and desire to see the best outcome for everyone. Surrogacy agencies in California aren’t all the same so it’s imperative to know your expectations ahead of time before starting your search.
2. Ask Yourself How Much Support You Want And Need
The next step in choosing an agency is to ask yourself what level of support you’d like. There are some intended parents and surrogates who only require an agency to facilitate the matchmaking, being confident that they will be able to navigate their way around the rest of the process by themselves. Other IPs and surrogates prefer to have someone walking with them every step of the way guiding and offering support and advice.
3. Talk With Your Fertility Doctor
Traditional surrogacy where the surrogate mother uses her own egg is no longer the most common way to have a baby via surrogacy. It’s less common now because it’s more involving emotionally for the surrogate being that there is a biological connection between surrogate and baby. The preferred process is now gestational surrogacy whereby the gametes used belong to the intended parents. This route means that both parties – surrogate mother and IPs need to engage with a fertility doctor prior to signing any contracts to ensure that all is well health-wise.
4. Ask For Referrals From Friends Or In Online Fertility Groups
With the go-ahead from your doctors, it’s time to get solid leads for a reputable surrogacy agency to work with. The first port of call should be asking for referrals from trusted friends and family members who have gone through the process themselves. If no one in your immediate circle can offer recommendations you can turn to online fertility groups and forums. You’re bound to get a few good leads for surrogacy agencies California to pursue.
5. Compare What Services Are Offered
Searching for a surrogacy agency requires you to also look at your personality type and ask yourself how involved you want to be. Surrogacy agencies California don’t all offer the same services. Most agencies provide two distinct packages.
(a) Full Service
Under this package, the surrogacy agency provides guidance on what to do and which steps to take. The agency clearly lays the process out for you and they take charge of the matter. You have someone to journey with you every step of the way. In addition, the agency will also connect you with all the necessary legal and financial service providers you may require. Basically, this is the preferred option for people who’re not familiar with the process, don’t have a lot of time to read through the legal jargon and medical requirements of the process, and prefer someone else to simply break it down for them simply.
(b) Partial Service
Under this package, the surrogacy agency is only responsible for negotiating the actual surrogacy match and little else. This is a package for those who prefer to be hands-on and deal with the intricacies of the process themselves. This service is perfect for people who want to take responsibility for sorting out every minor detail. The disadvantage of going this route is that in most cases you don’t have the experience the team at surrogacy agencies have. And consequently, you may have to learn some things through costly mistakes which could have been avoided.
6. Look At Agency Practices
We cannot stress enough the importance of doing due diligence regarding agency practices. As an intended parent or a potential surrogate, you should care about the agency’s pre-screening procedure, in-depth screen process, and legal protection offered to both sides. Does the agency have good standing in the industry or there are court cases pending? Are former surrogates and intended parents dissatisfied with the service they received from the said agency? Is the agency unprofessional conducting business in poor fashion?
7. Consider Agency Reputation
Surrogacy is an exhausting process and one that’s both time-consuming and costly. You don’t want to discover that the agency you’ve picked is in legal trouble or has an otherwise bad reputation when you’ve already locked yourself into a contract. Ask questions such as how long the agency has been in business, their success rate, whether or not they have any pending trials and what the trials are on.
8. Transparency About The Process
Most surrogacy agencies California pride themselves on having a stellar reputation, on their transparency, and how many people they’ve helped to successfully start families. An agency that’s doing a great job has no problems sharing about their processes, successes, and failures. Be wary of agencies that try to dodge answering difficult questions, aren’t forthcoming with information especially financial compensation, and how they carry out the screening processes for surrogates.
9. Picking The Right Agency Is Vital To Success
Choosing the right surrogacy agency isn’t a game of chance. It comes down to doing due diligence, asking the right questions, and being patient in your quest. Joy of Life is one of California’s leading surrogacy agencies, dedicated to walking with surrogates and intended parents from start to finish. As former surrogates and intended parents ourselves we understand the process in great depth and offer sensitive timely advice that allows you to make informed decisions.
Get in touch with Joy of Life to get started on your surrogacy journey.