A surrogacy agency matches prospective surrogates to intended parents. It is not absolutely necessary to go through an agency; intended parents may also find their own surrogate or gestational carrier.
If you are just beginning the process of having a baby with a surrogate, it may be helpful to seek direction from people you know who have experience with surrogacy. Support groups, reproductive endocrinologists, and attorneys experienced in reproductive law all can offer valuable guidance. If you are planning to use an agency, here are some questions you may want to ask.
- How long has the agency operated?
- How many surrogate arrangements has the agency facilitated over the last year? Past two years?
- How long does it usually take to find a surrogate?
- What are the agency fees? When is the money due? Be sure to get a detailed breakdown, not just an overall estimate.
- Are the agency surrogates pre-screened? Have they been administered the FDA-required medical testing and psychological evaluation? What level of access will we have to those results—full records or summaries only?
- How many case managers does the agency have and what is their typical caseload?
- Is there someone available to answer emergency questions 24/7? What is that process?
- Are counseling services provided to surrogates and our family?
- Is the money intended for the surrogate held in escrow? Can you provide documentation of that account and the bond insurance policy?
- Does the agency have Errors and Omissions insurance and liability insurance?
- Has the agency ever been sued by clients or surrogates?
- Does the agency provide any legal services to us or surrogates?
- How does the agency recruit surrogates?
- Does the agency monitor, track, and pay surrogate expenses? How does that process work? Is there a cap for expenses?
Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, April 2020
- Ask people you know for recommendations: friends, family, physicians, attorneys—anyone with experience with the surrogacy process.
- Ask questions, and get detailed answers from surrogacy agencies you are considering.
- Surrogacy scams do happen—be wary of last-minute arrangements, and make sure signed agreements are in place before any tests or procedures.