No matter how the idea of becoming a Surrogate came into your mind, it is always best to work with an agency because they take care of all the details involved in Surrogacy Process. For example, let them take care of all the legal and medical arrangements with Intended Parents, while you concentrate on becoming the solution for families that cannot have children on their own.
Where do you start looking for the right Surrogacy Agency? - Research first
Do your own online research on agencies and have a look at their teams. Research the people who form the company and the people who work for them. Even though the company may be new, they may have a team that holds vast experience and knowledge in the area of Surrogacy. Make sure that the agency belongs to assisted reproduction associations and is accredited by the Center for Disease Control and the Federal Drug Administration. You can complement that research by reaching out to people who have used that agency. You can find them on social media, commenting on the agency’s sites.
When you google an agency, see if the website lists Frequently Asked Questions. Read the answers; do they resonate with you? Are the topics the agency considers important to answer on the website important to you?
How important is the Agencyꞌs Location?
Location of the Surrogacy Agency or where it practices Gestational Surrogacy is important. Gestational Surrogacy means that the Surrogate will not provide her egg for the embryo she will be carrying. The embryo is made from the gametes of both parents’ choosing. Not all states approve of Gestational Surrogacy. If the state where you live does not allow Gestational Surrogacy but, yet, an agency is providing the service where you live, that should raise a red flag.
Omega Family Surrogates, for example, works with women who reside the in the states of California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas or Washington. The most popular proof of residence is through the Surrogates drivers licence.
How do I get the agency to provide me with the information I want? - Prepare a list of questions to ask the agency
Once you have pinpointed Surrogacy agencies that give you a good feeling, write down questions that you need answered. They can be the same questions that you previously searched on the internet, but have them answer your questions for you. Make sure the people with whom you speak at the agency make you feel welcome. Check if the answers they provide are similar to the ones you found on the internet; if not, ask about them more. The person or people you talk to should be able to answer your questions in a way in which you feel helped, with explanations neither short sighted or foolish. Remember, they are the experts in the field, and you want to learn more from them. Ask them as many questions as you see fit.
Tip 1: Let the agency talk to you and analyze how they make you feel: Choose a Surrogacy agency that makes you feel taken care of
Having a child for someone else is a very noble thing to do, but it is a very different experience to have your child, as opposed to someone else’s. When you have a child of your own, all the decisions regarding the pregnancy and the baby are made by you and the baby’s father. As a Surrogate these decisions now need to be discussed with the baby’s parents. There are legal, medical, and emotional matters that are no longer you own; they involve the Intended Parents. After all, it is their child. This is why having an agency that can communicate clearly with you (Surrogate) and your family, as well as with the Intended Parents, makes things much easier.
Tip 2: Be Alert - Providing your personal information
Be wary of providing your information upfront. Part of getting to know the agency and getting comfortable with them is also letting them get to know you. If the Agency barely has a relationship with you, and they are asking for personal information such as bank accounts, addresses, or medical records, you may want to take a step back. Although there is a high demand for Surrogates, it does raise concern if the agency wants your information so soon. No matter how many Intended Parents there may be waiting for your profile to get to them, there will always be time to do things right.
Tip 3: Make sure you understand the agencies’ policies and procedures
It is important to understand how the agency operates. Feel comfortable with procedures and policies such as: how you become recruited, how the matching process is done, what the legal and medical processes entail, how Surrogate support is provided, to name a few. All this information should be open and easy to access. If the agency is not willing to share basic information, then that says a lot about the type of care that they are able to provide to you if you choose to work with them. Make sure that you understand the process, and that they are able to provide information both verbally and in writing.
Tip 4: Find out if the agency is FDA and CDC approved
Make sure that the IVF clinics that the Surrogacy agency works with are Federal Drug Administration (FDA) inspected and that they report to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This will tell you that the agency works with cleared IVF clinics and will help you ensure that you are working with an agency that will properly take care of you.
No need to feel overwhelmed
Although everything may seem too much to handle, you don’t have to worry because at Omega Family Surrogates every step is placed in the care of compassionate professionals who want to support the Surrogate through her journey, as well as the Intended Parents in their quest for family creation. Our webiste has a lot of information that can help you understand if becoming a Surrogate is right for you.