If you’re considering surrogacy, no doubt you’ve been mulling it over for quite some time. It’s not a decision anyone comes to easily, though sometimes it’s the only way a family can be made complete. Intended parents often choose this path after a long struggle with infertility or health issues, which can make the journey an emotional one. Women who generously step forward to become surrogates also face challenges, as they may face scrutiny from others and must make some lifestyle changes during pregnancy. Despite the difficulties people may face, surrogacy can be a richly rewarding path, for everyone involved. As you contemplate whether it’s right for you, keep these two tips in mind.

  1. Be Open and Honest

First and foremost, you must be honest with yourself. Think about what you hope to get out of the surrogacy process and how you’ll handle challenges along the way. It’s good to be optimistic, but you should also be able to accept limitations and be prepared for numerous scenarios to unfold.

Equally, it’s important to be honest with your partner. Regardless of whether you’re an intended parent or a surrogate, you must be on the same page as your partner. Discussing your feelings, thoughts, and concerns, is paramount to the relationship and the process going forward.

Lastly, you must also be able to be transparent with the other parties involved. If you feel very strongly about certain decisions that will have to be made, it’s good to put that on the table from the beginning. While it may make it more challenging to find your ideal match, there are some things that must be discussed and agreed upon at the very start. If you want your surrogate to be on an organic vegan diet, she should know that from the very start, and have the option to bow out if it’s something she isn’t prepared to do. If you’re a surrogate, and you aren’t willing and able to carry more than one child, the intended parents must know this beforehand. Coming to an agreement on these sometimes difficult questions in advance will make the journey much smoother for everyone.

  1. Work With a Reputable Surrogacy Agency

A surrogacy agency does a lot of things that protect both parties. One obvious duty is that they match people up with someone who is ideal, so that it’s easier to work as a team. However, a reputable agency will also make sure that all the legal loopholes are closed, which is important because laws vary by state. An experienced agency also knows what to look for in candidates, and will properly vet them based on medical history, personality traits, and a psychological evaluation.

A great agency will also be established enough to have contacts in the industry, so they’ll know who to reach out to for legal concerns, medical concerns, evaluations, support, and other needs along the way. Moreover, they won’t just hand you a checklist or list of phone numbers and tell you to go do things. They’ll walk you through them, help mediate, and may even attend appointments.

If you’re considering surrogacy, keeping these two things in mind while you decide is important. That way, when you go forward, you can do so with absolute certainty that you’ve made the best choice for you.