Whether you’re considering becoming a surrogate mother or using a surrogate to expand your family, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right surrogacy agency for your needs. Your agency plays a critical role in fostering safe, smooth, and positive experiences for both surrogates and intended parents.
But with so many surrogacy agencies out there, how do you choose an agency that’s right for you and your family?
Getting started in your search
Unfortunately, not all agencies are equal in the service and care they offer to surrogates or intended parents—which can bring about unnecessary challenges and burdens. Fortunately, there are reputable agencies who are committed to the highest standards—resulting in consistently positive journeys and countless happy families. That’s why it’s so important to choose the best surrogacy agency for your needs.
Here are seven essential things to look for in a surrogacy agency.
1. Find out the agency’s history and/or level of experience
While there’s no guarantee that a long-established surrogacy agency will provide the top-notch service you deserve, you want to choose an agency that has a proven record of successful journeys. Be sure to ask the agency how long they have been in business, how many families they have helped to create, and how their reputation has evolved (or remained consistent) over the years.
Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is one of the oldest and most established surrogacy agencies in California. Since 1990, we’ve helped to bring more than 875 babies into the world, and we’re honored to have so many of our new parents, surrogates, and medical professional partners refer their friends, family, and patients to us.
2. Ask which services they offer
Some surrogacy agencies are partial-service, which means they might facilitate the matchmaking between surrogates and intended parents, but they won’t have the resources to support you throughout your surrogacy journey.
A larger, more established, full-service surrogacy agency will be able to offer more services—everything from matching to case management to legal services—which helps make the process much easier and significantly less stressful.
At SPS, we pride ourselves on the exceptional support we provide surrogates and intended parents. Here are just some of the services we provide:
- Schedule and attend all fertility appointments and major OB appointments when allowed by the physician.
- Take care of the financial conversations between the intended parents and surrogate so they can focus on what’s important–enjoying the pregnancy!
- Send the parentage documents to the attorney early (at around 12 weeks!) to ensure the intended parents are prepared for anything.
- Coordinate health insurance and make sure the surrogate sees in-network providers.
- And much more. (Find out why we’re one of the best surrogacy agencies in California here!)
3. Find out about their screening process for both surrogates and intended parents
It’s essential that both parties are physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the process and educated on the responsibilities and risks.
At SPS, each surrogate in the SPS family has gone through extensive screening. Of course, our process looks at her physical and emotional wellbeing, but it goes beyond that to include her lifestyle, family support system, financial circumstances, and much more. While the screening process for intended parents isn’t as thorough, we also take great care in getting to know you—because, realistically, we can’t match you with the ideal surrogate if we don’t understand who you are and what you value.
Unlike many other agencies, we believe it’s important that both surrogates and intended parents meet with a mental health professional who specializes in this very unique experience. Over the past 30 years, we’ve learned that this essential step actually helps both parties feel more comfortable with the match and fosters an atmosphere of trust.
4. Make sure they prioritize strong matches between surrogates and intended parents
The surrogacy journey is an intimate partnership and strong matches reduce stress for both parties and help make the process more gratifying and successful. The best agencies take into account factors such as personality, expectations for the journey, and the level of communication desired.
Here at SPS, we believe the matching process should be approached with personal care and extensive experience. Our founder, Cristie Montgomery, personally guides the matching process—and this is one of the main reasons we have such a long history of success. There’s an art to matching you with the absolute ideal surrogate partner, and it shouldn’t be left up to an algorithm to decide.
5. If possible, speak to former surrogates at the agency
For those interested in becoming a surrogate mother, it can be extremely helpful to get a first-hand account of the agency from a former surrogate. Don’t be afraid to ask to speak with someone who has worked with the agency before.
At the very least, an agency should provide you with the opportunity to read case studies, listen to interviews, or watch video testimonials from past surrogates.
At SPS, nearly 50% of our surrogates have such a positive experience with their first journeys that they choose to work with us again on a second journey (or more!). We genuinely want you to choose the agency that’s best-suited for your needs, so we do everything we can to help you make an educated decision.
6. Make sure they are upfront about surrogate compensation
Financial compensation shouldn’t be the main reason you’re interested in surrogacy, but it is one of the many benefits of becoming a surrogate. A reputable surrogacy agency will be able to speak directly and professionally about compensation and other financial benefits, as well as answering all of your questions about medical bills and related costs.
To learn more about the surrogate compensation packages SPS surrogates receive, we invite you to visit our website. Not only do our surrogates receive base compensation and full coverage of medical bills, but we also include special additions, like housekeeping services beginning at eight weeks of pregnancy through four weeks postpartum, a maternity clothing allowance, an exclusive pamper package, and more.
7. Ask if both parties are required (or encouraged) to have legal representation
A full-service and reputable surrogacy agency should be looking out for your best interests. Surrogacy is complex and requires comprehensive surrogacy contracts. Before you sign any legal document, it’s essential that you fully understand the details. For that reason, it’s essential that you have legal representation.
At SPS, we believe it’s important that surrogates and intended parents each have their own legal representation. So, we arrange for you to meet with an attorney (at no cost to you), who will explain what the contract means and how the contract affects and protects you.
We hope this information helps you choose the best surrogacy agency for your family’s unique needs.
Learn More About Becoming a Surrogate with Surrogate Parenting Services
Surrogate Parenting Services is proud to celebrate 30 Years of helping to bring dreams to life! Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.