Finding a surrogate mother through an agency means you must complete a parenting profile. This information will be used as a tool for agencies to help find a surrogate that aligns with your ideals and viewpoints. In this profile, a surrogate can learn all about your background, life experiences, relationships, health information, coveted levels of communication, the type of parent you want to be, and overall surrogacy expectations. Once the profile is complete, all identifying information is removed and then presented to a potential surrogate for review. The stronger a profile is, the better the surrogacy match. Here are some tips to build the best parenting profile possible:

1. Try not to over-censor yourself. Tell your story. If you feel apprehensive about declassifying your very personal story of how you came to the point of surrogacy, don’t be. Besides being 100% confidential, a surrogate is ultimately going to want to feel a close connection to her Intended Parents. This makes it completely appropriate to open up a bit and talk about your journey—which is a surrogacy after all, so it’s going to be filled with heart-ache and struggle.

2. Be completely honest. Finding a surrogate mother that is compatible is the whole point of using a parenting profile. What’s the good in having inaccurate information? It mean that you are presented with a surrogate who just doesn’t fit — wasting your time, her time, and jeopardizing the surrogacy as a whole. Everything in the parenting profile is confidential anyway, so feel free to be honest, even down to the smallest detail.

3. Try writing a letter to the surrogate. Maybe think of this letter as a very personal introductory letter where you can open up and share a piece of yourself beyond the parenting profile. Talk about who you are, the details about your daily life, how you came to surrogacy, what you want in terms of the surrogacy experience, and the relationship you hope to forge. These women are there to fulfill one of the most personal things imaginable by helping you start a family, so it’s important to be real and be yourself. This means letting your true personality shine through. It is also important to thank her for the incredible gift she’s about to give, because, in the end, the sacrifice may outweigh any compensation.

4. Include photos! No profile would be complete without photos of your family and friends. Example: Facebook. You are trying to paint a picture of who you are, the life you lead, and the life your future child will become a part of. So include pictures of you and your partner, your friends, relatives and even your neighbors, with brief captions that describe your relationship to each (minus the last names).

5. Ask for help from the agency. One of the best things to do if you’re stumped is to ask us to help you in the matching process. That’s what were here for. If you are ever at a loss for words or just want to brainstorm creative ways to add information, call on us for guidance.

Remember that the Intended Parent profile is the only document a surrogate reads about you, and it’s the key determining factor in whether a surrogate wants to move forward or not. It gives her a sense of who you are, and should be thought of as so much more than a clinical, systematic matching tool. Therefore, you should have fun finding a surrogate mother, and be open at this stage of the process.