Are you ready to build your family via surrogacy and wondering how to find a surrogate mother? There are two major ways in which this can be accomplished. Either you opt to work with an established surrogacy agency or you find a surrogate independently from your own network and efforts. There are of course advantages and disadvantages associated with each route.
Using an agency is ideal for those who prefer to have someone else oversee the entire process from screening potential surrogates, making sure their objectives and yours are aligned to ensuring legal and medical paperwork is handled correctly.
1. Find A Surrogate That’s Right For You
One of the first steps in your surrogacy journey is to sit down and put in writing what your goals are. This is your surrogacy plan. This plan simply outlines your hopes, expectations, and what you’re looking for in a potential surrogate. Also included in your plan should be your budget, the level of contact you wish to have with the surrogate, and how involved you’d like to be.
If you’re working with an agency, these are the guidelines they will use to try to match you with a surrogate mother. On top of the surrogacy plan, most agencies will have you fill in an intended parent profile. This is an introductory document for the surrogate that informs her about you.
2. Why It’s Hard To Find A Surrogate Mother
There is a common misunderstanding that to find a surrogate is hard. We are not downplaying the surrogacy process and how intensive it can be. For people who have opted to find a surrogate mother by themselves without the assistance of a reputable surrogacy agency, it can certainly be difficult.
However, for those working with a surrogacy specialist, they may find the process slightly easier. Their wait time to be matched is greatly reduced. First, many agencies have a pre-approved list of surrogate mothers. Secondly, these agencies have a wide-reaching network of professionals they can reach out to when helping you match with a surrogate.
3. Understanding Local Surrogacy Laws
Surrogacy is a process that’s not quite fully accepted in all the states. In fact, in some places, it is a felony that attracts extremely expensive fines. For this reason, before you engage any woman into a surrogacy arrangement it is imperative to find out and understand the local surrogacy laws.
Of all the states, California is definitely the most surrogacy friendly. From attorneys well-versed with the process to fertility clinics, and surrogacy specialists, it is an ideal place to begin your surrogacy journey. You’ll want to sit down with a lawyer so they can explain how to go about surrogacy in a legal manner. Your attorney will advise on issues of parental rights, especially for same-sex couples.
4. How To Find A Surrogate Among Family and Friends
Can you find a surrogate mother from your inner circle? Of course. It is perfectly possible to find a surrogate among family and friends. This is often referred to as an identified or altruistic surrogacy.
But how do you go about finding a possible match? The first steps involve opening up to those closest to you about your desire to pursue surrogacy. People won’t know you’re looking for a surrogate unless you tell them. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that there is someone within your own network that would be happy to step up and be your gestational carrier.
Having found your surrogate this way, you may then reach out to a surrogacy agency such as Joy of Life to handle the finer details. While such independent surrogacies can help intended parents save money, we recommend involving a surrogacy specialist to iron out issues such as compensation, the legality of surrogacy, and provide the emotional support necessary to see the surrogacy to term.
5. Find A Surrogate Independently Online
Another path that some intended parents take to find a surrogate is using the internet. Tons of websites exist today where hopeful parents can place their ads. However, there is a very high chance of getting scammed. Additionally, such intended parents have to spend countless hours answering calls, carrying out criminal background checks on the responders, and weighing in each profile.
Searching for a surrogate mother online also has the disadvantage that your personal information is out in the public domain. There is no privacy in this sense. You make yourself a target for unscrupulous individuals.
6. Using A Surrogacy Lawyer
Surrogacy lawyers are in the network of people who can help you find and match with a potential surrogate. They are well-connected; surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics can point you in the right direction in the event that they do not know anyone immediately.
While such lawyers can be a good reference point, they may not necessarily have the time to screen all surrogates on your behalf to guarantee a good match. This is when they may send you to an agency or surrogacy specialist.
7. How To Find A Surrogate With An Agency
Surrogacy agencies are the best places to help you find a surrogate mother. Thanks to the inherent nature of being an agency, you’re assured that these institutions maintain databases that can significantly help reduce your wait time. Ideally, these specialists can make recommendations on how to tailor your surrogacy plan and profile to boost them for easier matching.
Working with an agency gives you the peace of mind of knowing that each surrogate undergoes thorough screening and that only the best make the cut. This element of protection is one that’s not often available to those who pursue this journey by themselves.
Also, an agency will assist with relevant support needed along the journey. From educating you about the process to offering much-needed support for everyone involved, surrogacy agencies are truly indispensable.
8. Know Your Budget Upfront
Surrogacy can be expensive if you’re working with an agency. From start to finish, overall costs are estimated to be anywhere from $60,000 going upwards. However, there are ways to mitigate these costs. And choosing your own surrogate without the agency is just one of the ways to bring this amount down. Knowing how much you have to work with, will guide your choices on the best path for you as intended parents to take.
9. Know What Type Of Surrogate Mother You’re Searching For
Knowing the type of surrogate mother you want is important for matching purposes but so is being open to other surrogates. Intended parents often choose someone based on their heritage, their religious beliefs, their occupation, and their background. Put down as much information in your surrogacy plan as possible. It will help you and your surrogacy specialist (if you’re working with one) to quickly match with a prospective surrogate.
10. Take Your Time To Find A Surrogate Mother
It is difficult to estimate how long the wait time can be. However, it is recommended that you do give yourself sufficient time to find the woman who is going to carry your child. The sooner you realize you’d like to start or grow your family via surrogacy, the better so you can begin the search for a surrogate early.
Looking for a reliable surrogacy agency?
Joy of Life is one of California’s leading surrogacy specialists. As former surrogates and intended parents, we understand the journey that you’re embarking on. We can assist you in your search for a suitable surrogate. Contact us for more information.