Once you have decided to embark on the journey of parenthood through surrogacy, the next step is to choose the trustworthy and the best surrogacy agency that serves the best-suited services to you. A lot of intended parents have a concern about whether they should work with a surrogacy agency or prefer independent surrogacy. While both have their perks and challenges, you can benefit from an expert as they help to navigate and guide you through the hurdles in the process.

When you consider independent surrogacy, you will save money but then you will have to undergo the entire process by yourself. You will need a great amount of research, knowledge, and patience as you will have to coordinate with each individual involved in the process and look after the legal and medical process. Whereas, a surrogacy agency can be an invaluable resource to make you understand the process, look after the uncertainties, and coordinate and communicate with everyone involved and they can be your best surrogacy support as well.

Now, when you know why you should work with an agency, there might be hundreds of concerns and doubts in your mind. Don’t worry, while you begin looking at all the prospective professionals, you would more likely be confused and unsure of which option to choose. And who is the best surrogacy agency? What are the factors I should consider? What are the questions I should ask the prospective surrogacy agency during the consultation or interview session? And what kind of answers intended parents must expect from a prospective agency?

Global Star Surrogacy understands your anxiety and doubts with hundreds of factors. We have compiled the top 10 surrogacy questions that you must ask a prospective surrogacy agency.

Before we begin discussing the factors catered to choosing the best surrogacy agency let’s have a look at what are the questions that are essential in intended parent surrogacy.

Must have surrogacy questions to ask an agency
  • How long have you been in this domain?
  • How do I qualify to join your surrogacy program?
  • What are the surrogacy services that your agency provides?
  • Do you assure surrogacy support in intended parent surrogacy?
  • Can you give a detailed cost breakdown for the surrogacy program?
  • What does your screening process look like?
  • How do you perform the matching process with surrogates and donors?
  • What about legal protection post-surrogacy journey?
  • Can you help us connect with your parents and surrogates who have worked with you previously?
  • How supportive is your team?
Additional questions for the surrogate mother
  • What made you decide to become a surrogate?
  • How was your experience with other pregnancies?
  • Can we join your medical appointments and delivery?
  • What are your thoughts about abortion or miscarriage?
  • What does your work or childcare schedule look like?
  • Are you okay with carrying twins or more babies?
  • Are you ready to begin your surrogacy agency?

Must have surrogacy questions to ask an agency

Every surrogacy agency has its different criteria, and not every agency or professional will be able to fulfill your expectations and goals with surrogacy. That’s why asking intricate questions to a prospective agency is quite a necessity, as it will help you understand the professionals and finally, you can shortlist to select your ideal or best surrogacy agency.

1. How long have you been in this domain?
It isn’t crucial to work with a popular or big surrogacy agency always! But to make sure the prospective surrogacy agency has a consistent record of success and collectively happy intended parents with healthy children, you need to check with their experience. Or else how could you determine whether this particular agency will guide you in your surrogacy journey?

Your ideal agency must have at least a few years of experience with assisting intended parents with a successful, hassle-free surrogacy experience. And they must have expertise in handling medical processes and legal factors within your country. Furthermore, they must have a trustable network with experienced surrogate mothers, donors, attorneys, and renowned fertility clinics.

You wouldn’t want to work with an agency that does not have a good number of happy surrogacy stories. It’s important to know their history to have a safe intended parent surrogacy experience. Do your research, and ask for their statistics and history.

2. How do I qualify to join your surrogacy program?
Not just surrogates but intended parents must meet a few requirements to qualify to begin a surrogacy program. For instance, intended parents have a proven history of a medical or infertility condition and few agencies have criteria for age as well.

Certain state-mandated requirements must be met by the intended parents following the agency or fertility clinic. Professionals who educate you about all the requirements and process for a successful surrogacy journey is your best surrogacy agency.

Also, every agency must emphasize all the essential requirements for the programs and why it is important in this particular treatment.

3. What are the surrogacy services that your agency provides?
Your next question must be related to the service they offer for intended parent surrogacy. Different agencies have variations in their offerings but there are a few standard services that every agency must provide to each intended parent considering surrogacy.
  • Counseling services
  • Matching process
  • Medical process
  • Legal protection
  • Communication and coordination between everyone involved in intended parent surrogacy. For instance, they must ensure intended parents get updates on the embryo development from the doctor. And there must be clear communication between the surrogate and intended parents, attorney, and IPs, and fertility clinic, and IPs.
  • And more services.
4. Do you assure surrogacy support for intended parent surrogacy?
An ideal surrogacy agency must provide surrogacy support like emotional support by conducting counseling of intended parents before and after a surrogacy journey.

Counseling is a must-have process, as it is essential to ensure that intended parents are emotionally ready to undergo this life-changing journey. Excluding uncertainties, surrogacy can be an emotionally challenging process for both the intended parents and the surrogate as well. The best surrogacy agency must conduct counseling before and after the screening process of IPs and surrogates and educate them about the probability of ups and downs in the journey and will recommend possible solutions for the same. This makes each party completely prepared for the intended parent surrogacy.

An ideal surrogacy agency would not just guide the surrogacy journey but provide emotional or surrogacy support. For instance, calming an intended parent’s anxiety by informing them of the updates or showcasing the facts or statistics of that particular situation followed by a suitable solution.

5. Can you give a detailed cost breakdown for the surrogacy program?
Surrogacy can be expensive, especially if you are considering international surrogacy. Your perspective must be able to give detailed bifurcation of the entire surrogacy cost, this itself must answer most of the surrogacy questions regarding cost.

Ask your prospective surrogacy agency for the cost of :

  • Overall compensation of the surrogate.
  • Egg/ sperm donor fees (if you require).
  • Legal fees, if they don’t have an in-house attorney.
  • Medical care and medicines cost for the surrogate’s pregnancy.
  • Fertility clinic fees or cost for embryo transfer.
  • Health insurance costs for surrogates.
6. What does your screening process look like?
Screening of donors and surrogate mothers is one of the most vital steps in surrogacy as it determines the success rates of your surrogacy journey. And you wouldn’t want to choose an agency that compromises on the screening process or finding qualitative donors and surrogates.

Although each agency has its screening process, there are a few common steps that every surrogacy professional must follow for egg donation and surrogate match, including

  • A physical and psychological examination of donors and surrogates.
  • Taking medical history.
  • Determining lifestyle patterns.
  • Checking background and credit.
  • Previous experience of surrogate and donor.
  • Medical tests to determine their fertility status.
Also, intended parents must consider a few surrogacy questions while discussing the screening process with a prospective agency.
  • When do you take personal interviews with the candidates?
  • On what basis do you shortlist the candidates?
  • What is the average rate of shortlisted candidates?
7. How do you perform the matching process with surrogates and donors?
Once you determine the screening process, the next most important topic to discuss is the matching procedure of that prospective surrogacy agency. Intended parents often have a concern about whether the agency would consider our preferences catered to selecting a perfect surrogate match. Otherwise, in independent surrogacy, you will have the liberty to choose your preferred surrogate but it may take more than usual time.

The key to choosing the best surrogacy agency is that it understands your specific traits in candidates, meanwhile also maintaining transparency with the delay of your matching process in some cases, agencies might suggest a few more additional things that you may miss out on otherwise.

Additionally, ask your agency a few questions related to the matching process.
  • Will there be lengthy paperwork to match with a surrogate?
  • Will you provide us with a date to conduct a personal face-to-face interview with a surrogate?
  • Can we have access to the surrogate’s profile or will your team directly send us details of the shortlisted surrogate mother?
  • How comfortable are you to repeat the matching process if we didn’t feel the shortlisted ones aren’t the best fit?
8. What about legal protection post-surrogacy journey?
Surrogacy involves complexes with legal procedures. As an intended parent, you must ensure that your prospective surrogacy agency provides you with legal protection i.e you can obtain the child’s custody easily with the right documents, for which you need expert guidance.

Ask them if they have an in-house attorney available. If not then will they connect us with another experienced attorney? And understand the reason why they trust that lawyer and ask for their client’s testimonials.

Well, the best surrogacy agency will recommend both the parties i.e intended parents and surrogate have separate legal representation for both the parties. If a prospective agency asks you to consult the same lawyer between both parties then it’s a big red flag.

When you consult a prospective surrogacy agency, there are questions intended parents must consider, which include:
  • How does the surrogacy contract process work? What are the factors included in the agreement?
  • What are the surrogacy laws in this particular state?
  • Will I be assured to obtain my child’s custody? What are the legal documents required for court proceedings for changing the parent’s name on the birth certificate?
Also, ask your agency if some uncertainties occur in court proceedings or other legal procedures in the surrogacy journey then will your attorney advocate for us with the right solution and guidance? Depending on their answer you will get an idea. Ensure that you get detailed step-to-step information about the legal procedure before you commit to the process.

9. Can you help us connect with parents and surrogates who have worked with you previously?
Going through google reviews, or simply believing what consultants are promising isn’t trustworthy sometimes. Instead, ask your agency to connect you with their happy clients The reason this can be beneficial for you is:
  • When they share their experience with a particular agency with you, it would be unfiltered.
  • You will get to know what emotional challenges the intended parents need to go.
  • Understanding a surrogate’s experience will give a clear idea about their medical and other essential proceedings.
  • And talking with a surrogate will give you an overview of what it is like to be a surrogate and her struggles. Which will help you to understand your surrogate when you begin your journey with her.
More than statistics, the stories of happy clients are more believable. And when you will see or listen to the experience of parents nursing their babies, it will help you make your decision effectively.

10. How supportive is your team?
Apart from all the services an agency offers to you, your top priority must be in understanding how supportive their team is with intended parents. What happens in an uncertain situation – failure in embryo transfer, medical uncertainty with a surrogate’s pregnancy, or what if the surrogate goes into labor at midnight? How dedicated the team is? And whether they give personal attention to the intended parents to assist and guide them with the procedure. Also, ask them whether they would guide you with how you travel back with your baby if you are choosing international surrogacy. What is the legal procedure for the same? Will you help us get my child’s visa? All these factors are extremely important, you wouldn’t want to work with an agency that leaves you on the journey without any information. Though, if you want to know whether the answers of consultants are trustworthy, you may cross-check with their happy clients, which in the case of independent surrogacy you don’t have any other chance to verify the facts. The best surrogacy agency would emphasize consulting you with all the details regarding the procedure so that intended parents do not experience any anxiety with sudden surprise of hurdles.

Additional questions for the surrogate mother

Once you get your best surrogacy agency, one of the next crucial steps is to find a perfect match with a surrogate mother. Surrogacy professionals would perform thorough screening tests but intended parents get confused about whether it is independent surrogacy or surrogacy with the agency when it comes to finalizing the surrogate, IPs are unsure if the surrogate is the right fit or not. To solve your concerns, we have listed below a few questions that you can consider asking your prospective surrogate mother.

1. What influenced you to become a surrogate mother?
Usually, surrogates love the journey of pregnancy and the joy of creating a life. While she is already happy being a mother now she decides to help other couples and or individuals to commence on their journey of parenthood, or many other reasons. Though, this question can be a great starter question to know her better.

2. How was your experience with other pregnancies?
Most prospective surrogates have prior experience with pregnancy, either their pregnancy or a surrogate pregnancy. By listening to her multiple pregnancy stories, you will get to know whether she is aware of the process and if she is capable of delivering a healthy child.

Additionally, the surrogate will feel like you understand her pain and sacrifice which builds a sense of trust between both parties. Also, if you haven’t experienced pregnancy by yourself, you will get to know how it feels like to carry a child – for instance, an infertile couple, a gay couple, or a single intended father.

3. Can we join your medical appointments?
If you and your surrogate mother live in the same state, you can ask whether you can join her medical appointments with a physician. Seeing the fetus’s development may help you feel connected with your baby. Make sure you maintain a distance and do not disturb her privacy. Also ask her, whether we can be present in the hospital during the delivery of our baby.

4. What are your thoughts about abortion or miscarriage?
It is one of the tough topics to discuss but equally important. Ask her opinion on abortion, at times due to complications with embryo development IVF specialists may recommend aborting the child. Now few surrogates wouldn’t agree to abortion at any cost while few would agree with the consequences and agree with abortion for the betterment of the intended parents. Also, ask her how would she respond to a situation like a miscarriage.

5. What does your work or childcare schedule look like?
If a surrogate has her children then there would be additional fees for childcare during the process. For instance in the case of bed rest, labor or delivery, immediate postpartum period, and medical appointments.

Also, if a surrogate wishes to continue with work in the initial phase of pregnancy, ask for her work schedule so that you know when you can contact her.

6. Are you okay with carrying twins or more babies?
This is the most essential part of your medical process. While a lot of intended parents prefer transferring multiple embryos to increase the probability of a successful pregnancy. Well, the downside of this process is that you might end up having the successful transfer of all the embryos which leads to twins or more babies.

Though the surrogate must agree with carrying twins as she will need to take extra prenatal care. Having her consent is a must and intended parents need to understand her perspective as well. Also, this factor must be mentioned in a surrogacy contract to avoid unwanted complications.

Are you ready to begin your journey with a surrogacy agency?

Finding the right surrogate and surrogacy agency is quite a task. But once you know these essential factors, finding a suitable one isn’t impossible. If you still have any doubts about the surrogacy process or if you already wish to commence your journey book our free consultation call!