Choosing the Surrogacy Agency: How Does it Work?

By (embryologist) and (babygest staff).
Last Update: 03/30/2017

Surrogacy agencies are companies specialized in this process of assisted reproduction that help expectant parents choose the most appropriate surrogate for their case.

Once the destination where the surrogacy is to be performed has been chosen, the different agencies should be evaluated and a decision should be made as to which to start the process with. It is a very important step, in which it is necessary to take into account a lot of information and it is recommended to seek the opinions of others who have gone through the same thing.

In this article we comment on the aspects that must be taken into account for the election.

Finding the Best Surrogacy Agency

An agency will be better or worse depending on how it adapts to the needs of each case. Therefore, depending on the situation of the future parents, one or the other will be chosen.

In any case, in order to be able to choose carefully an agency of this type, it is essential to keep in mind the following points:

  • If the agency works from your country, with a physical headquarters there.
  • If there are permanent and accredited collaborators in the foreign country.
  • The way to choose the surrogate, whether they are in charge or the intended parents decide.
  • Years of experience in surrogacy and, in particular, with your country.
  • The services it offers, since there are agencies that have advisory services, lawyers and even have their own clinic.
  • The total price, with the number of IVF cycles and transfers included.
  • The additional services and the extra price they entail.
  • If they have a database of donors, in case they need to donate eggs or semen.

As we have said, the way of working of the chosen agency must fit your needs and must offer you confidence.

It is very important that the professionals of the agency resolve all your doubts and give you all the information you need about the process. In these cases it is usual to rely above all on the good feeling that gives you one company or another.

Of course the feeling is important, but a good praxis is also important. The process of surrogacy will depend on a good choice at this time.

Don't be afraid to ask for references, keep in mind that it is a long and complex process, and it is common for people who have already gone through this process to be willing to share their experience with others in the same situation.

You can request agency opinions from other people through our forum: Surrogacy forum.

Questions to decide the agency you want to work with

It is often the case that when a subject is unknown, it is difficult to know what to take into account when making a decision. To help you, we've prepared a battery of questions that we think might be interesting to make your choice easier. You must keep in mind that there are no good or bad answers, they will simply be good or bad for you. We have divided them into the sections shown below.

Choice and Questions on with the surrogate

  • How is the selection process of the surrogate carried out?
  • Can I meet the surrogate and choose her myself?
  • Does the surrogate have children? Does she live in a suitable family environment? Does she work? What is her financial situation? Most importantly, why is she willing to gestate someone else's child?
  • Do she have her own lawyers?
  • In case of malformation, Down syndrome, etc. If we decide that we want to abort, would it be possible?
  • What is the economic compensation that is paid to the surrogate? Does this money cover the expenses generated by the pregnancy, such as clothing, sick leave, etc., or is this paid for separately?

Doubts about assisted reproductive treatment and pregnancy

  • Which clinic is in charge of assisted reproduction treatment?
  • Is the clinic in the same city as the surrogate's residence?
  • What is the cost of assisted reproduction treatment and what does it include (number of transfers, freezing of surplus embryos, maintenance of frozen embryos, PGD, PGS, etc.)?
  • Who chooses the donor? Can I know her or is she anonymous? Is it a single or shared donation (that means if all the oocytes extracted from her are for you, which can mean a greater number of embryos and therefore a greater chance of success)
  • What are the complications you have had in other treatments? In other words, what can go wrong? (With this question we want you to be able to assess the sincerity of the company, if they tell you that nothing can go wrong. This is a pregnancy, of course there are things that can go wrong)
  • If there are complications in childbirth, who collects the costs? Is there any insurance for the pregnant woman for possible post-partum sequelae or death?

Agency issues

  • How are payments made?
  • Do you have a breakdown of all expenses?
  • If after several attempts the pregnancy is not achieved, does the search for a new surrogate involve an extra cost?
  • Is the contract in your language? If not, who takes care of the translation?
  • How many times do I have to travel to the destination country?
  • How is parentage assigned? By adoption, judicial sentence, etc. This is a question that has more to do with destination, but it is important to know what steps the agency plans to take to bring your baby home safely.
  • Does the agency have legal advice included or should you also hire the services of a lawyer?

FAQs from users

Suggested for you

In this article we give some tips for choosing the agency with which to start the surrogacy pregnancy. This is one of the steps in the entire process, but not the only one. If you want to know the other stages of surrogacy, I recommend you check this link: Guide to the Surrogacy Process – The 7 Steps of Surrogacy

Some of the people and couples who decide to choose this method to have children, opt for the option of performing the process through an agency but others prefer to do it on their own, which in Babygest's opinion is less secure and more complicated. In any cases, if you want to learn more about all the legal destination for surrogacy, we recommand you to read this post: Surrogacy Laws by Country – Where Is It Legal?

Our editors have made great efforts to create this content for you. By sharing this post, you are helping us to keep ourselves motivated to work even harder.

Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
Andrea Rodrigo
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information about Andrea Rodrigo
Adapted into english by:
 Marie Tusseau
Marie Tusseau
Babygest Staff
Editorial Director of Babygest magazine in French and English. More information about Marie Tusseau

Find the latest news on assisted reproduction in our channels.