In all surrogacy arrangements, several actors play a role throughout the process, including the intended or prospective parents (IPs) and the gestational carrier (GC), also referred to as surrogate or surrogate mother. But, additionally, they count on the support of a group of professionals from the medical, legal, and financial fields—surrogacy agency, attorneys, fertility clinic, and escrow account managers.
As you shall see, the number of professionals and people involved in a surrogacy arrangement requires that they are perfectly coordinated in order to do their job properly. In short, choosing the right agency and fertility clinic for you is crucial, as well as selecting an experienced attorney. All these steps are key to success in every surrogacy arrangement. Continue reading to get a much deeper insight on the role and functions of each party.
The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.
Who will I be working with?
Even though not all intended parents seek the help of each one of the different professionals recommended, ideally all surrogacy processes should be supported by these five professionals:
- We are Surrogacy
- source of information
- Fertility clinic
- medical procedure and creation of embryos
- Surrogacy agency
- egg donor and surrogate selection
- surrogacy contract and establishment of parental rights
- Escrow manager
- to deal with the payments and financial issues involved
This article aims to provide you with detailed information on the role of each party in order to understand the difference between them and why you need their services.
We are Surrogacy (WAS)
As a support community and surrogacy magazine, We are Surrogacy will help you throughout the first stage of the surrogacy process. It's the part when you gather as much information as possible in order to make well-informed choices. Understanding how surrogacy works is not easy—one should read and understand the different legal issues surrounding this fertility treatment. WAS works by spreading information and helps you understand the pros and cons for free, as any other means of communications.
WAS, along with inviTRA, is composed of a team that has been working on the field of surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) for more than 10 years, collaborating with international fertility clinics at the same time. Our experience tells us that understanding the different success rates can be a difficult task. Our goal is to make them easier to understand for you as prospective intended parents, so you can choose the clinic and agency that best fits your needs.
Their job is to conduct all necessary medical tests to the IPs in order to determine if they can use their eggs and sperm or not. In case they needed an egg donor, for instance, the medical staff will decide if the IPs have selected an adequate egg donor or not. The medical screening to potential surrogates is intended to determine if she's healthy to carry a pregnancy.
Aside from determining whether egg donor (if needed) and GC are good candidates to do the match, doctors and medical staff are in charge of the entire medical process, including:
- Prescription of medications required for both GC and egg donor, if any, or the intended mother, in case she is using her own eggs
- Follow-up of response to fertility drugs
- Egg retrieval, that is, harvesting the eggs from the intended mother or the egg donor
- Semen collection and processing, either from the intended father or a sperm donor. Sperm donors are medically screened as well
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process
- Embryo culture and transfer to the GC
Also, fertility clinics typically monitor the pregnancy during the first trimester. After this period of time, your surrogate's OB/GYN will monitor the pregnancy and delivery.
Surrogate & Egg Donor Agency
Surrogate agencies are in charge of the surrogate match, paying attention to her compatibility with the IPs. This is typically done following one of these methods:
- Using a database of surrogates: it consists of a pool of potential surrogates out of which intended parents select the one that best matches their preferences
- Through the agency: the professionals at the agency do the most adequate match for intended parents
The method used depends on the country where your surrogacy arrangement is taking place and the agency you are working with. In case you need an egg donor and/or a sperm donor, they can handle the matching process as well.
Relying on a surrogacy agency is key to success for two reasons: first, because they offer a wide range of potential candidates, and second, because they have been medically and psychologically pre-screened. They will coordinate and evaluate the documents and tests carried out by the clinic.
Surrogacy agencies typically do a follow-up of the surrogate pregnancy and review the expenses incurred during the process to determine if they should be paid with the IPs escrow account.
Moreover, your agency will insure that you have all the legal documents required to become the rightful parents of the child, whether you are doing it in your country or overseas.
Surrogacy agencies act as intermediaries between the intended parents and surrogate in case a conflict, mishap, or disagreement arises.
Surrogacy is the most challenging of all fertility treatments. For this reason, it's crucial that you rely on well-versed professionals. If you are looking for trustworthy agencies, this tool will show you destination countries where your family type is permitted, and provide you with a detailed cost estimate. Moreover, our specialists will evaluate your case in particular in order to recommend you those clinics that best fit your needs, and meet our rigorous selection criteria. We have 10 years' experience behind us.
Hiring the services of an attorney who specializes in surrogacy arrangements is crucial. This is what your attorney will do for you:
- To legally represent the IPs throughout the process, from beginning to end, till they are considered the rightful parents
- To draw the surrogacy and egg donation contracts between the GC and the egg donor (if any)
- To discuss the clauses of the contract with the surrogates's and egg donor's attorneys
Thanks to their work, intended parents can go through the surrogacy journey safely and accordingly to the regulations governing surrogacy in the country.
Escrow Account Management
As indicated above, the management of the escrow account is handled by the surrogacy agency, but you should hire the services of a escrow manager as well in order to have your account under control and be informed on a regular basis.
An experienced escrow company that you can fully trust is essential to manage the financial aspects of your surrogacy and/or egg donor relationship. They will review every new contract, account transaction, and current balance.
If you found this interesting, why don't check out the following post? Click here: Guide to the Surrogacy Process – The 7 Steps of Surrogacy.
FAQs from users
What are the most important services to hire in a surrogacy process?
An experienced and compassionate clinical team which features a dedicated surrogacy team that guides you through the process from conception until delivery. A competent and experienced attorney that is licensed in the state where the child will be born. A reliable and honest agency which helps you find a surrogate that’s a good fit for you.
Which professionals are material to all surrogacy arrangements?
At least, all intended parents need to hire the services of a surrogacy agency, an attorney and a fertility clinic.
Can a find a private surrogate mother?
We don't recommend that you seek independent surrogacy, as there are many risks involved. Many intended parents choose this option in order to reduce the cost, but the results are often disappointing. You know what they say: better safe than sorry.
Suggested for you
Surrogacy arrangements, as one shall see, come hand in hand with the regulations governing fertility care in your country or the foreign country that you choose as your surrogacy destination. Click here to get an international overview: Surrogacy Laws by Country – Where Is It Legal?
The services of each one of the parties involved add to the total cost of the treatment. To learn more about it, visit the following guide: Surrogacy Cost Breakdown – Agency & Gestational Carrier Fees.
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