Treatments & Options - Surrogacy - Resources
In this section, Resources for Gestational Carrier and Surrogacy relationships, we offer four tips to help you achieve a successful pregnancy (with less stress) when using a surrogate or gestational carrier.
Tip 1: Choose an agency (or don’t)
If you choose surrogacy, you will need to decide whether to use an agency or do much of the work yourself. Working independently might save you money but an agency could help save your sanity. Here is a quick guide to help you choose:
- Large agencies walk you through the process, offering legal, medical, insurance, and financial guidance. They also help you screen potential surrogates. Basically, a large agency "holds your hands" throughout the entire process, including assisting you when the baby is born. Expect to pay around $120,000 for a large agency, which includes insurance coverage for the surrogate.
- Smaller agencies can also help you through the process yet will charge less than a large agency. Small agencies assist you in finding a surrogate, refer you to fertility clinics, and provide answers to your legal and financial questions. However, you will have to do some of the work on your own. Small agencies are on the rise as surrogacy is becoming more common.
- You may decide to bypass an agency and manage the surrogacy arrangement independently. If you have asked a friend or family member to be your surrogate, or have already found one yourself, this option may be more appealing. Working independently means that you will need to do all the research and homework on financial, legal, and medical processes yourself. You will save money, but it could be emotionally and physically exhausting. Cost? Around $50,000.
Tip 2: Choose your team
What if disagreements or tensions arise between you and a surrogate during the process? A legal expert, especially one versed in reproductive law, will draw up contracts for you and for the carrier, protecting each party. Psychologically speaking, have at least one meeting with your partner, the surrogate and her partner, and a therapist. These counseling sessions can help you all maintain your boundaries and emotional health during this process.
Your team of experts can also guide you on the following issues:
- Health insurance, costs and payments
- How often you will communicate with and see the carrier, including how often you accompany her to her doctor visits
- Intentions and plans for any baby showers and the child's birth
- How to handle sensitive issues, should they arise
Tip 3: Choose your fertility clinic wisely
During the screening process, potential surrogates undergo thorough medical and psychological screenings to make sure they are good candidates for this process. If you and your partner will be the biological parents to the intended child, providing egg and sperm, you will need to be screened as well. Expect screenings for infectious diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, and other medical exams and blood work. Due to the numerous tests and clinic visits, you’ll want to make sure that you trust your doctor and like the fertility clinic you are working with.
Tip 4: Plan for financial costs
Make sure to budget for this experience. Surrogacy arrangements often run from $50,000 to over $100,000, depending on whether you go it alone or work with an agency.