How much time do I need and where to start?
All Intended Parents come to the decision to apply for surrogacy in their own ways: after long-time infertility treatment, failure in the adoption process, or right after they learnt about their inability to have a child in a natural way. There is one thing in common for all of them — they are not going to give up on their dream to become happy parents. But what steps should follow? How to avoid unneeded delays and critical mistakes during the surrogacy journey? We have tried to create some algorithm that is supposed to stream-line the decision-making process.
- Gather all possible information about service and service providers
It’s easier if we’re talking about domestic surrogacy — it automatically narrows the list down under geographic criterion. If such program is not allowed in your country and you’re considering going for surrogacy abroad, you need to take into account that different countries have different legislation in the field of surrogacy. The most demanded is surrogacy in the USA, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia. Though, the legislations as well as pricelists differ in every of those countries. In an ideal scenario, you need to select one destination country, rather than travelling internationally from agency to agency, from clinic to clinic — that will save time and money.
- Now, when you are fully aware what surrogacy is and how it is executed, you may identify the most important criteria and limiting factors for you
For example, your AMH level is not high at all, but the embryos in your previous attempts were of the highest quality — so you feel that it is imperative to have at least one cycle of surrogacy using own eggs, before you’re ready to move on with donor eggs.
- Analyze your choices from the perspective of above specified criteria and factors
In our example, you will strike from your list those surrogacy agencies and clinics that have very tough policy towards possibility of self-stimulation or do not employ innovative methods in Assisted Reproduction Technologies.
- Shortlist several alternatives and address them for more information
It would be great if you could have a phone or skype conversation. In such manner you would have a clue how emotionally supportive and involved your agency is. Let’s do not forget that you will spend about a year in close communication with those people.
- Make a profile for every surrogate agency that you reckon as possible option
Do not forget that the agency will be your liaison with the fertility clinic, maternity house and surrogate mother (gestational carrier) — so you will need to indicate in the profile what clinic the agency works with, how many couples they have assisted already, how they treat their surrogate mothers, whether legal support for the exit process is provided or you will need to look for an independent family or immigration lawyer to deal with the passport for your baby. Availability of the agency staff is also critically important — if you’re lost in the airport in the middle of the night you don’t have time to wait till working day starts to have your issue solved. There are a lot of key factors, so the more details you have on surrogacy service provider’s profile — the easier selection procedure will be for you.
- Before making your final decision schedule the initial consultation
Some of the agencies offer free initial consultations with complimentary accommodation and meals, but even if your choices do not provide such options, it is still a good idea to meet in person, as we are talking about the decision of paramount importance. Ask as many questions as you can, read the contracts, talk to people, dig into payment schedules. If you’re given any medications – be sure that you understand the intended use of each and every.
Now you have all the knowledge you need to make your informed decision and to strengthen your resolve to take action. And of course, no rush — this is not a decision to be rushed about.