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Partnering With An Agency

What To Consider When Choosing A Surrogacy Agency

An agency knows the ins and outs of what you’ll need to thrive as a surrogate, but like matching with intended parents, you’ll want to consider some factors before matching with an agency.

 

This is where we come in: we’ll be guiding you throughout the process of figuring out what type of agency will be the best match.

 

Here are questions we’ll be asking for you to consider:

Our goal is to help you feel prepared so that when you start your agency matching process, you’re not stressed brainstorming what you should expect and consider. We’ve got you covered! 

 

Here are 5 considerations when thinking about your surrogacy agency match:

What is their policy on 4th trimester care?

Who are their intended parents waiting to match?

How will this agency support me through my surrogacy journey?

What does the agency’s compensation and benefits package look like?

There are different agencies out there, and we’ll help match you with the one that best fits your needs. We’ll discuss all the ins and outs of agency matching with you, and offer suggestions regarding

  • Every surrogate mother is different, and you have unique preferences and qualities. We don’t want you to compromise that for anyone. Instead, we want you to consider the compensation you’re hoping for, and we’ll work to align that with the surrogacy agency’s compensation and benefits package. Each agency has its parameters around when they pay their surrogates, how much they offer, and what added benefits are included in their package. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, we’re here to help.

  • You’ll want to look at how the agency connects with their surrogates, what their teams promise to do to support surrogates, and how it fits into what you envision as your ideal surrogacy journey. This is about you finding the right agency match for you; no need to compromise. And don’t forget, even after you match with your agency, we’ll still be here supporting you however you need.

  • Preferences, preferences, preferences. We know we mention this word a lot, but only because it’s so important! As you choose your surrogacy agency, you’ll want to consider the intended parents they support, and whether your ideal intended parents could be in that pool! *crosses fingers* Past surrogates have centered questions around whether IPs are domestic or international or if they identify as LGBTQIA+, for instance. These are just a few preferences to consider.

  • You want to make sure you’re on this journey with an agency you align with on a deeper level and can communicate with in ways that satisfy your needs. Ask yourself, “Do I prefer quick texts or longer video calls?” and “How often do I want to check in with my agency?” Answering these questions beforehand can help ensure you’re energetically aligned with the right agency for you!

  • Your agency team can help you acclimate to your normal life post-surrogacy. If this is important for you, you want to add it to the top of your list whenever you’re choosing an agency. While a surrogate agreement will clearly state how involved the intended parents want to be in your life post-delivery, your homework is to make sure your agency and you are on the same page from Day 1.

the best agency for you and your journey.

Surrogacy.com vs. Surrogacy Agencies: The Roles Of Each

You’ll meet and work with different professionals and people committed to supporting you every step of the way during your surrogacy journey — and we are some of those people! If you’re wondering how surrogacy.com is different from a surrogacy agency, you’ve come to the right place. Everyone has an important role in your journey, we’ll help you understanding our role vs a surrogacy agency’s role, and how we work together to help you have the most fulfilling journey possible.

Our Surrogacy.com team will:

A surrogacy agency is a phenomenal partner in your surrogacy journey. Here’s where they come in on your surrogacy journey:

Surrogacy.com is a free advocacy and support service where our only focus is you. You get to decide what kind of surrogacy journey you want. We’ll help you find that right agency match, and then we’ll partner with them to move you forward on your journey. We’re here to make your dream surrogacy experience come true to the best of our ability and all while never letting go of your hand!

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Be there for you from intake through your fourth trimester

Advocate for you; you are our priority

Share first-hand perspectives of surrogacy (our team members have walked your path before!)

Do the leg work for you so you’re finding the right match from the start

Ask the small and big questions to get to know your agency and intended parent preferences

Send you small gifts as you hit important milestones (remember, we’re there for you always!)

Share book recommendations to support telling your own kids about your surrogacy journey

Answer all of your support partner’s questions

Help you feel confident during the IVF portion of your journey

Your agency will match you with the right intended parents for you

They will be your primary support for all things on your journey

They are the liaison between you and intended parents

They take on the job of being a point person between you and your medical support team, legal team, and others

They coordinate logistics from the moment you’re matched through your fourth trimester

They ensure you receive your compensation

They help make sure you and your intended parents are on the same page

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 A Look At Agency Surrogacy Compensation & Benefits

We are here to answer all of your surrogate pay questions! If you’re looking for a quick read on how much surrogates get paid, this article can answer that for you. There’s so much to understand about what goes into a full surrogate pay and benefits package, that we’ve outlined the details below, including when surrogates get paid during their journeys.

 

Surrogate pay basics: 

Now let’s get into the details!

As we mentioned earlier, we have an entire article dedicated to surrogate base pay, but here are some fast facts. Every agency is a bit different, but base pay for most competitive agencies begins at $40,000, and they are paid out during the length of your pregnancy (once you are confirmed pregnant).

Pregnant Mom sitting with her kids in a room full of toys

All surrogates are paid a base fee (typically ranges from $40,000-$50,000)

In addition to their base fee, surrogates will be paid for milestones during their journeys, lost wages or childcare, bed rest and more (more on that below)

Insurances (medical and life) will be paid for by intended parents

Perks and benefits outside of money that make your journey priceless

Signing advance

Medical screening advance

Medical clearance to transfer advance

Transfer payment advance

Surrogate Base Pay

Milestone Payouts

Some agencies honor a surrogate's commitment to surrogacy even before pregnancy. They will compensate surrogates for the time and energy they invest into the journey by paying them for specific surrogacy milestones. The amounts for each milestone vary based on the agency and surrogacy details, but here are some examples of these milestones:

All Travel Expenses & Lost Wages

All of your travel accommodations for clinic appointments and travel to the parents’ IVF clinic will always be covered, both for you and your travel companion. This includes:

Airfare (or gas/mileage if driving)

Hotel

Daily stipend for meals, parking, etc

You will also receive lost wages, childcare reimbursements, and more. The details of this are outlined in your surrogacy agreement, along with your payment timeline.

Medical Insurance

As we mentioned, you will never pay for anything medically related to your surrogate pregnancy. Medical insurance is handled in one of two ways. If you have an existing health insurance plan and it covers surrogacy-related needs, you will stay on your existing plan. If your existing plan does not cover your surrogacy-related needs, the intended parents will purchase a health insurance plan for you that does. Since most health insurance plans do not cover IVF costs, intended parents are responsible for these expenses.

Life Insurance

Intended parents will also purchase a life insurance policy for their surrogate ahead of embryo transfer day. This life insurance plan ensures your family is taken care of should anything happen to you during the surrogacy journey. Traditionally, this has provided surrogates peace of mind that their families are protected should they unexpectedly pass away. This is not meant to scare you, it’s just a precaution put in place should it be needed. Like your pregnancies with your keepers, you want to have all the bases covered.

Lifestyle & Fourth-Trimester Care

We are advocates for your well-being, which means baking everything you will need into the agreement to have a peaceful, stress-free surrogacy journey. Some surrogates have asked for added support in family care or housekeeping. 

 

Other examples of fourth-trimester compensation and benefits include:

Post-pregnancy flex spending

Post-birth recovery lost wages (or childcare)

Partner post-birth recovery lost wages

Family meal gift cards

Pumping supplies reimbursement

Pumping payment (this would be discussed beforehand and added into your agreement should it apply) 

Gifts & Surprises Along The Way

Specific-To-You Payments

I know we mentioned this up above but a surrogate’s compensation package truly is unique to them. For instance, if you happen to be carrying multiples or if your IVF process needs a mock cycle before things kick off, you’ll receive additional compensation for this. Other factors that can shift how much you are paid for your surrogacy journey include bedrest (compensation for any missed time at work), rest after invasive procedures, and more.

The Intangible Benefits

The cherry on top of your journey as a surrogate (and your compensation package) are the intangibles. Once you become a surrogate, you are instantly connected to other surrogates who have walked your path before (either 1:1 or through virtual private communities). In addition to caring for your body and physical well-being, your care support team (both at your agency and surrogacy.com) will also support your mental and emotional well-being. 

 

Also, once you give birth, you’ll still be cared for and, remember, we’re not going anywhere! Your surrogacy.com support team will be checking in with you postpartum as you

find your new normal.
Young child writing in a notebook while she sits on her Mom's lap
Woman smiling on the couch with her two boys

You didn’t think we (or your agency) would miss out on surprising you, did you?! We all know how much energy, time, and excitement you’re pouring into your surrogacy journey and we’re here to celebrate the small and big moments. You’ll want to keep an eye out for some sweet gifts along the way that’ll help you commemorate this time in your life!

Legal Protection For Surrogates

The legal aspect of surrogacy is so important to your journey. It outlines what you and intended parents can expect from the journey, and protects all parties involved. But all that legalese can be overwhelming. We’ll explain all things legal protection for surrogates in an un-intimidating way that hopefully answers all of your questions. 

 

Here are 3 takeaways about legal support and your future surrogate agreement: 

Who Needs A Surrogacy Contract?

Pregnant mother helping her toddler use a laptop on the couch

Surrogate agreements are drawn between intended parents and their gestational surrogates. Gestational surrogates – also called gestational carriers (GC) in some legal contracts – are surrogates who do not share any genetic connection to the baby. This is the only type of surrogacy we support and that you would be participating in.

In What States Is Surrogacy Legal?

Gestational surrogacy is legal in 47 states. In three states, surrogate agreements are not legal: Michigan, Louisiana, and Nebraska. 

 

Here’s where the nuance comes into play — while intended parents can live in any state (and most countries), a surrogate needs to live in (and give birth in) one of the 47 states that would uphold the agreement for a surrogacy agreement to be legal. 

What Goes Into A Surrogate Agreement? 

A surrogate agreement is a contract between a surrogate and intended parents. The agreement is put in place to legally protect all parties involved throughout the entirety of the journey and outlines all parties’ rights, roles, and responsibilities from matching to post-birth. It includes compensation details, decisions on topics such as selective reduction and termination, as well as guidelines for any “what if” situations that may arise.

Sticky note that says, "A surrogate agreement is a contact between a surrogate and intended parents. The agreement's goal is to ensure that nothing is left to chance."

You will have your own independent attorney to represent you and your needs at zero cost to you since this is covered by your IPs

All payment and benefit details will be clearly outlined in your agreement

We’ll support you as navigate through the legalese, ensuring you feel confident in your options and choices

If you’re asking, “Okay, but why do we need a contract?”, remember that having a contract in place ensures that all parties and their choices are legally protected throughout the entirety of the journey.

The Foundational Guidelines For Surrogacy

The agreement, first and foremost, ensures legal protection for the surrogate and assigns responsibility and custody to the intended parents. 

 

Both the intended parents’ and surrogate’s lawyers will workshop the agreement to make sure it includes clear wording about the following: 

You will have your own independent attorney to represent you and your needs at zero cost to you since this is covered by your IPs

All payment and benefit details will be clearly outlined in your agreement

We’ll support you as navigate through the legalese, ensuring you feel confident in your options and choices

A Guide For Extreme Circumstances

In addition to all of the foundational pieces for the surrogacy agreement, the contract will also outline what would happen if extreme circumstances were to present themselves. 

 

For instance, the agreement would make sure that both parties were on the same page about what would happen if the surrogate experienced a miscarriage, if the first round of IVF were unsuccessful, or if a medical decision to end the pregnancy needed to be made. 

 

Added bonus circumstances that are typically in the agreement include: 

Who is the child’s next of kin should something happen to the intended parents

Who is responsible for medical expenses should something happen to the intended parents

Establishing Parental Rights

Each state where surrogacy is legal has specific guidelines on how intended parents legally need to gain custody of their child. In some states, arrangements can be made before childbirth; in others, arrangements can only be made once the baby is born.

The surrogacy agreement outlines how intended parents would gain child custody and clarifies that a surrogate would be exempt from the child’s legal guardian's responsibilities.

Beyond custody arrangements, the agreement also outlines the kind of contact the intended parents would like the surrogate to have with the child as they grow up.

A surrogate contract is pulled together early in the surrogacy process to set clear boundaries for intended parents and a surrogate. The goal isn’t to overwhelm you with lawyer talk but to ensure all parties are on the same page so that they can focus on relationship building and having a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Asian woman working on her laptop with baby on her lap
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Close up of pregnant woman using her computer
Sticky note that says, "We'll take care to recommend the agency that's right for you."

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How Do Surrogacy Requirements Protect You?

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What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate?

The path to becoming a surrogate begins with meeting the medical, legal, and social/lifestyle requirements. Learn what those requirements are and why they're in place. 

Who Are The Intended Parents That Surrogates Help?

Throughout the surrogacy process, we talk a lot about the surrogate (you!) and baby, but the other essential party involved in this journey are the intended parents.

What Happens During A Surrogate Pregnancy?

One of the best ways to describe surrogacy pregnancy is like a long-term babysitting agreement. A surrogate loves and cares for the baby, but ultimately she (and everyone around her) knows it isn’t her baby.

What Happens After A Surrogate Gives Birth?

No one’s surrogacy fourth trimester is the same, but the one common thread we’ve always heard from past surrogates is just how fulfilled they feel as they reflect upon the past few months of their life!

Get Started with Surrogacy.com

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