The decision to have a child is life-changing. For those who choose to work with a surrogate, finding the right person is vital for a successful surrogacy process. Both researching and planning your surrogacy journey will match you with a suitable surrogate to start your future family.
What is Surrogacy?
Let’s start with the basics. Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman (the surrogate mother) becomes pregnant with the sole purpose of giving the baby to someone unable to have children. The couple or person seeking to grow their family is known as the intended parent(s).
The options of surrogacy have expanded due to the advancements in science and medicine. Exploring different types of surrogacy is the starting point of your surrogacy journey.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate gets artificially inseminated by the father's sperm or a sperm donor. In this process, a traditional surrogate is the biological mother of the child. A conventional surrogate must relinquish her parental rights, allowing the child to be raised by the intended parents. This option is most famous for single men, same-sex male couples, and mothers unable to produce a healthy egg.
In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not biologically related to the child. In this process, the surrogate is referred to as the gestational carrier. The embryo is created through in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is a medical process used to fertilize an egg outside of the uterus and implant it into the surrogate. A fertility specialist will collect sperm and eggs from the intended parents or a sperm and egg donor.
This path is ideal for women who cannot safely carry a child, people who have struggled with infertility, same-sex couples, and people who don’t want a genetic between their child and surrogate.
Starting the Surrogacy Process
Searching for a surrogate is a daunting task for intended parents. There are two main paths intended parents can take to find a surrogate. The first is to use the help of a surrogacy agency as they guide intended parents through the entire process, providing many resources you may need. The searching process can also be done on your own, known as independent surrogacy, allowing for a more hands-on approach with services like Modamily.
In cases where the intended parent does not know a potential surrogate, an agency is one way to find a surrogate mother. Agencies will provide professionally trained teams to handle everything needed during the surrogacy process. Depending on how invested you would like the agency in the process, intended parents have full-service and partial-service agencies’ options.
An independent surrogacy is when both the surrogate and intended parent do not go through an agency. Independent surrogacies are frequent among intended parents who know a potential surrogate personally like a close family or friend. If you don’t know a potential surrogate, many intended parents can use online resources to find a surrogate. This allows the intended parents to be more present throughout the entire process.
What to Expect from a Surrogacy Agency
Before jumping into the surrogacy process, it is essential to thoroughly research agencies, whether through referrals or online, and decide if that is the route that is best for you. Agencies will provide intended parents with a handful of surrogates, but this is usually the most expensive option. It is finding the right agency or service that impacts how successful and enjoyable your time will be.
Most surrogacy agencies will provide screening services to gather information from potential surrogates. The screening process allows the potential surrogates to fully realize and understand the commitment of a surrogacy. At the same time, it ensures they are mentally and physically ready to commit to a surrogacy. The screening process achieves this by checking medical, social, and drug history, birth records, medical workup, background checks, in-home assessments, and counseling. The screening process is essential for a safe and successful surrogacy.
It’s important to note that the Modamily Concierge will only introduce you to surrogates that have been screened beforehand for the best search experience.
Intended Parent Profiles
An agency professional will guide you to complete an intended parent profile that explains who you are and your goals from the process. This profile will be accessible for potential surrogates to explore. Intended parents will also go through a screening process to ensure they are emotionally and financially ready for the procedure.
After completing the intended parent screening and profile, an agency or concierge service will give you access to potential surrogate profiles and share your profile with potential surrogates. This process aims to match intended parents with the best fit, allowing both parties to explore their options. The method of finding a match can be exciting for intended parents, but it can also take time. Your wait time can be affected by your specific preferences and budget; therefore, more flexibility within the process can allow for a faster wait time.
Once you and a potential surrogate reciprocate interest, you will be able to meet with them. This meeting allows you to get to know your potential surrogate and discuss the surrogacy journey in depth. If both parties decide to move forward, your agency will guide you through the necessary legal contracts. Surrogacy contracts are essential as it creates guidelines and rules for the entire surrogacy process, protecting all parties involved. Each warrant will be unique to the individual as surrogacy laws vary by state and adhere to individual situations.
More Interested in an Independent Surrogacy?
An independent surrogacy allows for a more hands-on and less expensive experience. There are many online resources like Modamily, that can connect intended parents to potential surrogates.
Creating a Game Plan
Set yourself up for success and create a plan for your surrogacy journey, mapping out your hopes and goals for your experience. You will be responsible for the planning, searching, and matching process. This process may seem overwhelming, so creating a personal game plan can help guide you. Your goal should be unique to your individual needs, although it generally includes: the matching process, collaboration with surrogacy professionals (like an attorney and fertility clinic), and counseling. There are plenty of online tools and resources to help you through this process.
Finding a Match with Modamily
Many social network communities and websites connect intended parents to potential surrogates. Modamily is a network where you can meet others who dream of starting a family. Modamily matches people with similar hopes for their future family, connecting people that share the same vision and values for raising a child. Providing services for a wide range of clients and needs, Modamily connects singles women and men, LGBTQ+ couples, and couples to donors, surrogates and donors.
Further Guidance from Modamily
The search process can be a lot of work for intended parents. This inspired Modamily to create resources to make the process less time-consuming. Modamily Concierge is where staff will help guide members through their search, the services works with dozens of surrogacy agencies nationwide, so you can be sure you are getting the best available surrogate for your situation. Modamily’s strong relationships with over 100 egg donors and surrogacy agencies help clients find egg donors and surrogates within weeks. Modamily aims to empower members, catering to your unique goals and needs. Modamily’s experienced staff gives members personalized service, connecting you with a perfect match to build your dream family. Once this match is found, Modamily can connect a lawyer with expertise in surrogacy contract law.
Fertility Clinic Procedures
The intended parents are responsible for finding a fertility clinic for all necessary treatments. This will consist of managing all clinical appointments, delivering medications, and arranging transportation. The intended parents must support the surrogate through the entire process.
Start Your Family
The abundance of choices and paths available within the surrogacy journey can be overwhelming, but the outcome of adding a child to your family is priceless. Creating a clear plan that reflects your goals can help you through the process and give you confidence in which route to take. With the added support from online communities like Modamily, finding the perfect surrogate can be an exciting part of the journey!