Hey Intended Parents! Are you wondering about how to find a surrogate. In my experience, there are THREE main ways to find a gestational carrier or surrogate:
- Family or Friends – I have represented intended parents who have expressed to family members or friends that they want to use a surrogate to grow their family and a family member or friend volunteers to be their surrogate.
- Social networks – Another method for locating a potential surrogate is via your social networks. Whether that be via social media, such as posting that you are looking for a surrogate on FB or IG or whether it is using your community networks such as the community at your place of worship or your running club friends or your work network, intended parents have also had success finding surrogates through these means.
- And lastly, Agencies – Agencies are business that are focused on matching intended parents with surrogates. Agencies will have a roster of surrogates that they have vetted. The process usually begins with a consultation where the Intended Parents will learn about the agency’s matching process, the costs associated with working with an agency and what they can expect from a surrogacy arrangement.
We refer to arrangements that result from a connection via family and friends or via social networks as independent arrangements. There are differences between independent arrangements and agency arrangements. In my experience, the principal difference is that in an agency arrangement, the costs intended parents can expect to incur are fixed. In other words, the agency has determined what level of reimbursement or compensation the surrogate will receive before there is a match.
Side Note: Whether the surrogate will receive reimbursement or compensation depends on the state you are in. In Virginia, we only allow reimbursement for reasonable medical and ancillary costs. More on that another day.
In independent arrangements, the reimbursement or compensation will often be determined through discussions between the intended parents and the surrogate and there will sometimes also be input from the lawyers representing the parties.
Last thing – some independent arrangements are altruistic, so the reimbursements will be focused on ensuring that the surrogate does not come out of pocket in order to maintain the surrogate pregnancy, but without much reimbursement above and beyond that amount. This is typically when a friend or family member serves as the surrogate.
Okay. Hope that was helpful. The more you know! Until next time…
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