It’s normal for intended parents to have a myriad of questions as they consider surrogacy. Some of the major issues I address are about the basic logistics of the process - why should I work with an agency? What about my surrogate’s location? So much of it is about the relationships in the process, and the best way to build those relationships is a big part of managing a surrogacy match.
Should I work with an agency?
Choosing to work with an agency always reduces the risks of complications and helps ensure the process runs smoothly. An agency will prescreen and qualify their surrogates; if intended parents choose to go independently, their surrogate may not be qualified. Working with an agency allows intended parents the ability to focus on the important issues such as building a bond with their surrogate and enjoying the pregnancy. All of the technical issues - such as payments and travel - are handled professionally by your agency.
What if I don’t live in the United States?
It’s recommended that international clients come to the United States for the surrogacy process. If you are working with an agency, you can generally work together, completing each step via email, fax, and telephone communication. Your doctor will inform you if/when you need to be seen before the transfer, specifically if a male partner needs to undergo testing. You may plan trips to the US as you wish; possibly for transfer, certain doctor appointments, and, of course, for that very special day everyone is working toward.
Does it matter if my surrogate is local?
In regards to the location of your surrogate, there are two things to consider here: the proximity of your surrogate in relation to where you live, and the proximity of your surrogate in relation to your IVF center. IPs are often concerned whether they can be as involved in their surrogacy cycle if their surrogate lives in a different state. With the technological tools available, staying connected is easier than ever. Thanks to Skype and Face-Time, you can be right in the room with your surrogate to see their ultrasounds firsthand and hear their doctor’s advice. Don’t rule out a qualified surrogate you have fallen in love with and want to work with just because she is 1,000 miles away from you. Close proximity doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship and involvement in the process will be closer.
Intended parents often think that if their surrogate is in the same state it will save them money. Not always the case. Unless your surrogate is literally in the same town as your IVF center, you will often pay more in mileage than in plane fare for her travel to the clinic. Your surrogacy agency can and will set up a monitoring clinic close to where she lives. Once your surrogate is pregnant, she will go to her local OB, often in the same town. The agency will work closely with you to help cut costs in terms of travel no matter where your surrogate lives.
If I desire more than one child, should I try for twins?
This is a personal decision. You may save money on the surrogacy cycle up front, but there are several things to take into consideration:
Cycle related: The pregnancy becomes high-risk with multiples. We actually see more physicians pushing for singleton pregnancies because the risks are substantially less. A gamut of additional testing must be done in a multiple pregnancy, and the gestational carrier may need to be off work for a longer period of time prior to the birth - this may add more costs for the intended parents. There is also the increased possibility of bed rest and childcare/housekeeping costs associated with it.
Long-term considerations: You will need two of everything at one time (no hand me downs); child care will be more expensive (no older sibling to help); you will be paying double for school supplies, supports, dances…all at once. Then there’s college to consider and pay for all at once. With these and other factors, it may in the long run be less risky and less expensive to try and space your children apart and do two sibling cycles to complete your family.
Donna Raidy, Chief Operating Officer for Fertility SOURCE Companies, takes pride in directing our great team of professional and compassionate staff. Donna has over 30 years of experience in business management, and served in many roles at FSC prior to becoming COO. Email: Donna.Raidy@FSCagency.com Donna.Raidy@FSCagency.com or visit: fertilitysourcecompanies.com.