Selecting an agency to guide you through the process of being a surrogate is a big decision that will impact your entire experience. It is difficult knowing what questions to ask when you are searching for an agency, and in an effort to ensure that you are making the best decision possible, the following are some of the things you should make sure you know about the agency you work with before signing up with them:
How long have they been in operation and who is the director? Anyone is able to start a surrogacy agency. There are no federal regulations that determine who can run this type of agency and which regulations they need to follow. You need to trust that they have extensive experience in this complex field and that they are aware of the guidelines published by mental health, medical, and legal professionals that are in place to make this process safe and secure. Our agency not only follows those guidelines and has an extensive network of professionals to reference, we also strive to lead the way in creating new regulations that will benefit the industry as a whole.
Do they FULLY screen their surrogates before they are matched with intended parents? Many agencies do not want to pay to screen surrogates until they are matched with intended parents. IARC recognizes how much time, energy, and emotion goes into the the matching process by both intended parents and surrogates, which is why we want our surrogates to feel confident that they are qualified before they begin the matching process. Many agencies will cover their unwillingness to pay the prescreening costs out-of-pocket by saying that this speeds up the process for egg donors and surrogates, which simply is not true. Screening takes the same amount of time, whether it is done prior to being matched or after.
What services do they provide for their surrogates? Every agency offers a different level of assistance throughout your process. Many only assist with the screening and matching process but offer minimal assistance throughout the most critical parts of your program, which include the pregnancy, delivery, legal proceedings, etc. We are there to take this journey with you from the very beginning until months after you deliver to make sure you have the resources and support you need every step of the way.
How many programs have they facilitated in their history? The best way to gain expertise in this field is through years of experience. Our agency has facilitated over 1000 programs, and not one of them has been the same. As each unique program is completed, we learn more about how this field works, what surrogates need throughout their program to feel valued and secure, and what intended parents need to find success. With over 20 years of experience, we truly are one of the oldest egg donor and surrogacy agencies in the country with a director who has dedicated his entire professional career and a lot of his personal time to helping infertile couples build their families.
Our director: IARC’s ownder and director, Steve Snyder, has been key in changing the law related to assisted reproduction; he has lobbied the Minnesota legislature and authored articles on the legal aspects of this topic. He also is an international speaker and leader of workshops on subjects from the ethical issues surrounding ovum/egg donation to drafting contracts and letters of agreement that stand the test of time.
To learn more about our agency, contact the office of the IARC at 763.494.8800.