With the advent of social media as a way for intended parents and surrogates — current and former — to connect with each other, it’s become more common for intended parents to try to bypass the extra costs of a surrogacy agency and instead find a surrogate on their own through the internet.
While this process may be successful for some, intended parents should proceed on this path with caution. As with every part of the surrogacy journey, it’s important to be as educated as possible about this choice to safely and successfully reach your surrogacy goals.
At American Surrogacy, we highly recommend all intended parents find a surrogate through our pre-screened, intense matching services, rather than on their own. However, if you are considering finding a match independently, there are a few things you should know.
The Pros of Finding a Surrogate on the Internet
For many intended parents, the reason they choose to find a surrogate independently through the internet is because of the possibility of saving money. When intended parents find a surrogate with an agency, they will need to pay agency matching and screening fees. While these fees are often well worth the safety and security an agency matching program provides, some intended parents choose to save that extra money and find a match on their own.
Finding a match independently also gives intended parents more control and responsibility over choosing a surrogate that’s perfect for them. While this may be a disadvantage for some intended parents, others find this fits their expectations much better, especially if they want to manage their personal surrogacy process. They may find more options for prospective surrogates and be able to complete a more detailed search than they would through an agency, looking for specific traits that an agency may not look for.
Intended parents who find a surrogate online may be able to develop a deeper relationship with a prospective surrogate before finalizing a match, and their surrogacy relationship may be more personal than one created through an agency matching program.
Finally, another advantage of finding a surrogate online is a wider variety of women open to being a traditional surrogate — as it’s rare for a surrogacy professional to complete this kind of surrogacy today.
The Cons of Finding a Surrogate on the Internet
As mentioned, one of the advantages of finding a surrogate online can also be a disadvantage. Independently finding a match requires an intended parent to take on more responsibility in determining their personal surrogate requirements, communicating with a total stranger and completing any initial screening. Any intended parents who are uncomfortable with this responsibility should consider using an agency’s matching services.
When an intended parent finds a surrogate through a source other than an agency, their surrogate has usually not undergone the necessary screening steps to ensure she is truly ready for the surrogacy journey. Therefore, intended parents will need to do initial screening themselves to see if a surrogate meets basic requirements and then pay for screening by a surrogacy agency or fertility clinic. If a surrogate does not meet the necessary requirements, intended parents will typically need to start from the beginning again — which can delay their surrogacy journey in the way a pre-screened agency opportunity would not.
Some surrogates found online may request to continue working without an agency, which can come with its own risks. Intended parents who wish to work with an agency for other aspects of the surrogacy journey may find themselves pressured into an independent surrogacy after finding the perfect match on their own — which can cause complications in meeting their personal surrogacy goals and preferences. Don’t forget that a fully independent surrogacy also comes with certain risks due to a lack of professional guidance.
Finally, remember that while the internet can be a vast resource, it also makes it easier for women to scam hopeful parents by pretending to be a surrogate or a prospective birth mother in adoption. Take caution when finding a surrogate over the internet, as there is unfortunately always the potential for fraud.
If you do find a surrogate on your own, remember that professionals like American Surrogacy can still offer agency services at a discounted price and complete all of the screening you need to safely start your surrogacy process. Any intended parent looking for a surrogate match online should make it clear from the beginning that they wish to work with a surrogacy agency to ensure they find the right match for them.
On the other hand, any intended parents who want professional guidance in finding a surrogate can contact the surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy to start the pre-screened, matching process. Learn more today by calling 1-800-875-2229(BABY).