If you are an intended parent, you have a lot of decisions ahead of you in your surrogacy journey. One of them is deciding between working with a surrogacy agency and finding a gestational carrier on your own. Each is an option, and whichever one you choose will always be up to you.
If you are considering finding a private surrogate mother, you know that you will have to do much of the work yourself. It can be a harder journey than working with a surrogacy agency but, when completed safely and efficiently, it can certainly be a way to add a child to your family.
Before you embark on this journey, we encourage you to reach out to our surrogacy specialists at American Surrogacy for more information about this aspect of your surrogacy journey. Our specialists can answer whatever questions you have about working with a surrogacy agency and the pros and cons of choosing an independent surrogacy. You can always call 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to learn more.
But, if you’ve come to this article, it’s likely because you’re wondering what a private surrogacy arrangement looks like — that is, one in which you have found a private surrogate on your own, without the help of a professional. You may have heard a little about this process through other intended parents, and you likely want to learn more about what this family-building process would look like for you.
To help, we’ve answered some of the more common questions that intended parents like you may have about working with a private surrogate mother.
1. Can I Hire a Private Surrogate Mother Without an Agency?
The answer is yes. There are many traditional and gestational carriers out there looking for intended parents like you. As a hopeful intended parent, you can find these women with a bit of work and preparation.
Before you choose this path, it’s important that you fully understand what it will mean for you as an intended parent. You will need to take on personal responsibility in finding a gestational carrier who shares your surrogacy goals and preferences, screening her to ensure she will be approved by surrogacy professionals and negotiating a surrogacy contract before she undergoes any medical procedures. Fortunately, even if you work with a private surrogate, you can still work with other surrogacy professionals along the way.
2. How Do I Find a Private Surrogate?
The most common way that intended parents find a private surrogate mother (without the help of a professional) is through online methods. There is a plethora of surrogacy groups and information sites online that can help connect you with a surrogate to carry your child. You can choose to create “surrogate wanted” classifieds, or join online support groups to grow your network and find potential surrogates.
As mentioned, if you find a surrogate online, you will be responsible for ensuring she is the right match for your family. This means making sure she is medically and emotionally ready for the surrogacy journey and that her surrogacy goals align with yours. You may find the perfect surrogate candidate only to discover that she will not be approved by a surrogacy clinic for the medical procedure. Therefore, if you choose this surrogacy process, you should be prepared for expending a great deal of time and energy into finding the perfect surrogate.
You might also search for a private surrogate through your own network of family and friends. Having a family member carry your child can be a great way to build your family, because it provides many benefits to all involved.
3. How Much Does Surrogacy Cost if You Have a Surrogate?
Many intended parents choose to pursue an independent surrogacy with a private surrogate because of the costs of finding a gestational carrier with a surrogacy professional. That’s completely understandable; surrogacy can be expensive, although the services provided by professionals often justify those costs.
If you have already identified a gestational carrier, or you plan to find one on your own, the cost of your surrogacy will likely be much lower. In fact, American Surrogacy is among the many surrogacy agencies which provide a reduced fee schedule for intended parents who have found their own surrogates. Domestic intended parents who pursue an identified surrogacy can expect to pay $11,000 in program fees for our agency, while international intended parents will pay $13,000.
If you choose not to work with a surrogacy professional after identifying a surrogate, know that there are still some costs you must pay to ensure the safety of all involve in your journey. These include screening for both you and your surrogate, separate surrogacy lawyers for each of you, and the pregnancy expenses that your surrogate incurs. How much your personal surrogacy journey costs will depend upon the services and professionals that you choose. It’s encouraged that you find quality services for your private surrogacy, even if they may cost more — because nothing is more worth it than the addition of a family member.
4. Can I Work with Surrogate Clinics if I Have the Surrogate Who is Going to Carry My Child?
While many parents who choose an independent surrogacy do so to avoid the costs of a surrogacy professional, you must still work with a surrogacy clinic and surrogacy attorney to safely complete your journey. You cannot complete a surrogacy without the assistance of these professionals; doing so will open you and your private surrogate up to legal risks and complications. It’s important that you discuss your choice of professionals with your surrogate to ensure she is comfortable with them before you move forward with a match.
You can also work with a surrogacy agency if you have already found a gestational carrier. An agency can guide you through every step of the process ahead and navigate the intricate complexities of the surrogacy process. They can coordinate with your other professionals so you and your surrogate can work on developing your relationship and bringing a healthy child into the world. Our specialists at American Surrogacy are happy to help you if you have already identified a private surrogate mother for your journey. Contact them today to learn more about the services available to you.
5. What Else Should I Know About Working with a Private Surrogate Mother?
Finding and working with a private surrogate mother is very different from working with a carrier that you find through a matching professional. It’s not always the right path for everyone, so it’s important that you evaluate your personal surrogacy goals and needs before committing to this surrogacy process.
There are a few important things that hopeful parents should know about finding a surrogate on their own:
- You will be more likely to find a traditional carrier when working with a private surrogate. Because of the potential risks and complications of traditional surrogacy, most surrogacy agencies will not work with traditional carriers. Often, the only way for intended parents to complete this surrogacy journey is by finding a private surrogate for an independent surrogacy journey.
- You will likely spend more time finding the perfect surrogacy partner. As mentioned above, when you have to screen potential surrogates yourself before matching with one, it will likely take much longer for you to find your perfect match. Intended parents should be prepared for this extra wait and recognize the important of choosing the right carrier, no matter how long it may take to find her.
- You will have a higher potential of being exposed to fraud or misrepresentation in your search. Many intended parents have successfully found surrogates through online and other such methods, but keep in mind that the quality of prospective surrogates found through this process is usually lower than the pre-screened, pre-approved women found through agencies. You may find yourself matching with a woman who has been previously deemed ineligible for surrogacy by other professionals and is choosing an independent surrogacy as a work-around. There is also the chance that a prospective surrogate is not who she says she is, so take care not to complete any financial transactions until a surrogacy attorney is involved.
Whether you are currently looking for a private surrogate or just considering your options, thorough understanding of each process is key to your success. American Surrogacy is here to help you through that decision-making journey. Whether you choose to find a surrogate on your own, or you have already found a surrogate, our specialists are ready to guide you through the rest of your surrogacy journey to bring a new member into your family.
For more information about our agency and our services, please call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).