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Ten Tips for Choosing the Right Egg Donor or Surrogate Agency
A blog by Stephanie Levich, Family Match Consulting, November 20, 2015
A quick Google search for egg donation or surrogacy will pull up hundreds of advertisements and websites for egg donor and surrogate agencies all over the world. With new agencies opening every month it's hard to know who to trust. Don't just rely on a professional, nice looking website. Here are 10 tips and questions you can ask to help you navigate the egg donor and surrogate agency selection process so you can be sure that you are working with the most qualified professionals possible.
- Find out how long they have been in business. Experience matters in this field. You don't want to be one of the first clients an agency helps.
- Ask around. Find out who your fertility doctor recommends. If an agency is not on their recommended list, find out their experience with them. Look up reviews online. Contact other professionals in the egg donation or surrogacy field like attorneys, consultants, etc. to get their input.
- How is the agency's initial communication? Do they get back to you with answers to questions in a timely manner? Are fees and policies outlined clearly? Maya Angelou once said “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” I believe this is true in business. If they are non-responsive in the beginning, how responsive will they be later on during the very crucial parts of the egg donation or surrogacy process?
- How do they manage client funds? Make sure that the agency utilizes an outside escrow account or trust fund to hold and manage your funds throughout the egg donation and surrogacy process.
- Do they require their egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents to enter into legal agreements with each other before the process is started? Do they require that each party has separate legal representation? The answer to both these questions should be yes.
- If your egg donor and/or surrogate does not pass her medical screening, or the process is cancelled for any reason, what are their policies? Every agency works differently so make sure you understand their policies and that you feel comfortable with them.
- How often does the agency recruit new egg donors or surrogates? If something unfavorable comes up with your first candidate, it's assuring to know that another candidate can be identified quickly.
- How large is their staff? Some agencies are run by only a couple of people while others have large staffs of 20-30. It's good to know the size of the agency so you can decide what feels right for you.
- Does the agency have dedicated case managers that can be reached 24/7 if needed? It's important that intended parents, egg donors and surrogates can all reach someone at the agency at any time if needed.
- Some recipient parents desire to have an "open" or "semi-open " relationship with their egg donor. Make sure the agency supports this and will help match you with a donor with similar preferences.