In our latest guest post by Circle Surrogacy, we learn about some of the benefits gay men should come to expect when working with an agency
You've already made the big decision. You're ready to start your journey as a gay parent, and surrogacy and egg donation is the way you'd like to do it. Now, you have to decide if you want to find a surrogate and egg donor independently, or if you want to work with an agency. While both options have great benefits, this is a monumental decision and you'll want to be sure you're in good hands. Working with an agency can help reduce the stress and uncertainty in a surrogacy journey. The key is to find the right agency for you and your needs.
A surrogacy journey is like a detailed puzzle, the two most important pieces of which are trust and honesty. Trust and honesty are critical in this process and working with an established, flexible, and reputable agency make this process much less intimidating.
What are the benefits of working with a surrogacy agency?
You don't have to be a surrogacy expert
Agencies bring an immense amount of experience to surrogacy, which by nature is a very complicated process. A tremendous amount of coordination and planning goes into a surrogacy journey, as well as legal contracts. A surrogacy agency works with intended parents each and every day. By letting the experts focus on managing and guiding your journey, you can focus on enjoying the experience and preparing for the arrival of your baby!
Legal needs are taken care of
Critical components in a surrogacy journey are contracts and legal needs. You'll want to work with an agency who has lawyers experienced in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) law. At Circle Surrogacy, we have a team of knowledgeable lawyers and coordinators in-house. Having a team of legal representatives on staff streamlines communication between the program coordinator and the legal professionals, and keeps the guidance of your journey all under one roof.
LGBTQ+ friendly and knowledgeable
Each state and country has specific laws and regulations for same sex IPs. Circle Surrogacy was founded by a lawyer and gay dad through surrogacy, who built an agency that helped members of the LGBTQ+ community have biological children safely and securely. Circle has helped gay singles and couples for over two decades grow their families, all over the world. Our legal staff is experienced in the legal rights of the LGBTQ+ community and stay educated as the laws change. Working with an agency that has this level of expertise in both social work and law helps to ensure a positive and successful journey for IPs.
An agency manages the entire process - so you don't have to
In addition to having a full staff of experts in the industry, many agencies also provide services that help to create a safe and trusting relationship between the egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents. Established agencies such as Circle Surrogacy, provide services such as:
• Screening surrogates and egg donors
• Matching intended parents with surrogates based on multiple criteria
• Helping intended parents find an egg donor that meets their needs
• Coordination with medical providers
• Supporting intended parents and surrogates throughout the process
• Representing intended parents for all necessary legal work
• Helping to secure insurance coverage for the pregnancy and the children post-birth
• Preparing hospitals for the birth
• Continued support for everyone after the birth of the child
• Detailed accounting and financial support
You know exactly where your money is going.
When you work with an agency, you will pay an agency fee, something you wouldn't have to pay in an independent journey. This agency fee covers the costs of your agency to manage your journey (including legal fees), and can help control costs in the long run. Look for an agency that is transparent about their costs, so you don't find surprise costs along the way. Agencies such as Circle believe in giving their intended parents an accurate picture of the cost of the entire journey upfront so they can make appropriate financial plans. Circle also offers a Fixed Free Program which fixes surrogate, agency and legal costs to a designated amount - if costs end up being more, Circle will cover them. Plus, they have relationships with many fertility clinics, and can help advise on fertility plans to help control costs.
Transparency, specialization, program management, and expertise are not the only benefits of working with an agency. Agencies also provide support, guidance, solutions, and community. Most surrogacy agencies extend services to help make the whole process easier and less stressful, but not every agency is a good fit for everyone. Having chemistry with your agency is important and will lead to a better experience all around. It's important to do research beforehand and meet with multiple agencies before making a decision!