When intended parents begin their search for the perfect gestational or traditional surrogate, many automatically seek the aid of a surrogacy agency. A surrogacy agency specializes in finding, screening, and matching potential surrogates and prospective parents. In addition to helping surrogates and parents find each other, agencies also manage the professional and financial aspects of surrogacy. While all of these services are valuable, it is possible to complete a surrogacy journey without the use of a surrogacy agency.
Seeking a match with a surrogate who is not affiliated with an agency is much more common than many prospective parents or even surrogates realize. Women willing to become surrogate mothers are able to independently choose their own potential parents. This is often done by placing ads on surrogacy message boards or even local newspapers.
There are many pros associated with choosing to complete the surrogacy process independently; the most immediate pro is that the matching process is free or extremely inexpensive. Surrogacy classifieds are often free or inexpensive and some surrogacy friendly attorneys and reproductive centers are also able to help match surrogates and families for a price that is nominal compared to agency fees. It is also easier to find traditional surrogates since many surrogacy agencies only focus on gestational surrogates.
Another pro to independent matching is that the surrogate and parents are able to work together to come to an agreement that works for both parties. Most agencies have a set agreement and are less willing to work with families or surrogates that have requests that the agency feels will be difficult to accommodate. Working independently a surrogate and parents can freely discuss both their personal and professional expectations.
Lastly, choosing to complete a journey without the aid of a surrogacy agency means that the surrogate and parents will not be forced to wait on an often busy third party. Surrogacy agencies often arrange dozens of matches and transfers each month. Waiting for an agency to arrange meetings, medical screenings, and other vital appointments is often tedious even at the best of times. Without a middle man surrogates and parents are free to move at their own pace.