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Surrogacy is a reproductive option for those who are unable to conceive a child naturally for medical or other reasons. It can be a complex process and requires the coordination of a number of parties including the intended parent(s), a gestational surrogate, fertility clinics, and surrogacy agencies. Individuals and couples considering in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and gestational surrogacy to start or grow a family are likely to rely on the services of surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics. This article explores the role of surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics in the surrogacy process and provides resources for those considering surrogacy and other fertility options to start or grow their family.
What is a Surrogate Pregnancy?
Before we discuss the role of surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics in the surrogacy process, let’s start by defining what a surrogate pregnancy is and the types of surrogacy available. Surrogacy is a type of assisted reproductive technology where one woman carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple. There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is also the biological mother of the baby as she provides her own egg. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother carries a baby that was conceived using the egg or sperm from another person or couple.
There are many reasons why surrogacy is an attractive option for bringing a child into your life. Surrogacy offers flexibility in terms of timing and scheduling, allowing individuals to plan their pregnancies around their work or other commitments. Surrogacy is also an ideal option for those who are unable to have children due to medical issues such as infertility or genetic disorders. In addition, it can help individuals who are single or in same-sex relationships become parents without having to go through the adoption process.
The Role of Surrogacy Agencies and Fertility Clinics
A surrogacy agency is an organization that provides family planning support to those involved in the surrogacy process including intended parent(s), potential surrogates, and other third parties such as lawyers, mental health counselors, and medical professionals. The services provided by a surrogacy agency can vary but typically include screening and matching potential surrogates with intended parents, legal assistance for both intended parents and surrogates, psychological counseling for all parties involved, and financial guidance for intended parents and surrogates.
When selecting a surrogacy agency, it is important to research their experience in the field, the range of diversity represented in their database of surrogates and egg donors, their relationships with leading fertility clinics and doctors, and their fee structures. Many agencies also offer payment plans which can make it easier for intended parents to manage the cost of their services.
A fertility clinic is a medical facility that specializes in reproductive health care including fertility treatments such as IVF, egg or sperm donation services, embryo transfer, and implantation. Fertility clinics may also provide support services such as psychological counseling and education about fertility options.
Like surrogacy agencies, fertility clinics usually charge a fee for their services which can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the scope of treatment needed. Many clinics also offer payment plans which can make it easier for intended parents to manage the cost of their treatments.
Trusted Resources to Navigate Your Surrogacy Journey
Resources such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine can provide more information about fertility treatments available at different clinics as well as tips for choosing a fertility clinic or surrogate agency. Additionally, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, offers online support groups for those considering IVF or other assisted reproductive technology options such as surrogacy.
It’s Never Too Late to Have the Family of Your Dreams
The importance of both surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics in helping individuals and couples create families cannot be overstated. Both are essential in helping intended parents find suitable surrogates, navigate legal issues around surrogacy contracts, provide necessary medical treatments during the pregnancy, and ensure that all parties involved have access to appropriate care throughout the process.
When selecting a surrogacy agency be sure to consider factors such as the overall cost of services, quality of care provided by staff members, the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity represented in their egg donors and gestational surrogates, and their commitment to working with individuals and couples of all backgrounds. If you’ve been thinking about starting or growing your family, start researching surrogacy agencies in your area. Remember, it’s never too late to have the family of your dreams!