What is Independent Surrogacy?
Independent surrogacy is for couples or individuals who are yearning to have their own child. These beautiful people have been struggling to have a baby of their own and want to get a surrogate’s help to fulfill their dream.
However, they either don’t want to pay the exuberant fees charged by the surrogacy agencies, OR, want to have full control over the surrogacy process. This is where Independent Surrogacy comes in, also called private surrogacy and DIY surrogacy; the independent surrogacy is where the intended parents and surrogate mother work together without involving a surrogacy agency in the process.
Independent Surrogacy vs. An Agency
There are several reasons an intended parent may prefer having a child through independent surrogacy without involving an agency.
A surrogacy agency is an all-inclusive, mostly done-for-you solution for your surrogacy journey. The professionals at Surrogacy Agencies like Family Inceptions have years of experience helping intended parents and have dialed in process for the whole journey.
You just have to follow the instructions and pay a hefty agency fees. These agencies take care of everything from matching, screening, and finding a surrogate to legal help, medical guidance and counseling.
Then why would anyone choose to have a child via independent surrogacy?
Well, first and foremost, as much as you yearn for a child as an intended parent, certain financial limitations bound you. With independent surrogacy, you can cut back the costs and make the dream of having your child a reality.
Secondly, people who have already found their surrogate (could be a family member, a friend or someone you already know) might choose private surrogacy vs. an agency.
Last but not the least, an intended parent may wish to be more involved in the process and make it more personalized. In surrogacy via an agency, the agency professionals take care of everything, and the process may feel a bit alien to some parents.
On the other hand, in independent surrogacy, intended parents are fully involved in each and every step and feel more connected and in-control.
5 MUST DO’s of Independent Surrogacy
1. UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR SURROGATE HAS A LIFE TOO
Do keep in mind that your surrogate is an individual, and you need to respect her privacy and lifestyle. Her being your surrogate doesn’t in any way mean that you can dictate her to alter her lifestyle.
Of course, some safety measures need to be in place to make sure that the entire pregnancy process goes smoothly, and the baby stays safe. But overall, you need to be accommodating to your surrogate, and do not invade her privacy.
A good way to have a great relationship with your surrogate is to deeply understand the person before you two start this journey. You should know her likes, dislikes, values, beliefs, personality traits and other important factors. We cover this in great detail inside our signature course Surrogacy Roadmap.
2. HIRING AN ATTORNEY FAMILIAR WITH SURROGACY IS A MUST
In independent surrogacy, you are mostly on your own. You have to take care of everything – from finding a well-matched surrogate to medical screening, other medical procedures and everything in between. There is a lot on your plate as an independent intended parent, and for someone who is relatively new to the surrogacy journey, legal intricacies are hard to comprehend.
To avoid the legal mishaps that can cause you a fortune and also complicate the process, an attorney who understands the surrogacy process from the inside out is a must. The attorney can also help you with your state specific legal agreement which will keep you secure in the long run.
We recommend your first stop in finding a qualified and experienced attorney is the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) is an organization of nearly 500 highly vetted attorneys dedicated to the competent and ethical practice of adoption and assisted reproduction law. You can search the AAAA database to find an attorney near you by clicking HERE.
3. HIRE A COUNSELOR OR THERAPIST
Do seek emotional and mental support through counseling to better deal with the anxiety and stress intended parents and the surrogate may face during this long process. Many people tend to overlook this particular step deeming it unnecessary, but it is critical to maintain a friendly relationship between both parties, and have a smooth journey.
4. BE READY FOR ANY UNFORESEEN CHALLENGES
Do understand that in independent surrogacy, you are the only one responsible for everything. You do not have the safety net of an agency that works to sort out your challenges for you.
Hence, we have developed a course like Surrogacy Roadmap, so you can get access to industry professionals and a community of intended parents who are on the same journey EVEN IF you’re doing it independently.
That said, it’s important that you fully understand the challenges and difficulties an independent surrogacy comes with. Things may not go exactly how you anticipated, you may have to adjust your expectations with your surrogate, the process may be more time consuming than you anticipated, so be ready to tackle any challenge that may come your way.
5. BEWARE OF SCAMS
Do take extra precautions to avoid scams. If you are looking for a surrogate via online platforms, you need to go the extra mile to make sure that they are not taking advantage of your desire to have a child. Some individuals scam intended parents for money, so it is always recommended to be careful and not make any decision hastily.
Also, do keep an eye on every detail of your surrogacy contract. Make sure that the financial terms and compensations are explained properly, and there is no room for doubt. Furthermore, don’t make direct transactions without any record (and forgo the contract altogether). While some people may find it convenient to make direct payments, especially in the case of family and friends, but always keep a record of all the payments and bills.
The Final Word
If you feel any concerns or red flags during your independent surrogacy, don’t ignore them, hoping that everything will go smoothly. Remember, you have to look out for yourself as well as for your unborn baby. So, always recognize, discuss and solve those issues.
All in all, Independent surrogacy isn’t a simple process and requires your BEST. However, by keeping the above-mentioned guidelines in mind, you can make the process both a little less complicated and a bit smoother.