future family starter



As you embark on surrogacy’s process, one of the most important steps you will take will be finding your surrogate. In many ways, finding the right match is just as important as the quality of the legal agreement you execute to ensure your journey goes smoothly.

While filled with excitement, the search for a surrogate can also prove to be daunting and discouraging, and a particularly frustrating search can lead some intended parents to abandon surrogacy altogether as potential alternative parenting option. While there might not be any universal strategy which offers a guaranteed result, there are some decisions you can make and steps you can take at the very beginning to help bring about a successful search.

First, decide whether you wish to enlist the services of a surrogacy agency to assist you in finding a surrogate. Agencies can be a great resource to help you engage with candidates who have been through a proper screening, but be assertive in your own preferences. No agency should make the decision for you, and you should have the option of meeting – or at least communicating – with your surrogate directly to decide if there is a match.

In screening surrogates, you’ll want to start with the basics, as there are details concerning medical and pregnancy history, insurance, and family health information which need to be addressed from the very beginning. But this is only the start of the conversation. Does your surrogate want you involved throughout the pregnancy term, or does she prefer to be left alone? Is she hoping to be able to stay in contact with your child after birth? What are her basic diet and exercise routines? These are only a sampling of the questions which should be addressed in finding the right match. Remember, you’re picking much more than a business partner; you’re entrusting your surrogate with the health of your child. You owe it both to yourself and your new child to make as informed a decision as possible.

As a more general guideline, intended parents in the U.S. should make every effort possible to keep your search for a surrogate local. You might be tempted by the lower costs of using a surrogate overseas –- India, for example, has become a top surrogacy destination — but these financial savings are far outweighed by their potential ramifications. In using a surrogate from a foreign country, your child’s prenatal development will essentially be out of your hands entirely, and, as in the case of India, often in the care of a nearly destitute woman who lives in near third-world conditions. There are significant hidden costs for intended parents in the lower fees owed to surrogates in foreign countries, and your child’s health should not be a bargaining point.

While the extra energy involved in conducting a proper search for your surrogate can create stress and frustration, your efforts will be certainly rewarded. By maintaining your standards and taking on the search deliberately and responsibly, you’ll help to lay the groundwork for a successful surrogacy experience – and a successful start for your new family.