Finding A Surrogacy Match
To find a great surrogate match, you have to do a massive amount of networking. It’s tough to find qualified candidates. It takes an experienced practitioner like me to screen out the issues. You have to know the red flags.
When someone comes to you and says they don’t have custody of their kids, but it was by mutual agreement, I want to dig into this further.
I have people come to me with surrogates they’ve found through an agency or on their own who do not have a green card. I say, “She might be a lovely young Guatemalan housekeeper, who needs the money, but if she leaves your house one day to go to the grocery store and is picked up and deported, you will never get your baby out of Guatemala.”
I get referrals from other surrogates I have worked with and find surrogates on the various surrogate websites and blogs online. I have a good reputation with them. They know I’m not going to shortchange them or match them with people who will not treat them well.
Then matching the surrogate with the family is based on the family’s preferences. People have different thoughts concerning relationships, eating organic or kosher, vaccinations, etc. In our consultation, every family has distinct priorities that I narrow down and then look through what I have.
Finding surrogate candidates can be challenging. I talk to about 20 a month and usually settle on just one or two – sometimes it’s different. With the pandemic last year, I had a lot of new surrogates, perhaps because everyone was home. I also had a lot because nobody was commissioning them to carry babies. People were afraid to start families during the pandemic.
When families can’t handle the cost of surrogacy, I may suggest looking to a close friend or family member. It is a lot less expensive. Upfront, you have to know there will be no closure at the end like when a stranger carries for you. Some people don’t want to always recognize that Aunt Suzy was your surrogate mother.
That tie doesn’t bother everyone. I’ve had sisters that carry for sisters, and friends carry for friends. It all depends on your relationship. In this situation, it is ideal that you know and trust the person and have a high comfort level with them. Many families eventually tell the child they had a surrogate mother help them to be born. The difference is when it’s your sister or friend, everyone knows it from the beginning, and the child will learn early on.
Surrogate Agencies And Attorneys
If you work with an agency in Florida, you must also use an attorney. The surrogacy agency can’t do the legal work. What a surrogacy agency typically does is just find surrogates for people. You have to be careful using agencies; there is no licensing or regulation, they are not attorneys and do not know the law.
I don’t often work with agencies; they tend to prefer to work with inexpensive attorneys who attorneys who just use “cookie cutter” contracts and stay out of the process. But they absolutely need to have an attorney to do the legal work. When people come to me after finding a surrogate through an agency, usually that is all they do. They find the surrogate and then are gone. I do the rest.
Ideally, you should find a reputable attorney from the very beginning when you decide to go the surrogacy route. You don’t need an agency. You can work with an attorney, such as myself, who also finds a qualified Surrogate. I have accountability to the Florida Bar. I am licensed and regulated. You know if you give me money, you will either get a surrogate or your money back. That doesn’t happen with agencies.
When searching for an attorney, you want to ensure you find the best fit. Questions to ask before hiring a surrogacy attorney include:
- What is your experience with surrogacy?
- How many cases have you handled?
- Is this the primary focus of your practice?
- Are you going to be handling it, or will you pass it off to others?
- How available are you in the process? Can I get ahold of you?