"My IP's are the greatest! You should hear them! They really care! They give me things and ask how I'm doing." I read these statements recently on a nice little blog written by a 3x surrogate. I am happy for her...I really am. However, there are Intended Parents out there who can't or won't or don't know how to show they "care" which is where agency's step in. (At least it's where I believe agency's should step in)
Intended Parents who have never gone through a surrogacy situation before have no idea what the relationship with a stranger (who is about to carry a baby for them) should be like. Some may think, at first, that they want a business type relationship. Others may envision a close, personal bond where they can snuggle up to their pregnant surrogate and lay their hands on her bare belly and feel their own unborn child turning summersaults inside this strangers body. All IP's hope that she, their chosen one, their surrogate, falls pregnant on the first attempt and stays healthy and mishap free during each trimester until the delivery date.
While I have heard of some showering gifts on their surrogate and seemingly meet her every need, I have witnessed these very same IP's leave the hospital with their new born in arms and never look back. Incredibility they would tell their attorney that they wish no further contact and, without explanation, leave the surrogate wondering and grieving a relationship that she thought was "great".
Surrogate/Intended Parent relationships are tenuous at best which is why I feel the surrogacy agency plays a very important role. Not only will the agency know details about both the IP's and Surrogate, they can act as a friend, a buffer, a social secretary (reminding both parties of birthdays, anniversary's and upcoming holidays), a mediator and a negotiator. The expectations that both parties have are known to the agency personnal and case manager. This is so important when (and I do mean when ) a misunderstanding or misconception or even a miscarriage occurs.
So don't look at an agency's fee and wonder if you can "do it yourself". Both Surrogates and Intended Parents benefit from using the services of a professional agency.