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Surrogacy Agency Misconceptions: Why some women "Go Independent"

Posted Oct 25 2008 1:16am

I have met literally hundreds of surrogate mothers, both traditional and gestational (although I readily admit that most were gestational). The women who tried to match themselves "independently" were the most interesting to talk with because they #1 had the most issues/problems #2 failed to actually complete a surrogacy and #3 some ended up going with an agency. Now I know of a very few who have had a great experience matching themselves and I was happy and relieved to hear that they had a great experience. However, more often then not, there wasn't a happy ending.

The question I had to women who want to be surrogates but don't want to go through an agency is WHY NOT? What is wrong with agencies? I know why some Intended Parents don't want to hire an agency and #1 is money but why do surrogates avoid agencies? Here are some of the top reasons women 'go independent':
#1    Potential Surrogates feel that they are saving potential IPs money
#2   Potential Surrogates can set their own base fee without an agency interfering and if the IP is 'saving money' (see #1) it can be given to the Independent surrogate
#3   Potential Surrogates don't have to go through the screening an agency requires. Examples:
        A    BMI higher then 30 would be "OK"
        B    Not parenting their own children would be "OK"
        C    On public assistance would be fine
        D    No Insurance is OK because they could be on public assistance    
        E    No Background Check because IP's don't want to spend the money
        F    No psychological evaluation unless required by the clinic
        G    Taking certain medications for anxiety for example might be acceptable
        H    Hazardous working conditions can be overlooked
        I    A 'retainer fee' can be requested
        J    If Traditional and in-home inseminations then No IQ testing, No STD testing, no waiting for sperm quarantine
#4    Going through an agency requires too much time and paperwork 
Are these REALLY the type of women that IP's want to carry their child? NO! But then again I don't think that Intended Parents who want to save time and money know what they are getting themselves into when they don't ask the right questions or require the most basic of background information.
Taking all of the above into consideration....who is really benefiting in an Independent situation?
Sharon LaMothe
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