Ask the Surrogacy Experts

We want to find a surrogate for our Independent cycle — but it seems the women all have extreme demands. Why is this so much harder than what we expected from an Independent Surrogacy journey!?
— Matt & Michelle

 

Hello Matt & Michelle.

Intended Parents pursuing an Indy Surrogacy journey can only be matched with a surrogate who is willing to be an Indy surrogate. That means that she prefers to work with the coupled directly without any help or support from an agency. Women who prefer Indy have their own specific reasons — and it influences who they can be matched with.

All women have their own reasons for preferring Indy, but my experience is they generally fall into one or more of the following groups…

Some women choose Indy because they want to develop a personal relationship with the parents and see this as charitable service rather than as a financial transaction. Such a woman will want to be very closely involved with you and the baby. These are great candidates if you are willing to open up your family. She will certainly take excellent care during the pregnancy and she’ll feel personally invested in the baby’s wellbeing. But these candidates are chosen quickly and don’t wait around.

Other women seek Indy surrogacy because a typical agency won’t hire them for various reasons. Sometimes a candidate may be somewhat overweight, or she may have had multiple C-section deliveries. But the most common reason is because the candidate is over 39 years, which is an industry cutoff date. It’s worth noting that pregnancy rates for women in their 40s is the same as women in their 30s [when donor eggs are used], and there is no medical evidence that shows that women in their 40s are less suitable as surrogates than younger candidates. These women can be great candidates, especially if the woman is fit, has a healthy lifestyle, with recent uncomplicated pregnancies. Like I said — the 39 year cutoff age is rather arbitrary, and I would MUCH rather have a fit 42 year old woman than a 38 year old couch potato carrying my baby.

Other women choose to be Indy because they think the parents can afford to pay them more if they don’t have to pay Agency fees. This is the likely candidate you will find who is younger and in high demand and is looking for the highest compensation possible. In my opinion, these are women who are less desirable candidates — they’re expensive and driven by the wrong motives.

Regardless of which category your surrogate candidate falls into — they all realize that they will be closely intertwined with the parents throughout the journey, so their first requirements is to meet and decide if they can work comfortably with the parents. This is why it’s so important to have a good profile to show to your surrogate. Your profile should really demonstrate your sincere need and desire to be parents, and also that the baby will live in a loving and healthy home.

Finally — I can’t stress enough that surrogate candidates are in short supply and heavily recruited. If you find a good candidate, don’t hesitate. It’s very likely she is fielding offers from other parents at the same moment as she’s considering yours.

I hope this is helpful.
— Bill

 

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