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How Surrogates Get Matched with Intended Parents – Top Questions Answered

If you’re new to surrogacy, you may be wondering how surrogate applicants get matched with intended parents. There’s several ways this process can go, but the most common way is when a surrogacy agency plays the matchmaker role and introduces both parties. In order for this matching process to go smoothly, there needs to be lots of open communication between the agency, the surrogate and the intended parents. Keep reading to learn the details and how to prepare yourself for an upcoming surrogacy match.

Surrogates Should Consider What Kind of Parents They Want to Help

Intended parents come in all shapes and sizes, with varying genders, relationship status and locations where they live. Some surrogates are open to helping anyone welcome a baby, while others have preferences on who their intended parents should be. From traditional male and female couples, to same sex LGBTQ couples, and also single parents, there’s an intended parent out there for any surrogate.

International Intended Parents

Surrogates also need to consider if they want their intended parents to live domestically within the United States, or if they are okay with international parents. International parents can be very sweet and warm people, making for an excellent match. Some of them speak English, while others will require a translator provided by the agency.

Many US based surrogacy agencies have international intended parents as clients. This is directly due to the fact that surrogacy is illegal in most countries around the world. Certain states in the US are considered the world hub for surrogacy because of all the medical technological advancements, and the legal infrastructure. It is simple and safe to practice surrogacy in many US states, see map here with state-by-state legal guidelines.

How to Avoid a Bad Surrogacy Match

When a surrogate is onboarded by an agency, the agency should be doing their due diligence and asking all kinds of questions about the surrogate’s preferences and expectations. Same goes with the intended parents. It is the agency’s job to gather all this information and make the best match between surrogates and intended parents. They also need to gauge personalities and get a feel for people’s dispositions and temperament. This requires years of experience and intuition from working with clients in the fertility industry. 

Make Sure to Fully Identify Your Non-Negotiables Before a Journey Begins

If you are either a surrogate or intended parent who has strong opinions or requirements for your journey, then you need to disclose them to the agency before the matching process begins. In my years of experience working in the surrogacy industry, I’ve seen many non-negotiables from both sides. Common examples are non-termination pregnancies, surrogates requesting home and/or water births, special dietary requirements for the surrogate, surrogates being required to sign non-disclosure agreements, etc. Once the surrogates and intended parents have laid all their cards out on the table, it is up to the agency to find the best matches.

In an ethical surrogacy agency, if they don’t have a great match for a surrogate or intended parent, they will privately reach out to the surrogacy professionals community and try to find the best match counterpart. They may earn some kind of referral fee from another agency, but the most important thing is that a surrogate is matched with the best intended parents possible.

Frequently Asked Questions About Matching in Surrogacy

Can a surrogate pick her intended parents?

Yes! The matching process begins with the agency individually interviewing all the approved surrogates and intended parents. This is typically done with a zoom call because often surrogates are located all over the country. During this interview the “matchmaker” will be asking all kinds of questions about hopes and expectations for their upcoming journey.

This scheduled time is meant to give the surrogate the opportunity to say what kind of intended parents she wants to help. For example she could prefer gay daddies, single parents or traditional male and female couples. There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s all based on the surrogate’s personal values and comfort level. 

The agency will also ask questions regarding the type of relationship the surrogate wants to have with the Intended Parents. Does she want to have a close friendship with the parents, or prefer to keep it more as an amicable business transaction? How often does she want to communicate with the intended parents? Do they want to spend time together and socialize outside of medical appointments? These are all topics that should be discussed before a surrogate is matched with intended parents.

A surrogacy agency should always respect the wishes and beliefs of the surrogate, and never pressure her to agree to work with intended parents that make her feel uncomfortable. If that agency doesn’t have Intended Parents that match her preferences and values, then she may need to go to another agency with more clients.

Can I be a surrogate for gay daddies?

Yes! All gay fathers and single straight fathers will need the help of a surrogate to carry their baby. This is obviously due to the fact that they biologically can’t be pregnant without a uterus. 

Many agencies support LGBTQ+ rights to parenthood and work with same sex couples to have children through surrogacy. If you are a surrogate looking to match with gay daddies, you can use the Men Having Babies surrogacy agency directory to assist you in finding a gay-friendly agency.

What if I don’t like my intended parents?

We’d love to tell you that all surrogates match with amazing people and everyone is always happy with their intended parents. But here’s the truth, not all matches are made in heaven.

There’s several ways that a match can go wrong. It could be a mismatch in personality, it could be unrealistic expectations from either side or possibly just misunderstandings and lack of communication. With international intended parents, sometimes language barriers and cultural differences play a role in rising tensions between the parents and the surrogates. 

It is the job of the surrogacy agency to play mediator and do their best to alleviate tensions between both parties. Emotions can run high in a surrogacy journey because there’s a lot at stake for both parties, and many intended parents have already been through tough times dealing with infertility struggles.

Which surrogacy agencies make the best matches?

In order for ideal matches to be made, the agency needs to have a decent amount of intended parents waiting to be matched, and also a fair amount of approved surrogates waiting for match as well. There’s no one type of agency that makes the best matches, but some would say that mid-sized agencies have an advantage. With mid-sized agencies they should have in theory a sizable pool of ready-to-go parents and surrogates. Very small surrogacy agencies may not have enough clients, and very large agencies may not have the time and manpower to intimately get to know their parents and surrogates. Of course this is all conjecture – truly the best agency is the one that makes you feel comfortable and confident in their abilities.

At what point can a surrogate back out of a journey and break the match?

First off, it’s worth saying that no surrogate should take the decision to break a match lightly. Most intended parents have had to face incredible challenges just to get to the point of matching with a surrogate, and a broken match can be a truly heartbreaking scenario. But if the relationship with the intended parents has become toxic and the surrogate no longer wants to help them, she needs to speak with the surrogacy agency as soon as possible.

At every step of the way in a surrogacy journey, the parents are paying for expenses. From health insurance to legal fees and medical bills, the intended parents are paying for all these services expecting that their surrogate will be moving forward with them. Stopping the flow of payments to these third parties as soon as possible is critical if the surrogate has decided to break the match.

If problems arise after the surrogate is confirmed pregnant with the surro baby, then breaking the match is no longer an option. If the two parties can no longer be civil and communicate directly, then the surrogacy agency or attorneys will be the go-between and relay all the necessary messages. This is an uncommon and rare scenario, but it does happen sometimes.

Interested in Becoming a Surrogate or Intended Parent? Send us an email so we can refer you to a trusted partnered agency.
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