What Should I Consider Before Becoming a Gestational Carrier?
The surrogacy process can be a life changing and exciting experience like no other. You are part of a team designed to do a very important job-help build a family!
Once a woman is interested in becoming a gestational carrier, she should investigate the basic requirements, research the process, look at the different compensation structures being offered by various agencies or law firms such as Katrina Cassidy P.C. A gestational carrier can then decide which agency or law firm to contact in order to list herself for a match with Intended Parents or she may decide to go completely independent and match herself. It is important to note that a gestational carrier can contact and list with more than one agency or locator and is not usually contractually bound to only list with one agency or locator. A gestational carrier candidate should also understand the difference between the agencies and working with a law firm. It is generally at this stage, the gestational carrier will be asked to provide her medical records from prior pregnancies, a copy of her health insurance policy and to complete a gestational carrier profile. A criminal background check of both the gestational carrier and her husband is also usually completed at this time.
Ask Yourself Some Important Questions
- Is travel an option for you or would you prefer to stay local?
- Am I comfortable allowing the parents to make all decisions about the pregnancy and the baby where my life or health is not a factor?
- How would I feel if the parents ask me to terminate a pregnancy due to a serious medical condition the baby may have?
- What kind of compensation and benefits are paid for gestational surrogacy in Texas?
- How can I be matched with parents? What are my options?
- Do I understand what gestational surrogacy is?
- Do I know what the screening process is and do I meet the basic criteria?
- Am I comfortable taking medications and doing injections?
Decide How You Will Be Matched – Agency, Attorney or Independent
Once you answer many of these important questions above, you are ready to decide if you want to pursue being a gestational carrier and how you will be matched. When you are matched, you have the option to a) match independently and directly with parents on your own with no agency or attorney involved in the matching process b) register with a surrogacy agency or c) have a private surrogacy attorney match you with parents.
Many gestational carriers do not realize they may match in any of these three ways or all at the same time. There are no rules which prohibit a gestational carrier from registering with more than one agency or multiple agencies and an attorney and trying to match herself all at the same time. How you match may dictate the types of compensation a gestational carrier will receive however. When a gestational carrier matches directly with the intended parents, generally the compensation is lower because the parties are unfamiliar with all the expenses involved in having a baby. If she does not match directly, a gestational carrier may opt to match via an agency or a private attorney who does matching and location. When matching in this manner, compensation will generally be highest as a professional locator is well versed on the different expenses that are common in the industry and that the gestational carrier will need.
It is important to be cautious in this selection however, as many gestational carriers are unaware that a surrogacy agency only serves as a facilitator and does not and cannot actually represent the gestational carrier. Only an attorney can actually represent the gestational carrier. Also, with an attorney, the gestational carrier will have direct contact with the Intended Parents and will generally receive higher compensation and bonuses. This is because many surrogacy agencies charge very high location fees to the intended parents which in some cases are almost as high as the compensation the gestational carrier receives.