Questions to ask when considering surrogacy

Questions to ask healthcare partners like Maven:

  • How do you evaluate which surrogacy agencies they work with? It’s a wild west without regulation so I’m curious what they look for and how they evaluate partner organizations since the ethics there are incredibly murky. For example, I’d love to have an example of an agency they said no to and why.
  • What support do you provide for parents of surrogate kids and for surrogate kids themselves? A kid being born through surrogacy is likely to have different needs than the average kid, particularly if there are other genetic contributors other than the intended parents. Keen to know what (if any) support they provide to prepare parents and, as a result, help kiddos.
  • There’s a shortage of surrogates with 60% decrease in surrogates with double wait time and higher fees according to a recent NYT article, how are you navigating this (ie: expanding partner agencies, setting better expectations with parents, etc)?
  • Do you help with international surrogacy options and, if so, how is that process navigated, especially in light of the horrors in Ukraine (a major surrogacy hub)?
  • In the process of helping folks have kids, what community resources do you provide for connecting them with kids born via various means (adoption, sperm donor, egg donor, surrogacy, etc)?

Questions to ask yourself

  • How will you feel or react if your kid wants to meet some of their “genetic contributors” (hate fertility terminology)?
  • What provisions can you put in place to give your kid options when they are older for how much they do or don’t want contact?
  • What will be your kid’s story about how they came to be an what might they internalize (good and bad) about that story?
  • What community can you get plugged into now that might be useful for you and your kid later?
  • What books or resources can you look into, depending on what you’re doing? I highly recommend “Primal Wound” by Nancy Verrier.
  • How will you answer questions about how your kid came to be? Keep in mind that your kid might hear you tell this story repeatedly and internalize things.
  • What will you tell your family (and when) and how will you prepare them to be supportive?
  • What sort of age appropriate and nuanced resources can you expose your kid to over time?
  • What’s being triggered as you read the above questions? What work might you need to do?
  • (If you won’t be related to the child) how will you feel about the role you’ll play for your kid and what concerns do you have already, before they are born?

In most cases, the above questions will be raised at some point so it’s better to explore now than to be surprised later.

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