The woman that you work with during your surrogacy journey will be an instrumental part of this life-changing process. So, as an intended parent, you are likely wondering, “How do I find a surrogate in North Carolina who is perfect for me?
First, know that there are many surrogates throughout North Carolina and the entire United States that are waiting to find the perfect intended parents for them — and that could be you. You can either find a surrogate mother on your own or with the assistance of a surrogacy professional, and which path you choose will be completely up to you.
Once you find a surrogate and you have both passed initial surrogacy screening, we encourage you to contact our surrogacy attorneys to start finalizing your match with a surrogacy contract. To learn more about that process, please call our law firm at 919-821-1860 or email Parker Herring at email@example.com.
If you are wondering how to find a surrogate in North Carolina or beyond, know that there are two separate paths you can take: finding a surrogate mother with an agency and finding a surrogate mother without an agency.
Finding a Surrogate Mother with an Agency or Fertility Clinic
When you are looking for a surrogate mother and choose to work with a surrogacy agency or fertility clinic, this professional will provide guidance and assistance through every step of the process. Because of these professionals’ larger reach and marketing potential, you may have more options for finding a gestational carrier that is right for your family, and it may take less time to find this match than it would if you were to search on your own.
While every surrogacy agency has a slightly different program for people looking for a surrogate mother, there are a few general steps that you’ll follow with this path:
- Complete Pre-Screening.
Before you can be presented to prospective surrogates, most surrogacy professionals will require that you complete pre-screening to ensure you are physically and mentally prepared for the potential challenges of the surrogacy process. Before prospective surrogates are presented to you, they will also have passed this screening, which ensures they are truly ready to become surrogates. Most agencies will also do a background criminal and social history screening. Many fertility clinics offer surrogates through their clinic’s website, and clinic staff will help guide you through the process of choosing a surrogate.
- Create a Surrogacy Plan.
After you are approved for a professional’s program, a specialist will work with you to create a plan for your surrogacy process, including what you are looking for in a surrogate mother. This will include things like:
- Your budget
- Your desire for contact and involvement
- Whether a woman has been a surrogate before
- A surrogate’s location
- A surrogate’s opinions on selective reduction, abortion when recommended by a physician and invasive procedures such as amniocentesis
- Create an Intended Parent Profile.
The process of finding a surrogate mother is a mutual one, which means that a surrogate will also get to choose the intended parents that she carries for. To aid in a prospective surrogate’s decision, you will usually create an intended parent profile that will be presented to women who are interested in your family.Your professional will likely aid you in creating this profile, which is essentially an introduction to who you are and what your goals are for your surrogacy. They will then present this profile to surrogates who match your preferences to see if they are interested in getting to know you better for a potential match.
- Meet with a Prospective Surrogate.
At the same time that your intended parent profile is being shown, your professional will also present you with profiles of surrogates that meet your preferences. If you and a surrogate both express mutual interest in working with each other, your specialist will likely set up a phone call or in-person meeting.This meeting allows you to get to know a surrogate better, as well as ask any questions you have about the surrogate’s profile. Your professional will likely mediate this call, so that any difficult topics can be addressed without awkwardness or confusion.
- Sign a Legal Contract.
If you and your surrogate are ready to move forward with a match after this call, your separate lawyers will work with you to draft and finalize a surrogacy contract that meets both parties’ needs and expectations. Attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC will help you obtain an attorney to represent the surrogate. Once your contract is complete, you will be able to start the medical process of surrogacy.
Finding a Surrogate Mother without an Agency
How do you find a surrogate if you don’t wish to work with a matching agency?
There are several reasons why intended parents may choose to find a surrogate independently: They may wish to save money, they may want to have more control over the surrogate they choose, or they may be looking to hire a traditional surrogate (a process which most surrogacy professionals will not coordinate and which are becoming increasingly less commonplace).
Some intended parents who complete an independent surrogacy already have a surrogate in mind (usually a close friend or family member), but if you need to find a surrogate mother independently, you will usually follow these steps:
- Create a Surrogacy Plan.
First, you’ll need to determine what you are looking for in a surrogate and what your preferences and goals are for your surrogacy process in general. Do you want to complete a gestational surrogacy which is altruistic, or are you open to compensation? Because health insurance is so expensive, the availability to a surrogate of covering the medical costs of surrogacy is an important factor.Once you have created this plan, you will better be able to identify whether a surrogate is right for you. You will also use this information to advertise and make clear what you are looking for in a surrogacy partner.
- Find a Surrogate.
Without the assistance of a surrogacy agency’s matching and screening services, intended parents will be responsible for finding a surrogate on their own through methods like online advertising, networking and more.How you end up finding a surrogate mother will depend on your personal preferences, but many intended parents choose to utilize:
- Personal connections
- Social networks
- Surrogate finder websites
- “Surrogate wanted” print ads
- Attorney referrals
Keep in mind: Finding a surrogate online or in a similar method does come with inherent risks. Before you finalize a legal contract or pay a surrogate any compensation, make sure that the match is right for you and that both you and your surrogate are cleared to start the surrogacy process. Always have a professional screen the surrogate for you.
- Get to Know the Surrogate.
The relationship intended parents have with a surrogate that they find independently will be unique from that in an agency-assisted surrogacy — mainly because there is the need for intended parents and surrogates to create a much more intimate relationship. Because there are no professionals mediating contact or a match, intended parents finding a surrogate mother independently will need to complete those services themselves.Therefore, you will likely need to share identifying information and create your own conversations to get to know a surrogate better. Once you are initially connected with a prospective surrogate, you will need to discuss all aspects of a future surrogacy — including sensitive topics like compensation, termination and more — to ensure this would be a great match for both parties.
- Complete Screening.
Likely, if a surrogate is not working through a surrogacy agency, she has not yet been screened for the surrogacy process. If she has not, she will need to undergo physical and psychological screening to ensure she is ready to become a surrogate. As an intended parent, you will also need to undergo this screening.This is where finding a surrogate independently can be difficult. You may find a woman that you feel is the best surrogate for you, only to discover that she doesn’t pass the necessary surrogacy screening. From then, you’ll need to start the process again.
- Complete Your Surrogacy Contract.
Once you both pass your surrogacy screening and are certain that a match is in the best interest of both involved, you can begin drafting your surrogacy contract. You will each need separate lawyers for this legal step. Attorneys at our firm will draft the contract for you as the intended parents and then will recommend attorneys for the surrogate or send the agreement to an attorney that the surrogate has chosen.
However you end up finding a surrogate mother in North Carolina, our surrogacy attorneys will always be available to help you finalize your match with a legal surrogacy contract. To learn more about this legal process, please contact the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC today.