For surrogacy in India, you can either approach clinics directly or go via agencies. In either case, though the basic difference is of cost as the agency will obviously charge you for its services, which you could save going to a clinic directly. But there are other factors too to be considered.
The surrogacy process in itself involve, from selecting the clinic, surrogate mother, discussions with doctors or surrogates, legal documentation to hotel stays etc., an exhausting to-do list. You may decide to go through an agency which would offload you from many such steps of surrogacy in India.
But if you have experience of traveling and can manage things on own in distant lands, going directly to the surrogacy clinics and seeking their services is a preferred proposition.
To help you through the decision-making process of either approaching a clinic directly or through an agency, here are some guidelines on the aspects that you should consider while choosing either.
There are many agencies which provide surrogacy services to the parents like you and may relieve you from many of the technical hassles of the procedure so that you can relax and enjoy the life’s most cherished experience of bringing your child in this world. But before choosing an agency you should carefully judge their services and reputation. Agencies in India generally charge you between US$2,500-4,000 depending upon the services and the location. For example, agencies in Bangalore or Mumbai may charge more than the ones in Gujarat.
Take a look at the basic services offered by agencies:
- Airport pick-up, hotel, and travel service
- Finding a surrogacy clinic
- Finding a surrogate- pre-screened and qualified
- Coordinating with the clinic and surrogate
- Legal contract between parties – surrogate, clinic, and you
- Finding an egg donor, if required
- Language interpreter, local SIM card upon arrival
- Housing and care for the surrogate (prenatal and post natal)
- Keeping you update about every development via mails, skype calls or phone even when you are not in India, includes calls and communication with the surrogate
- Paper work and legal documentation (birth certificate, hospital formalities, embassy, passport and exit visa of baby etc.)
What you should check before choosing an agency?
- Check and compare in detail the services and cost offered by different agencies
- How long they are in business as surrogacy agency?
- Background check – on their reputation (through online search, patients testimonials etc.)
- Should provide up-front costs with no hidden charges in the easy contract before the process
- Location of the agency and clinic options provided by them- easy connectivity from airport, preferably in same city
- Past surrogacy success rate
- Number of clinic options provided by them – some only have tie-up with one or two clinics
- Clinics should be registered and of repute
- Experienced team with medical background handling surrogacy services at the agency
While choosing to go directly to the clinic may mean a lot of tasks in hand but this ensures you get correct and the first-hand information from your doctor, associate directly with surrogate, and kept directly in the loop of information of surrogacy process. This also means saving a big amount that you would pay to the agency.
Clinics also have their guidance and counseling desks for intended parents who keep you well-informed and offer help related to any doubt or issue during the process.
Here you will have to take care of matters like your travel, hotel stays, embassy appointments, and exit visa for baby etc. Some clinics also guide through the documentation and legal process. Some even offer accommodation for distant parents. You should check beforehand on the services a clinic would provide apart from complete surrogacy medical procedure and guidance.
What you should check before choosing a clinic?
- Background check of clinics – on their reputation (through online search, patients testimonials etc.)
- Registered or not
- Surrogacy success rate of the clinic
- Recruitment of surrogate with thorough background check
- Should provide pre and post-natal care for surrogate
- Keeping you update about every development via mails, Skype calls or phone even when you are not in India includes even calls with the surrogate
- Check what other services are offered by them
- Should provide up-front costs with no hidden charges
- Location of the clinic – easy connectivity from airport
In case of agency there is an intermediary in between you and the clinic and obviously the cost deterrent. People have had some pleasant and some complaining experiences with both. You are advised to do your research on background, reputation, and patients feedbacks.