Choosing the Right Surrogacy Agency Abroad: A Guide for Irish Citizens

Written by: Sam Everingham

Embarking on the journey of international surrogacy is a significant decision for many Irish citizens. Central to this decision is the selection of a reputable surrogacy agency. This guide aims to provide clarity on the key factors Irish citizens should consider when choosing a surrogacy agency overseas. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Surrogacy Agency Abroad

1. Agency Reputation and Experience

The reputation and experience of a surrogacy agency speak volumes about its reliability. Look for agencies with a proven track record and positive testimonials from previous clients. Consider how long the agency has been operating and its success in facilitating successful surrogacy journeys. Agencies with transparent histories and clear ethical standards are typically more trustworthy partners.

Unfortunately, a number of agencies pay random people to write positive reviews of them, so online reviews need to be treated with great caution. In addition, the quality of an agency three years ago may be very different from today.

Things to do when reviewing an agency’s reputation & experience:

  • Check if the agency has been accredited by relevant organizations.
  • Ask the agency for references and contact previous clients to learn about their experiences.

Case Studies and Testimonials Help You Choose the Right Agency 

Real-life experiences from Irish families who have successfully pursued international surrogacy can provide invaluable insights. Testimonials highlight personal journeys, challenges faced, and positive outcomes achieved with the support of reputable surrogacy agencies. Learning from others’ experiences can help prospective parents make informed decisions and feel more confident in their surrogacy journey.

Upcoming Event: Dublin Surrogacy Information Day

Join us at our annual Dublin event to meet with experienced surrogacy professionals, parents, surrogates and other intended parents. This is a unique opportunity to hear first-hand testimonials about various pathways, ask your questions, and gain deeper insights into the process. Attending this event can provide invaluable information and help you make more informed decisions about what will work for you.

2. Transparency and Communication

Transparency is non-negotiable in surrogacy arrangements. A reputable agency should provide clear and detailed information regarding all aspects of the process, including costs, medical procedures, and legal documentation. Open lines of communication between the agency, intended parents, and surrogates are essential for building trust and managing expectations throughout the journey.

How to Ensure Transparency and Communication:

  • Request a detailed breakdown of all costs involved and compare it with other agencies.
  • Establish clear expectations for communication frequency and channels.
  • Review all legal documents and agreements carefully and seek clarification on any unclear terms.
  • Engage with an Irish surrogacy lawyer to advise you on legal contracts

3. Staff turnover

Staff turnover can provide valuable insight into an agency’s stability. Inquire about how long case managers have been employed in the organisation. Low staff turnover may indicate supportive environments for surrogates, high staff satisfaction and comprehensive care for intended parents.

4. Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations lie at the heart of responsible surrogacy practices. Irish families should prioritize agencies that uphold ethical standards, including fair compensation for surrogate mothers, informed consent, and respect for the rights and well-being of all parties involved. Agencies that prioritize the welfare of surrogate mothers and promote ethical transparency are more likely to foster positive and sustainable surrogacy experiences. The import of foreign surrogates has become common in some environments. You should also ensure you are working with a surrogate who is a resident of the country in which the surrogacy takes place.

How to Evaluate Ethical Standards:

  • Investigate the agency’s policies on surrogate compensation and welfare.
  • Ensure that the agency has a clear informed consent process for all parties.
  • Check for any history of controversies associated with the agency.
  • Ensure your surrogate is a resident of the country

Further Reading: Cross-Border Surrogacy Standards

5. Support Services for Intended Parents

Navigating the complexities of international surrogacy can be emotionally and logistically challenging. Look for providers that offer robust support services tailored to the needs of intended parents. These services may include in-country notary support, assistance with accommodation, facilitating surrogate contact, and ongoing communication throughout the surrogacy process. Access to a supportive network can significantly ease the journey and enhance the overall experience.

Questions to Ask About Support Services:

  • What types of support services do you offer? 
  • Do you have online support groups? 
  • Can you assist with travel, newborn birth certificates and other logistical needs? 

Other things to consider

Selecting the right surrogacy agency is a pivotal step for Irish families considering international surrogacy. By prioritizing agency reputation, transparency, ethical standards, and support services, families can navigate this complex process with greater confidence and peace of mind. Consultation with experienced surrogacy professionals is essential in making well-informed decisions that align with your family-building needs and values.

While considering all the factors above, it’s crucial to remember that surrogacy laws vary widely across countries. It’s essential to understand the legal landscape in your chosen surrogacy destination. Regulations can change quickly. Consult with a legal expert who specializes in international surrogacy to ensure compliance with Irish law and protect the rights of all parties involved.

Growing Families is a global organization dedicated to educating and supporting intended parents as well as vetting ethical surrogacy agencies. We can connect you with agencies who meet specific best-practice guidelines ensuring peace of mind for you on your path to parenthood. Contact us today for a consultation

This article was written by:

Sam Everingham

Sam Everingham is the founder of Growing Families. He has extensive global networks with surrogacy researchers, families, agencies, and reproductive specialists, and has been helping couples and singles with their family building journey for over a decade. He is a regular media commentator and has co-authored articles on surrogacy in several reputable journals.

Read more about Sam Everingham

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