Agency or Clinic?
When you are considering Ukrainian surrogacy, you have two options. You can go through an agency, or directly to a clinic.
When you read this, you may be thinking that this is a no-brainer to go directly to the clinic, but you should think again.
Advantages Of Using An Agency
– No cost differences. This seems not to make sense. Obviously, agencies charge fees. However, most agencies negotiate large discounts with the clinics that offset any potential price differences. They would prefer to do what they do best, the medical side, and have an agency they know, deal with everything else.
– Known surrogate: Under Ukrainian law, only agencies can give out personal information on surrogates. Medical clinics must keep that information anonymous.
o To get around this, many clinics have set up their own agencies. This has inherent risks. Since the agency is owned and operated by the clinic, it is not an independent entity. There is a serious conflict of interest, as it is most definitely in their interest to protect the clinic’s interests over those of the intended parents. This conflict will continue throughout your journey. They may also have interest in decisions you might not expect, like recommending some surrogates and donors over others.
– Independent agencies (those not founded and run by clinics) can represent you in any conflicts with the clinics and will be on your side throughout the process if, for no other reason than you are paying them. They are not compensated by a clinic. It is important to have independent representation – someone who should always have your back, know the right questions to ask and advocate for you.
– If there are medical concerns or questions the agency will know who within these, sometimes very large clinics, is the right person to approach and can push to get answers quickly because they are there on the ground. They also speak the language.
– Often agencies include aspects of the surrogacy that the clinics do not. A common example is handling all the paperwork and process before starting your journey and after birth. They can provide additional support and monitoring for your surrogates; hospitality services like meeting you at the airport, arranging accommodations, interpreters, and transportation. Some agencies do much, much more and can make the experience much less stressful.
Clinics are medical experts. As for overseeing and handling all aspects of your surrogacy process from start to finish, in most cases, agencies will take better care of you.
Of course, not all agencies are equal. You need to kick the tires and do some research beyond the websites. If you have any concerns or something raises a red flag in your mind, don’t work with them. If there are worries now, imagine what might happen down the road at critical moments and when your surrogate is pregnant.
Remember the governing language with Ukrainian agencies and clinics is Ukrainian. When working with an agency be sure to go through each point to make sure you both understand it the same way. Have an independent lawyer review all contracts to be sure the Ukrainian version matches your understanding.
This is an extremely serious process. Make sure you are working with someone you trust and is entirely open and frank with you about the bad as well as the good. Make sure they communicate responsively.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.