If you’ve been doing your homework (and we encourage you to!), you know all too well just how many surrogacy agencies are out there. After awhile, they may start to look the same. Whether you want to be a Surrogate or you are an Intended Parent, there is much more to judging an agency than by the fees they pay their Surrogates or their online database. Neither of these things will tell you anything about what your experience with the surrogacy agency will be like. And while the ultimate goal of any surrogacy journey is a healthy baby, the surrogacy journey itself is an experience that will stay with you forever. Choosing the right agency is a big decision, make sure you make the right one.
So, why choose us?
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCE
First of all, both of us – Kathryn and Lauri – are former Intended Parents. We both suffered through years of infertility, which makes us very sensitive to what many Intended Parents are going through when they cycle, have a positive beta, possibly have miscarriages, or work with an egg donor. We also know firsthand just how much a surrogacy costs. We’ve paid those bills. We understand that no matter what your financial situation, no one wants an agency to spend his or her money with reckless abandon. Having been through this journey ourselves, we know how to spend your funds wisely. We know the appropriate places to cut corners and the areas where it is worth it to spend a few extra dollars.
We both have extensive educational backgrounds plus significant business experience. Each of us rose to respected levels in the entertainment industry prior to the creation of Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. We have both overseen large staffs and multi-million dollar production budgets. Some agency owners have little or no business experience and many agencies have been started by former surrogates whose sole knowledge is from their perspective as a surrogate. Others are run strictly as corporate entities with no focus on the emotional aspects of the journey. Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. is different – we grew out of passion, a well-defined need, and a solid business plan. Our success is based on our integrity, stability and honesty. Whether or not you choose to work with us, we strongly advise you do not trust your surrogacy to an agency that has limited experience or little compassion – it could get you in trouble.
We go the extra mile. In fact, most doctors and lawyers who have worked with us before will tell you there is a difference. (In fact, we get many referrals from the doctors and lawyers we work with since their staff can also see the differences between all of the agencies – and we are on the top of many referral lists.) Part of our success is we see a surrogacy journey as more than a business – it is a passion and one that every one of our staff members shares. We are there to share your joys and sorrows and bring the necessary skills and encouragement to always take you to the next step.
Unlike some bigger, impersonal surrogacy agencies that are structured as a bureaucracy with separate departments for different needs (travel, finances, Surrogates,Intended Parents), our agency assigns one point person, your Case Manager, as your direct link for everything. You deal directly with that one Case Manager who will be intimately familiar with every aspect of your case and will work hand-in-hand with you, your surrogate, your doctor,
lawyer, psychologist, etc. You will be given your case manager’s cell phone number so that you are always able to reach her in cases of emergency. Both Kathryn and Lauri personally oversee each and every case with the case manager so if your Case Manager is not available, you can contact them. You are never alone in this journey…we are with you every step of the way.
All of our Case Managers have been with us for several years. Unlike some agencies, we do not have a high turnover rate for employees. That is because we choose our employees like we choose our Surrogates — they are compassionate, responsible, bright people and they have all become valuable members of our team and cherished parts of our extended families.
We also have top-notch Surrogate Coordinators who work directly with all of our Surrogates, from their first phone call or email throughout the entire journey. While every Surrogate is contractually offered the option to talk with a therapist at any point in the journey, most our of Surrogates never feel the need to do so because they have such a strong support system through our Case Managers, our Surrogate Coordinators, and Kathryn and Lauri. In addition, we have a thriving online support group of agency Surrogates – a safe place to share the ups and (hopefully not too many) downs along the way. Our agency believes in treating our Surrogates with respect and appreciation, after all, we know first hand the value of what they are doing.
Unlike many other agencies, we are always available for you. We understand that urgent needs of our Intended Parents and Surrogates come before the standard operating hours of a usual workday schedule. Every employee (including our co-directors) carries their cell phone weekdays and weekends with them to ensure their availability in cases of emergency. In addition, we often can be found checking and sending emails over the weekend.
PROTECTION OF YOUR FUNDS
Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. does NOT directly hold our clients’ money. Do NOT work with any agency that holds your money directly or has any financial or corporate ties to an escrow company. Do NOT work with an agency that holds all of your money and says that they will ‘pay for everything’ out of that account. There is no reason for your agency to pay your clinic costs, your medication costs, etc. If they do, you can be sure that they are either 1) tacking on an additional ‘fee’ or 2) possibly doing something unethical. Agency for Surrogacy Solutions, Inc. will only have either your reproductive lawyer or an independent bonded escrow company hold your money. Every month, we send an accounting to our clients detailing the status of their escrow account. There has NEVER been an inconsistency with our management of any client’s escrow funds. We are honest and up-front about how much surrogacy will realistically cost our Intended Parents. We provide you with a cost sheet depicting the estimated detailed costs of a surrogacy journey.
While some agencies may appear less expensive than our program and quote different overall costs, unfortunately this is because they are not being forthright about all of the elements and costs involved. Most surrogacy fees are standard across the board and if you do the math yourself, you will see that the main difference should really only be the cost of the agency itself. With Agency for Surrogacy Solution’s exceptional service, there is no doubt that you are getting your money’s worth.
OUR STELLAR REPUTATION
Since incorporating in 2004, our company has enjoyed a scandal-free reputation. We owe this to our own personal integrity and our long-standing ties to our communities. We are not a fly-by-night operation that will quietly close shop and sneak off. We are a family-based business with solid ties to our children’s schools, our husbands’ professional careers, friends and family.
We are proud of the fact that when The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, two of the world’s most respected newspapers, sought out quotes from a reputable surrogacy agency, they came to us. We enjoy solid relationships with fertility clinics, reproductive lawyers, and psychologists around the country. We are members of professional organizations including ASRM, ESHRE, EDSPA, PVED,Resolve, and AFA. We support regulation of the surrogacy/infertility industry as it relates to protecting both Intended Parents and Surrogates from fraudulent agency behavior. We have appeared on television shows, radio shows and have been featured in magazine articles and as speakers in various seminars/panels around the country. Lauri and Kathryn are committed to spreading the positive word about surrogacy.