Several people have asked me recently how to find a surrogate on your own without using an agency, so I thought I’d share my ideas since we did surrogacy independent of an agency. An agency was not an option for us because it was way too expensive. While I do think you have to put some effort into finding a surrogate on your own, I will be the first to admit that what you really need is a healthy dose of good luck.
For more information about the whole surrogacy process, including how to do it and how to afford it for up to 75% less than an agency, see my Complete guide to independent gestational surrogacy.
Ideas for finding a surrogate
- Tell everyone you know! Share this with friends and family on a one-on-one basis as you see people. Share your story and your interest in pursuing surrogacy and ask if they know of anyone. This will also serve to ask them indirectly as well. If people don’t know you are infertile, if they don’t know your story, if they don’t know you are specifically looking for a surrogate; how on earth would they offer to help or connect you with the right person? The more information, the better. People really do want to help. They will emotionally connect with your story and will want to help you if only to share your story. IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, THIS WOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT! If you can’t do this, which is fine, you really might have to consider using an agency instead. Most intended parents I know end up using a family member, a friend or a friend of a friend. They got the word out and someone volunteered. This is where the luck parts comes in. We aren’t all that lucky. If not, keep reading.
- Talk to your clinic. Make sure your clinic knows of your interest in this as well. Hopefully, you’ve already talked to them about it. Ask them if they know of anyone interested.
- Social Media. Post about it on social media. This requires you to be open about it, but if you want to find a surrogate on your own, you will have to break out of your comfort zone.
- Post on surrogacy articles. Set up a Google alert for surrogacy and check out articles in major newspapers, magazines or websites published online regarding surrogacy. If it allows comments, say that you are looking for a surrogate and share your URL or email. A friend did this for me and I was contacted by seven women right after she did that. They were all over the country and who knows how serious they were, but it opened a lot of doors. We didn’t pursue any of these people, because we were already pursuing things with Nicole.
- Consider creating a website. You can use wordpress.com, which is free and easy. Use this to market yourselves to potential surrogates. We created a website to market ourselves for potential surrogates and adoption matches.
- Create a Facebook page and asked friends/family to share — we had 300 likes in 3 days. (A bunch of strangers liked our page, which was perfect because it expanded our reach.)
- Make a pitch to your local media. TV, magazines and newspapers. Share your infertility story as a means of infertility awareness. You never know who might be watching and want to help.
- Join my free meet-up group. Join my Surrogacy Meet-up group on Facebook that I created to help intended parents and gestational carriers find one another. No promises, just trying to help. Also, search for other Facebook groups on surrogacy. (Note: This is a very informal gathering place. It’s not monitored closely, regulated or anything. It’s just an opportunity for you to meet possible carriers. Use good judgment.)
- Surrogacy Forums – there are several and I checked them out, but never felt right about using them. Seemed so spammy or just people looking to make money. Not only could we not afford a high rate, but we didn’t want someone who was only doing it for the money. I just never could get into these websites.
It’s a hard process, because you can’t do anything to move the process forward at times. It took us a year and a half to find a surrogate and get started. In the end, we got really lucky with our surrogate, but that first year and a half was fraught with many failed matches and heartache. We thought it would never happen!
Let me help you
When people read our story, they would contact me and ask me to help them find a surrogate, too. For a while, I was trying to remember who had emailed me and if I knew of anyone, but it was too much. So, I created a Facebook group for surrogates and intended parents to come together to meet and match.
Some of the people that matched…
“This page and your blog have been incredibly informative and truly a TOOL in our journey thus far. We did match with a gestational carrier after connecting on this FB page and are in the process of working with a fertility clinic and hope to transfer this winter.” – Evan, Intended Father
“I met an amazing couple through posting my profile here…I would like to thank you!!! We are in final steps and very excited for the future!” – Kathy, Gestational Carrier
“The decision to use a GC was not easy and going through an agency was not affordable. We met a really sweet girl through your site who is going to be our GC and it wouldn’t have happened without your help. So, again thank you so very much!” – Corinne