Prospective intended parents must undergo extensive screening before being cleared for surrogacy.
The following are the five common steps that hopeful intended parents must go through to get cleared for the surrogacy process:
- Initial application and questionnaire
- Background check
- In-home visits
- Specific agency screening requirements
- Choose an agency to work with
As a prospective surrogate yourself, this information should help you feel safer and more comfortable with pursuing the surrogacy process. As long as your intended parents complete their necessary screening requirements, you are one step closer to a positive, successful surrogacy journey.
If you are prepared to start the surrogacy process, you can reach out to us today to begin the process. But, if you want to find out more about how intended parents are screened for surrogacy, continue reading.
The 5 Steps of Intended Parent Screening
Step 1. Initial Application and Questionnaire
The first step in any intended parent’s screening process is submitting their initial application to a surrogacy professional.
Typically, surrogacy agencies will ask a few critical questions on this application, which determine whether an intended parent is ready to start the surrogacy process. This information could include their:
- Family-building goals
- Financial situation
- And more
Once they submit their initial application, a surrogacy professional will usually contact them to learn more about their surrogacy goals and needs. In this phone call or in-person meeting, the surrogacy specialist will:
- Answer lingering surrogacy questions
- Help them put together a surrogacy planning questionnaire
This questionnaire will usually address issues like:
- The kind of surrogacy they want to pursue (traditional vs. gestational, compensated vs. altruistic)
- Their budget for surrogacy
- Any requirements for egg, sperm, or embryo donors
- Any contact they’d like to have with their surrogate
- Their history with surrogacy and other family-building options
- How they will raise a child born via surrogacy
- And more
This questionnaire and interview process is an essential first step for surrogacy professionals to determine if intended parents are ready for the surrogacy process and have an understanding of the potential challenges awaiting them.
Step 2. Background Checks
Before a surrogate chooses an intended family to work with, they must clear certain background checks. These checks are often of the same kind that you will undergo as a prospective surrogate, including:
- Criminal background
- Child abuse registry histories
These screenings help ensure that intended parents can provide a safe and stable home for a child.
Surrogacy professionals will rarely work with intended parents with past convictions. You should speak with your surrogacy agency if you want more information on what kind of personal background will disqualify intended parents and keep you safe during your surrogacy process.
Step 3. In-Home Visits
Some, but not all, surrogacy agencies will require a home visit for intended parents. This is another step professionals take to ensure that intended parents can provide for a child born via surrogacy.
During these visits, a trained social worker will likely:
- Check to see if the intended parents’ house meets safety standards
- Determine whether the parents’ home is a healthy environment to raise a child
- Conduct interviews with all members of the household to confirm they are ready for the surrogacy process, including its possible rewards and challenges
- Answer any intended parent questions about surrogacy and becoming parents to a child born via surrogacy
You should ask your surrogacy professional to find out if they require any home study investigations for intended parents.
Step 4. Specific Agency Screening Requirements
Each surrogacy professional will have different screening requirements for the intended parents who choose to work with them. As a prospective surrogate, it’s important to know an agency’s requirements to ensure you are comfortable with any pre-screened families who might be presented to you.
Even if you find intended parents on your own, you’ll still need to complete all necessary screenings before finalizing a match. This is to ensure all parties are sufficiently prepared for the surrogacy process.
Step 5. Choose an Agency to Work With
Consider speaking with one of these surrogacy professionals to learn more about their program requirements for intended parents and to find the guidelines that are right for you:
Next Steps to Choosing Intended Parents to Work With
After hopeful intended parents finish the background screening process, it’s time for you to get to know them through phone calls and in-person meetings.
The intended parents you choose will be a considerable part of your surrogacy process. Always make sure you are comfortable with the level of screening they undergo and the qualities you’ve selected before legalizing a match through a surrogacy contract.