Matching with a surrogate who shares your surrogacy goals is a great feeling. However, it’s understandable to feel nervous about someone else carrying your child. Fortunately, when you work with a surrogacy agency, they have surrogate screening processes and qualifications in place to ensure you have a safe and successful surrogacy.
To get more information about the surrogate screening process, you can speak with a surrogacy professional today.
The most reputable surrogacy agencies have qualifications in place that all surrogates must meet before they can be matched with intended parents. These qualifications ensure that your surrogate is mentally, physical and emotionally prepared to carry your child.
What Screenings are Done for Surrogates?
The screening process will typically depend on the surrogacy professional you choose to work with. Generally, the surrogate screening process typically consists of the following steps:
Step 1. Social and Medical History
The first step in most surrogacy agencies’ surrogate screening process is having prospective surrogates fill out social and medical history forms. These forms will give the surrogacy professional some insight into her family’s medical history and whether or not she’s a viable candidate for surrogacy.
She will also be asked to sign a medical release form that allows the agency to get access to her medical records from her previous pregnancies and births. Her OBG-GYN will typically be asked to give a recommendation of whether or not she should or should not be a surrogate.
The social history form allows the surrogacy professional to get a better idea of who she is as a person and why she wants to become a surrogate.
Step 2. In-Home Assessment and Background Checks
Once she has completed the necessary forms, she can move on to the in-home assessment portion of the surrogate screening process. Since many professionals require that their surrogates already have a child that they are raising, they want to ensure that her home life is beneficial to as surrogate pregnancy.
During the home visit, the surrogacy professional will take the time to interview everyone who lives in the home to ensure that everyone is on the same page about the surrogacy and pregnancy. It’s important that the surrogate feels supported by her family throughout her surrogacy journey to ensure the health of your baby in utero.
Your surrogacy professional will likely conduct a background check on the surrogate at this point in the surrogate screening to ensure she has no history of criminal behavior or child abuse.
Step 3. Psychological and Medical Screening for Surrogacy
While a surrogacy professional can gather helpful information from the surrogate’s medical history forms, she will need to complete a medical screening for surrogacy. This screening is typically carried out by a fertility clinic of your choosing. This part of the surrogacy screening is typically done after you’ve matched with your surrogate, but before you finalized your legal contract. This ensures that there are no surprises once the contract is signed.
The surrogate medical screening process typically adheres to the standards of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
- A physical exam
- Blood and urine testing
- A saline sonogram to view the uterus
Once your surrogate is deemed physically sound to carry your baby, you will be able to finalize your match with your surrogate through a legal contract.
Because your surrogate’s mental health is just as important as her physical health when it comes to surrogacy, she will be asked to meet with a psychologist to talk about how she feels about the various aspects of the surrogacy process. This psychological screening ensures that your surrogate will be able to appropriately process the emotions that come with carrying a baby for someone else.
In addition to the surrogacy screening process, your surrogate will have to meet your agency’s surrogate qualifications before she can begin the matching process. Surrogate qualifications may vary between agencies, but typically consist of:
- Meet their minimum age requirements
- Must have had at least one successful pregnancy
- No prior pregnancy or delivery complications
- Have a healthy BMI
- No felony convictions
- No smoking or drug use
Between your agency’s qualifications and surrogate screening process, you can rest easy knowing that the surrogate you matched with is physically and mentally prepared for the surrogacy process. Surrogate screening exists for the purpose of ensuring that everyone involved in the process has a safe and successful surrogacy experience.
To get more information about the surrogate screening process, or to begin your surrogacy journey, reach out to a surrogacy professional today.