What are the types of screenings that a woman must go through to become a surrogate?
The words “screening” and “testing” can sound intimidating or daunting, especially when no explanation is offered. When looking into becoming a gestational surrogate, you will probably see words like this often and though they may SOUND overwhelming, we’re here to settle your nerves! Let us tell you more about the different types of screenings a surrogate can expect. We hope that by offering more detail, they don’t seem as scary.
Medical Record Review
During the interview process of becoming a surrogate mother, you will be asked to gather certain medical records and forms detailing your previous pregnancy(ies) and confirming your current clean bill of health.
The records you will be asked to gather are:
- recent pap results from within the last 12 mo.
- a clearance letter from your OB stating that you are OK to carry another pregnancy
- OB/GYN prenatal records from each pregnancy
- labor & delivery records from the hospital(s) you delivered at
These records will be shared with the doctors/nurses at the Intended Parents’ fertility clinic for review. Once the clinic gives their “record review” approval, they will reach out to all parties to schedule a screening visit at their facility. Keep reading to find out what happens during a screening visit!
Criminal Background Check
During the initial matching process with Reproductive Possibilities, you will be sent paperwork to fill out. These documents consist of agreement to work exclusively with Reproductive Possibilities, an explanation and agreement of working with Surrogate Fund Management, LLC (who will manage the escrow account), and authorization forms for a potential background check. The background release forms are documents which require information and an authorization/consent form that will allow us to run a background check(s). Intended Parents want to know that the surrogate’s support system is safe and reliable.
*If you have a husband or partner, please know that a background check will also be run on them (if they live in your home).
Home Visit with a Social Worker
The agency will find a social worker local to you who will reach out and schedule a time to visit with you and your family at your home. During this visit, they will talk with you (and your husband/partner if applicable) to discuss their support of you pursuing gestational surrogacy and they will want to meet your children as well. They may talk with your older children to make sure that they understand and are also supportive of the surrogacy, but will only be brief and friendly to any younger children (no surrogacy discussions). They may research your neighborhood/area to ensure that you live in a safe and supportive community. During the visit they will take a look around your home to make sure that you live in a safe and clean environment. A report will be written and shared with the agency and Intended Parents.
Typically, the fertility clinic will have a psychologist on staff that will complete that portion of your screening. Again, this will completed on both you and your husband/partner if you have one. If the clinic does not have psych on staff, the agency will arrange a visit with a social worker or psychologist. Usually this screening consists of a multiple choice test as well as an in person interview.
Screening Visit / Marathon Day at the clinic
With most surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics, this will be the first time that the surrogate meets the Intended Parents in person. The surrogate and her husband or partner (if applicable) will travel to the fertility clinic for a full day visit to have most, if not all, physical screenings completed. During this visit, the surrogate will also learn about the fertility medications she will be taking in preparation for the embryo transfer, and will be taught how to manage and execute her medication protocol (injectables, suppositories, patches, etc.)
Clearance will be given by the clinic once they receive the results from all testing. This typically takes anywhere from 10-14 days. Once the agency receives confirmation of clearance from the fertility clinic, you will move into the CONTRACT phase of your surrogate journey!