Your Guide to the Surrogate Screening Process

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Your Guide to the Surrogate Screening Process

Basic Requirements

The first step in the process of becoming a surrogate begins with filling out the agency application. In this step, potential surrogates complete a comprehensive qualification questionnaire designed to ascertain whether they fulfill all the necessary requirements. The application delves into various topics such as citizenship status, lifestyle, past pregnancy experiences, medical history, and employment background. Some basic requirements are that surrogates be between the ages of 21 and 39, though up to age 42 is acceptable if pregnancy has been recent, have a BMI between 19-33, and be taller than 4’11”. Surrogates must have had at least one full term, uncomplicated pregnancy, no more than 3 c-sections, and have given birth no more than five times. A long list of disqualifying medical conditions and experiences is covered to better determine eligibility.

Team Interview

When our team receives an application with no disqualifications, we reach out to set up an interview.  In the interview we get to know the potential surrogate and learn more about why she wants to be a surrogate, determine whether she fully understands what a surrogate journey entails and learn more about her support system, lifestyle, values, eligibility, and expectations for a journey. Our goal is to create a compatible and like-minded match with intended parent(s) who share similar values and expectations.

Through our interview process at Stronger Together Surrogacy, we get a more personal understanding of who our applicants are and why they wish to become a surrogate. Those who move on to the next step are motivated by a desire to help others and generally love pregnancy but have completed their own families. Surrogacy offers them the opportunity to make an immensely valuable difference for others while doing something they enjoy, and the compensation received allows surrogates to help their own families as well. Surrogates commonly use this compensation for a down payment or paying down on a home, for travel experiences, financing their children’s college, or to further their own education. Financial stability is an essential aspect of an ethical surrogacy arrangement and a safeguard against exploitation. At the time they are accepted by the agency, potential surrogates cannot be utilizing government food, housing, or cash assistance. Demonstrating financial stability also helps to ensure that surrogates are not motivated by financial need.

A stable and supportive family environment provides confidence that a potential surrogate will have help in navigating any ups, downs, and difficulties of the surrogacy process. At Stronger Together Surrogacy we also interview a potential surrogate’s spouse or partner to learn about their feelings toward surrogacy and ensure that they are fully supportive of the journey.  We further inquire about other support available –a surrogacy journey is unpredictable and having a solid support plan should difficulties arise helps reduce stress. Our staff at Stronger Together Surrogacy have all experienced our own journeys and fully understand how a solid support system is vital to a successful journey. We are here for our surrogates 24/7, to walk with them through difficulties, address any questions and concerns, and to share their excitement and joy. We LOVE what we do!

Medical Screening and Background Checks

Once the application has been approved, an interview has been completed, and approval has been granted to move forward in the process, a surrogate must submit her medical records from all previous deliveries along with a letter from her OBGYN providing clearance to pursue a surrogate pregnancy. Background checks for both a surrogate and her partner are run – a negative background check generally results in disqualification. Our team at Stronger Together carefully examines all medical records for any unqualifying physical or mental health conditions or experiences. If all passes scrutiny, a potential surrogate is on to the next step in the journey and a profile is created and the surrogate proceeds to matching with intended parents. Once matched, a surrogate undergoes psychological examination and further medical screening by the intended parent’s fertility specialist.

While the process may seem slow and excessive, these initial screening steps act as a framework to safeguard the well-being of all parties involved and contribute to the overall success and legality of each surrogacy journey. At Stronger Together Surrogacy we strive to create beautiful and memorable experiences for both intended parents and surrogates that will be cherished for life.