The Screening Process for Potential Surrogates: A Step-by-Step Guide
Becoming a surrogate is a big decision, and the screening process can seem overwhelming at first. Understanding what to expect during the screening process can help ease any anxiety and ensure that you are well-prepared for the journey ahead.
This guide will walk you through the steps of the screening process, from the initial interview to the home visit, to help you understand what to expect and how to prepare. Remember that it's important to attend all meetings on time and respond to the agency's messages in a timely manner to increase your chances of becoming a surrogate.
1. Interview with the agency:
The first step in the screening process is an interview with a coordinator from the agency. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about the process and for the agency to learn more about you and your motivations for becoming a surrogate. It is important to answer honestly and openly so that the team can evaluate if you qualify for the process.
2. Filling out the agency’s detailed application:
After the initial interview, you will be asked to fill out a long application with detailed questions about your medical history, your support system, and any previous pregnancies. This application is used to evaluate your medical and emotional suitability for surrogacy. Make sure to answer honestly and openly so that the team can evaluate if you qualify for the process.
3. Collecting Medical Records:
Once your application is received, the agency will start the process of collecting your medical records. This process can take up to 6 weeks, depending on how quickly your healthcare provider can provide the records. Your medical records will be gathered regarding all of your previous pregnancies and doctor's visits to make sure you can qualify as a surrogate.
4. Mental Health Professional Examination:
After your medical records have been collected, you will be required to have a mental health examination by a professional. This is typically done via Zoom and takes about 48 hours. In this stage, the psychologist will assess if you are mentally capable of being a surrogate and that you have a deep understanding of the process you are heading towards.
5. Home Visit and Background Check:
The last step in the screening process is a home visit and background check. The home visit is an opportunity for the agency to meet you in person and get to know your family and support system. The background check is used to ensure that you have a clean criminal record and that you have a suitable environment to raise someone else's child in, as well as a strong support system to help you through the journey.
After completing all of the screening steps, you will be ready to move on to the next phase of the process where the agency will represent you to intended parents. The final phase of the process is the matching phase where you will have the opportunity to review the profiles of intended parents and be matched with them for your surrogacy journey. In this stage, most agencies will move forward with the legal process (if it wasn't done before) and you can officially begin your surrogacy journey.
Remember that each agency might have a different screening process and it is important to understand the process of the agency you are working with. The agency should be able to provide you with a clear timeline and answer any questions you may have about the screening process.