Why surrogates are screened
Before being matched with a surrogate intended parents want to be sure the woman will be able to nourish and carry their babies to term. That’s why surrogate agencies thoroughly screen surrogates to know if they are physically, medically, and emotionally fit for the rigor and challenges of the journey ahead. Here are the advantages of screening surrogate mothers:
● It ensures that the surrogate understands the process
Not all women who want to become surrogates know what the process entails. By screening surrogates, agencies can determine whether prospective surrogates understand what they are getting into and weed out those who are not ready for such commitment.
● Screening reveals the surrogate’s health status
During the screening process, surrogacy agencies perform a comprehensive medical evaluation of the surrogate and review her health record to know if she is healthy enough for surrogacy.
● It shows whether the woman is emotionally ready for surrogacy
Surrogacy is an emotional process for the surrogate mother, and it is important to ensure that the gestational carrier is emotionally fit for the ups and downs of the process. Most surrogate screening processes include psychological evaluations, which help determine the emotional state of the surrogate and educate her on how to handle her feelings during the surrogacy journey.
● It ensures that the surrogate has the necessary support
If the surrogate is married or has a partner, her primary support person also undergoes screening to make sure that her family is willing to help her navigate the surrogacy process.
How surrogates are screened
The screening process will depend on the surrogacy agency chosen by the intended parents. Most surrogacy agencies have their own in-house procedures and criteria for gestational carriers, but here are some services that are usually included in the surrogate screening processes:
● Review of the surrogate’s medical and birth records: Once a woman has been selected to be a surrogate, she will receive a medical history form to fill out and submit to the agency. This will let the agency know the surrogate’s health history and whether she is a good fit for surrogacy.
The surrogacy agency will also ask the surrogate to provide records of her past pregnancies to check if she’s already given birth without any severe issues.
● Medical evaluation: Prospective surrogates are required to complete a pap test, STD testing, drug screen, ultrasounds, and more to determine their blood type, hormone levels, and the state of their womb. The surrogate’s partner or spouse will also undergo screening for drug abuse and transmittable diseases.
● Background Checks: Surrogacy agencies also conduct a background check on the surrogate to know if she can provide a safe environment for pregnancy and has not engaged in any serious criminal activity in the past.
● In-Home Assessments: A social worker will visit the surrogate and her partner or spouse in their house to interview them. This will allow the agency to know why the surrogate is embarking on the journey, her fears and concerns, as well as her spouse’s commitment to the surrogacy.
● Counselling & Support: This is the final part of the surrogate screening process. A trained psychologist will meet with the surrogate to determine if she’s emotionally stable to go on a surrogacy journey. During this meeting, the psychologist will discuss all the difficult feelings she might experience during the journey and provide tips to help handle these emotions.
The medical screening will take place at the IVF fertility clinic the intended parents have decided to work with. The surrogate will visit the clinic to complete a series of laboratory tests and a physical examination to ensure she is fit to undergo fertility treatments and carry a pregnancy in her womb. She will also meet with a certified psychologist to determine if she’s mentally stable enough to proceed on the surrogacy journey. After the screening, the surrogate will receive a medical clearance to move on to the next steps of the surrogacy process.
Although surrogate medical screening might seem overwhelming, it is necessary to ensure a successful surrogacy journey. With this screening, surrogacy agencies can be sure that the prospective surrogate is healthy enough to carry a pregnancy to delivery. It also gives intended parents peace of mind, knowing their baby will develop in a healthy and safe environment.