What to expect from the agency screening process

Author: GSHC Surrogacy

2019-09-26

agency screening process

Intended Parents need to trust that their Surrogate is physically and emotionally healthy and that they are prepared to commit to the journey ahead. GSHC Surrogacy Agency thoroughly screens our Surrogates to gather the necessary information, prepare candidates for what to expect in the journey ahead, and to help minimize any concerns that the Intended Parents may feel.

Why Surrogacy Agencies Screen Surrogates

Surrogates assume an incredible responsibility.  They give the greatest gift there is: the gift of life. Because it’s such a huge undertaking, it’s so important to understand the screening process and why its purpose. Thorough screening services protect Surrogates, Intended Parents and surrogacy agencies in a number of ways:

  • Informing Surrogates of all aspects of the journey – Surrogacy is a major commitment. In some cases, women choose to become a Surrogate before they fully understand all aspects of the process. The screening process is a perfect time to educate prospective Surrogates to ensure that they know precisely what they are in store for.
  • Physical health assessment – A thorough medical evaluation is a necessary part of the medical screening process. Her prior medical records and birthing history will be reviewed as well. The purpose here is to get a guarantee that the Surrogate is healthy enough to carry the child during the journey.
  • Emotional health assessment – We also conduct thorough psychological evaluations during the screening process to further educate prospective Surrogates about common emotions they may experience during the process. It’s also important to assess her support system as well as her feelings toward surrogacy.
  • Ensuring support – If the Surrogate has a spouse or partner, they are often included in the screening process. Because a Surrogate’s partner is a vital part of the process, it’s important that they fully understand and recognize the commitment so that they are best prepared to offer their support along the way.

How Surrogates are Screened

Every surrogacy agency conducts its screening process differently. At GSHC Surrogacy Agency, we believe in evaluating our surrogacy candidates in as thorough and personal a manner as possible. To that end, we provide the following services during our screenings:

  • Background Check and Criminal History: You want to know who your Surrogate is. This means researching her background and any potential criminal history. Any candidates with felony convictions in their background are immediately disqualified.
  • Medical, Social and Drug History: We will review official medical records from her doctors. Any missing or suspicious information is immediately examined at a closer level to make sure that the candidate is viable. We make medical record requests directly from the hospital to ensure that all records are complete and official. A history of all drug use is requested from both the Surrogate and her partner to guarantee a stable and healthy environment and relationship.
  • Birth Records: In addition to their general medical records, prospective Surrogates will need to submit birth records from any previous pregnancies. Most agencies require their surrogates to have prior successful pregnancies with no major complications.
  • Medical Workup: Prospective surrogates will be required to undergo a complete medical workup to check their blood type and hormone levels. The surrogate will need to complete a pap smear, uterine check, STD testing, drug screen and more. Her spouse or partner will also undergo the drug screen and blood tests to test for infectious diseases. These exams ensure the prospective surrogate is physically healthy and ready to carry a pregnancy to term. You can learn more about the medical screening HERE.
  • Background Checks: The agency will run criminal and child abuse background checks to ensure prospective surrogates have no prior convictions that might impact the safety of the surrogacy process.
  • In-Home Assessment: A licensed social worker will meet with the prospective surrogate and her spouse or partner in their home. During this visit, they will discuss the surrogate’s motivations for surrogacy, any fears or concerns she may have and her partner’s commitment to surrogacy. This visit helps the social worker get to know the prospective surrogate and ensures she is a good fit for the agency.
  • Counseling and Support: Prospective surrogates will be asked to meet with a psychologist to determine that they are emotionally ready for the challenges of surrogacy. The psychologist will talk about any potentially difficult feelings the surrogate may experience during pregnancy and following delivery. Ongoing counseling and support services will also be available to her throughout the process.

 

To start your journey as a Surrogate with GSHC Surrogacy Agency, please complete our Surrogate Intake Form.

 

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