Surrogate Mother Screening Process Part 2

Growing Generations’ process for screening their surrogates is renowned because we are committed to thoroughly screening potential surrogates while matching them with Intended Parents. The first part of Growing Generations’ screening process deals with the online application. Next comes the New Surrogate Phone Consultation.

The Consult call is an hour-long conversation between you and one of Growing Generations’ Surrogate Admissions Specialists. The purpose of this phone call is to continue to educate you about the overall process and make sure that it is something you’d like to move forward with. A summary of the entire process is given, from application to birth. We will talk about the benefits of surrogacy, as well as potential sacrifices you will need to make during your journey. There is also plenty of time during the phone call to get answers for any questions that you may have.

After the phone consultation is complete, you’ll move on to the paperwork phase. We will need a copy of your driver’s license and social security card. If you have a partner or spouse, you will also need to send in copies of their ID and social security card as well. This information is needed to complete the criminal background check. Additionally, you will also need to obtain your past pregnancy/delivery records for the doctor to review. We will also review your insurance options with you. All of the paperwork items that need to be signed can be done online, through Adobe Sign. This phase of your application process tends to be the most time intensive, and will move at your speed. Surrogates who are able to promptly compile and complete their paperwork period will move through the process much more quickly.

Once all of your paperwork is in order, you will begin preparing for your in-person screening. For this, you’ll be traveling to Growing Generations’ office in Los Angeles, California. Do note that before GG can have your travel booked, you will need to do a few pre-screening labs at a local facility. These pre-screening labs will check glucose, Vitamin D, CMV and TSH. This will give the doctor needed information about her likelihood of possible Gestational Diabetes as well as her Vitamin D, recent or past exposure of CMV, and Thyroid levels. Once those labs are approved, you’ll be on your way to Growing Generations’ L.A. office!

Growing Generations incurs the cost of your travel, transportation, food, and childcare costs for this visit. Most of our surrogates can expect to receive an intended parent profile sometime in the period between scheduling their in-person screening and being issued final medical clearance.

While in California, you will meet with our staff to talk about the process and your motivations. You will also take a computer generated test. After this portion of your day you’re sent to a local doctor’s office to complete a blood test and pelvic exam. This is to ensure that the doctor feels you’re a suitable candidate for IVF, and that your blood is free from disease, nicotine, and the presence of drugs. Your partner or spouse will also need to complete a blood test.

At the end of your doctor visit, you are sent back to the airport to head home.  Sometime in roughly the next two weeks, all of your medical tests results come back. Generally speaking, if they all look good, you will be issued final clearance. When that happens, if you’ve already accepted a profile and completed a match meeting, we will consider you formally matched! If you have not completed your match meeting yet, this will become your next step. Once you’re officially matched, things really start moving as you prepare your body for an embryo transfer!

 

Revised 4/18/18

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.