The Surrogate Screening Process

Blonde girl and familyThe surrogate screening process is not something we take lightly at Growing Generations. It is very important to us that you have the best possible experience, and your surrogate is a huge part of that experience. So we help take the guesswork out of choosing your surrogate.

We screen all potential surrogates on a myriad of levels so that only the best make it through. In fact, only one percent of all applicants complete screening and go on to become Growing Generations surrogates.

Here’s a look at the process each surrogate goes through before clearing screening.

  1. An online questionnaire. This helps us identify some very basic qualifications like age, weight, BMI, citizenship, criminal background and basic pregnancy health.
  2. 2nd Questionnaire. If everything looks good there, the candidate is invited to fill out a more in-depth questionnaire about her home life, her financial stability, her children’s health, as well as her pregnancy and birth history.
  3. Phone Call. The hopeful surrogate chats with our staff on the phone about things like why she wants to become a surrogate, what type of parents she’d like to help and what her support system looks like. We also discuss potential hardships that may arise and give her the chance to ask us questions as well.
  4. If everyone still wants to move forward, the candidate will submit some paperwork for insurance and provide copies of her driver’s license and social security card. She will also be sent to a local lab for blood work to check out her thyroid, vitamin D levels, CMV and glucose tolerance. Typically, around this time is when we will begin showing potential intended parent profiles to the surrogate applicant.
  5. Trip to California. We pay to fly the surrogate to our offices to talk in person about the process one more time. She will undergo a psychological screening including a thorough computer based screening. After that the surrogate will head to Pasadena to meet with our IVF doctor in person. He will collect blood samples to test for general health, drug use, and disease. She will also undergo a uterine check to make sure the doctor feels as though he can work with her to create a successful pregnancy. If the Surrogate has a partner, they will also be participating in parts of the psychological and medical screening as well.
  6. Clearance. Once those results all come back with flying colors, we welcome the applicant to the Growing Generations team.

By the time your surrogate’s profile arrives in your hands you’ll know that she’s on her way to, or potentially has already passed, her psychological screening, a medical screening, and is fiscally secure, healthy, insurable and has been approved by our IVF physician. All you have to worry about is liking her personality.

 

Revised on 4/17/18

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over 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 for Reproductive Medicine, 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 Emeritus 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’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.