Our Surrogacy Screening Process

The surrogacy screening process is an essential step that agencies like Creative Family Connections use to find ideal, qualified candidates. Prospective surrogates gain insight into what they’re committing to, while intended parents can trust that their gestational surrogate is ready both physically and emotionally to commit to helping them build their family. Read on to learn how our rigorous screening process works and what you can expect as each step unfolds.

Become A Parent Become A Surrogate

How are surrogates screened?

If you and your family decide to pursue surrogacy, you want to feel confident that your gestational surrogate understands everything involved, including the physical and emotional aspects of what lies ahead. CFC has an intense matching and screening process that ensures both you and your surrogate understand the surrogacy journey. Screening also ensures we find your ideal match.

Our thorough screening process is composed of several steps that allow us to gather pertinent information about our prospective surrogates, including:

  • Background check.
  • Medical, drug, and social history.
  • Medical records.
  • Delivery records from previous pregnancies.
  • In-home interview and assessment.

Why surrogacy agencies screen surrogates

Surrogacy is an amazing experience for both intended parents and the gestational surrogate they’re matched with. Our comprehensive screening process ensures the journey ahead remains safe and rewarding.

The purpose of these measures is to protect everyone involved — intended parents, surrogates, and our agency. However, there are many other reasons we start with a thorough screening:

  • Surrogate medical screening process: Ensures the surrogate’s health before the process begins.
  • Surrogate education: Educates the surrogate on the legalities, timelines, and processes involved throughout surrogacy.
  • Matching: Allows us to pair intended parents with their perfect surrogate or repeat surrogate.
  • Psychological readiness: Prepares women for the emotional ups and downs of the process.
  • Family commitment: Ensures the surrogate’s entire family or support system is committed and prepared to support her.

Surrogate matching process

It’s normal to feel excited or apprehensive about the matching process. Yet, that moment when intended parents and surrogates are matched is an inspiring and meaningful point in the surrogacy journey. At CFC, we work hard to find the best possible match. We hand-select and pair intended parents with prospective surrogates based on numerous factors that can include, but are not limited to:

  • The surrogate’s and intended parents’ preferences.
  • Family values.
  • Location (this can be a preference and can also affect the legal process for establishing parentage).
  • Communications preferences.
  • Personalities.
  • What each party hopes to gain from the surrogacy journey.

An overview of the surrogate screening process at Creative Family Connections

CFC has a rigorous applicant screening process that sets our agency apart from others in the US. We not only strive to be leaders in the industry, but we find this comprehensive, high-touch approach makes for successful matches based on surrogate and intended parent preferences and personalities. We treat our surrogate applicants and intended parents as individuals, not numbers in a crowd, so getting to know them on a personal level is just business as usual.

After a prospective surrogate has submitted her application, which is no small feat – there are questions with topics ranging from religion to embryo transfer preferences – we conduct an intake phone interview. This gives us the opportunity to review the surrogate application and hear about what motivated her to apply. The applicant also has the chance to ask questions and is given an overview of next steps, as well as what’s in store once she is matched to her intended parents!

If the first intake call goes well, we then ask the applicant (and significant other if applicable) to electronically sign an agreement and waiver, acknowledging that although Creative Family Connections facilitates her journey, we are not her legal counsel. Each surrogate candidate will have their own, independent legal counsel during the process, paid for by the intended parent or parents. This is also the time that a candidate can opt in to our CFC Exclusivity Program, which is when a surrogate candidate decides to move forward with only us for her surrogacy journey.

A background records check is completed for every applicant and for any adults living in her home. These include criminal, civil judgments, bankruptcy, driving offenses, and sexual offenses.

CFC obtains prenatal and delivery records, as well as a form from the applicant’s OB/GYN approving her for a surrogate pregnancy. The physician’s report specifies past complications or anything important to note in the candidate’s history, such as gestational diabetes managed without medications or an abnormal pap smear result. The OB/GYN form also indicates whether she was reliable and followed through with appointments and OB/GYN recommendations during her own pregnancies or previous surrogate pregnancies.

One way we get to know our gestational carriers better is to talk with at least two people who know her very well. Typically, references include the applicant’s mother, or someone else in her immediate family, and a friend she’s known for at least three years. If we need to speak with someone else, we reach out to a professional reference who can share more about the surrogate candidate’s responsibility, trustworthiness, and stability. References help us learn more about the personality of a surrogate candidate and, sometimes, we discover things an applicant may not have revealed about herself, such as whether she is emotionally and financially stable. Reference calls also demonstrate to us if a GC has a great support network in place for the surrogacy journey.

The candidate’s health insurance plan is reviewed by insurance experts in the field to determine whether it is likely to be usable for pregnancy coverage during a surrogacy journey.

CFC is proud to be one of the first agencies (if not the first agency) to conduct an in-home interview for all of our surrogate candidates and their partners (if applicable), by a member of our own team — someone whose judgment we know we can trust as a part of our routine, high-touch surrogate pre-screening process. We often say that if we would feel comfortable with her carrying our own baby then we would be able to recommend she carry for one of our intended parents. The in-home interview gives us the opportunity to see where the surrogate lives to ensure it is a happy, healthy, and safe environment. Meeting candidates and all adults who live in the home allows us to thoroughly vet her preferences again, such as whether she will completely defer to the intended parents regarding termination, and her preferences for a journey, such as what kind of relationship she envisions with her intended parents during and after the journey.

The in-home interview is another opportunity to ask questions and discuss next steps in the process, including the transition to her journey coordinator, the introductory meeting with her intended parents, the medical and psychological screening, contracts, and embryo transfer(s). We also ask that a surrogate candidate send us several photos of her family and home.

Once we have medical pre-clearance of your surrogate candidate and she has passed psychological screening, and we decide she is the perfect candidate for you, we prepare a package for you to review. Each package contains the references, in-home report, as well as a profile about the candidate, which contains the surrogate’s answers to questions from the application and in-home interview, and also a legal analysis of how the parentage process would work. CFC intended parents will then have the chance to decide if they would like to move forward with the potential surrogate candidate. We want you to feel intuitively that she is amazing and you could trust her to be your surrogate. 99% of the time, our parents get that feeling with the first package they receive. If you don’t feel confident that she would be an incredible surrogate for you, we want to know, because we never want to force a match. If you do feel excited to move forward with next steps, we will send her your “Dear Surrogate” letter. Assuming the surrogate reads your letter and is beyond eager to meet you, your journey coordinator then schedules the introductory meeting for all parties to meet!

The package also includes the insurance expert’s written analysis of her health insurance, and photos of the surrogate, her family, and the inside and outside of her home. We ask you to review everything and take a couple of days to decide if you want move forward with the official introductory meeting between the intended parents, gestational surrogate, her significant other if she has one, and your journey coordinator — who is also her journey coordinator. About 99% of the time, this first meeting will feel natural and amazing for all parties because, as your agency, we have taken the time to find your ideal match. If for some reason your first introductory meeting doesn’t feel quite right, talk to us! We can always go back to the drawing board if needed to make sure everyone feels comfortable with the match before moving forward in the journey.

From start to finish, the pre-screening and surrogate matching processes take an average of eight weeks during which our team carries out all the tasks outlined above, but also maintains regular contact with the candidate to keep her informed as we check things off the list for pre-screening. Those regular touch backs help us build a solid relationship with a surrogate and creates a strong foundation for the rest of her journey. We’re here to get to know her as a person as well, not just as a surrogate!

The intended parents are given status updates initially as they wait and move up the match queue from their journey coordinator. As they get close to being matched to a specific surrogate, they are pulled into our “Top Tier,” where matching no longer becomes linear as we look for that perfect match based on everyone’s personal preferences. At that point, the Matching Team takes over contact with the intended parents until it is time for the introductory meeting. Then the intended parents and surrogate will go under the high-touch care of their journey coordinator for the rest of the surrogacy journey.

Begin your surrogacy journey at Creative Family Connections

The surrogacy journey is based on trust — trust that we take this process seriously and want what’s best for you, your family, and the prospective surrogate who wants to help grow your family. If you want to learn more about surrogacy.

reach out to us today