Have you ever wondered how we select our Gestational Surrogate candidates?
CFC has a rigorous applicant screening process that sets our agency apart from others in the U.S. We not only strive to be leaders in the industry but find this comprehensive approach makes for more successful matches based on both preferences and personality. We treat our surrogate applicants and Intended Parents as individuals, not numbers, so getting to know them is just business as usual.
After a prospective GC has submitted her application, which is no small feat – there are questions with topics ranging from religion to embryo transfer preferences – we conduct a phone interview. This gives us the opportunity to review the application and hear 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 Intended Parents.
If the call goes well, we then ask the applicant and her significant other to electronically sign an agreement and waiver, acknowledging that although Creative Family Connections facilitates her journey, we are not her legal counsel. Each candidate will have their own, independent legal counsel representing her during the process (at the Intended Parents’ expense).
A criminal records check is completed for every applicant and for any adults living in her home.
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 complications or anything unusual in the candidate’s history such as gestational diabetes or post-partum depression and whether she followed through with appointments and recommendations.
One way we get to know our gestational carriers better is to talk with at least two people who know her well. Typically, references include the applicant’s mother or someone else in her immediate family and a friend whom she’s known for at least 5 years. We also reach out to a professional reference, when necessary, who can share more about the candidate’s responsibility, trustworthiness and stability. References help us discover things an applicant may not reveal about herself such as whether she emotionally and financially stable and demonstrate the GC will have a great support network in place throughout her surrogacy journey.
The candidate’s health insurance plan is reviewed by insurance experts in the field to determine whether it is usable for a surrogacy.
CFC is proud to be one of the few agencies in the country to conduct an in-home visit for all of our surrogate candidates, with a member of our direct team. We often say that if we wouldn’t feel comfortable with her carrying our baby then we wouldn’t recommend she carry for a client. These visits give us the opportunity to see where the surrogate lives to ensure it is a happy, healthy and safe environment. Meeting the candidates face-to-face also allows us to more thoroughly vet her preferences, like whether she will completely defer to the IPs regarding termination, and her intentions, such as what kind of relationship she envisions with her IPs during and after the journey.
The in-home is another opportunity to ask questions and discuss next steps in the process, including the introductory meeting and transition to a Case Manager (CM), medical and psychological screening, contracts and embryo transfer. We also snap a few photos of common living areas and the exterior of the home.
After the in-home visit, a package is put together for the Intended Parents to review. Each package contains the reference and in-home reports, as well as a profile about the candidate. They will have the chance to decide if they would like to move forward with the surrogate candidate, and then, they will write her a letter. Each candidate has the chance to read this personal letter from the Intended Parents and decide on moving forward with them.
At this point, our matching team is ready to move forward with an official introduction between the Intended Parents, Gestational Carrier and her significant other and the Case Manager assigned to their case.
From start to finish, the screening process takes an average of six to 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 of the list. Those regular “touches” help us build a solid relationship with the GC and creates a strong foundation for the rest of her journey.
Are you ready to apply, now? Click here to start your application or feel free to reach out with questions.