Completing an application to become a surrogate is the first step in helping make parenthood dreams come true. When the application gets filed with a surrogacy agency, a lot of surrogate pre-screening happens behind the scenes.
Pre-screening For A Potential Surrogate
When a surrogacy agency receives an application, the information goes to the admissions department. If an application looks promising, a person from the company will reach out to the applicant.
Roberta Ramirez works for a California surrogacy agency, and this is one part of her job. Applicants hear from Roberta first.
“When I reach an applicant by phone, we do the pre-qualifications,” Roberta said. “This means I ask her a list of questions which cross-reference what she already has in her application.”
Examples of this are double checking their full name, their age, marital status, and job occupation.
Finding out what state an applicant lives in is very important.
“We want to make sure they are not residing in a red state. There are a few states where surrogacy is illegal such as New York, Washington, and Louisiana,” she said.
There are roughly 15 questions, and it usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
Other Surrogate Pre-Screening Process Questions
While every surrogacy agency is different, the questions are standard during this phase. Roberta pointed out other items such as the following:
- Confirming a person’s BMI (30 and under is ideal)
- Number of pregnancies
- Number of C-sections
- Not receiving any government assistance
“Finding out the number of pregnancies is important because an agency wants to make sure a candidate has had healthy pregnancies,” Roberta said. “We want to make sure that they have had at least one child.”
Most agencies will also want to confirm that an applicant still has a child living with them.
As for C-sections, Roberta pointed out that most IVF clinics will not accept a woman whose has had more than two surgeries.
An agency will verify that a candidate is not currently on any medication to treat depression or anxiety.
“If an applicant had these types of prescriptions in the past, then we ask them for a clearance letter. The letter usually states that their treatment for something like depression or postpartum is over and they are no longer taking those meds.”
Birth control questions are also on the list. If a woman has an IUD or implant, she needs to agree to remove it before becoming a surrogate.
Passing The First Surrogate Pre-qualifications Phase
If all goes well during the pre-qualifications phase, this does not mean a woman is qualified to become a surrogate. She still needs to have a phone interview with the surrogacy admissions team, undergo medical screening and complete her legal contracts.
Roberta also shared that she encourages the applicant to ask questions during the pre-qualifications phone call. It’s important that women feel comfortable in the process.
“The pre-qualifications phone call is a good time for applicants to decide if this is really something that they want to do,” Roberta said.