Who Will My Surrogate Be?
One of the first things Intended Parents usually think about when picking an agency is, “who are they going to match me with?”
Before we even get to finding the best fit for you, we go through a slew of potential candidates and screen them. This is a very intricate and intimate process for us, and we have found we get the best results from having former Surrogates on our staff do all the initial intake – since they have been through the process themselves and take great pride in the high standards we set.
It may surprise you that most applicants are turned down during the intake process, leaving only the most qualified ones to be matched with our Intended Parents.
The Basic Requirements of a Surrogate
- Aged 23 – 40 (although some fertility clinics go up to age 45)
- Have a healthy height/weight ratio (BMI) – the range will be determined by your fertility clinic
- Be in excellent health
- Have a good obstetric and gynecological history
- Have given birth to at least one healthy child
- Able to provide all previous obstetric medical and hospital birth records
- All singleton births must be carried beyond 36 weeks without complication
- Have a great and verifiable support system
- Get approval to carry a surrogacy baby by her own obstetrician
- Have had a recent pap smear
- Pass a psychological evaluation by a therapist who specializes in screening gestational surrogates.
- Pass through multiples staff interviews
- Willing to have a background check done. Our agency goes beyond the standard online background check and has two retired police detectives that also make phone calls to back up what might be uncovered in the online check.
- Not accepting any government assistance
- Understand that they will have to administer injections as part of the doctor’s protocol
Beyond the Basic Criteria
The above list is easy and one that any agency should be able to fulfill. But just like the difference between a cook and a chef – years of experience, intuition and heart makes the difference between good and great. Since co-owners Kathryn and Lauri have been Intended Parents themselves, our bar is set higher than most other agencies. Every surrogate we admit into our program has to be someone that the owners of the agency would have approved as their own surrogate.
It’s not just our former Intended Parents and Surrogates that think our Gestational Surrogates are terrific – clinics, psychologists and lawyers often tell us our Surrogates are a cut above most other agencies. This truly is surprising, because we just assumed that everyone else has the same high standards that we do – but that is evidently not the case
But Wait There's More
While the industry standard is to use online background check services, we prefer a more personal touch and work with two retired police detectives to directly do the work. These detectives not only run online checks but interview the Surrogates directly and follow up on anything questionable or unclear that the reports might bring up. In other words, experienced eyes look at the reports, not just an administrative assistant at an agency.
What Makes a Surrogate?
You may have a predetermined idea of who a surrogate is, but our guess is that you are only partially right. Surrogates literally come in all shapes and sizes, from all over the US, with different backgrounds and education levels, different jobs or career paths or maybe they are stay-at-home moms. But there are certain qualities that after years of doing this we have found exist in most surrogates.
Matching is a delicate process that needs a skilled hand. The right or wrong match can make or break an entire journey. TrueMatch™, is a unique and complimentary service developed by our agency through the years that goes beyond our intuitive sense of what makes an excellent match and provides a more successful fit – and we have thousands of babies to show for it.