Are Intended Parents Also Screened Like Surrogate Mothers?
Intended parents are also screened to ensure they are safe to work with and emotionally and financially ready to commit to you and to the surrogacy process.
As a surrogate, you are making a huge commitment to the intended parents you choose to work with, and you deserve to know that they are equally committed to their surrogacy plans. Just as you complete certain screening requirements through your surrogacy agency, intended parents are also screened to ensure they are safe to work with and emotionally and financially ready to commit to you and to the surrogacy process.
The exact screening requirements for intended parents will vary based on the agency you choose to work with. In all cases, intended parents should be fully screened prior to their profile being shown to prospective surrogates.
Below, learn what you can expect from your surrogacy professional in terms of how intended parents are screened.
Application and Questionnaire
When intended parents first contact a surrogacy agency, they will likely need to complete a detailed application with information about their family, social history and reasons for choosing surrogacy. This application will help the agency gauge their interest and commitment to surrogacy and identify their surrogacy needs, and will serve as a starting point for developing their surrogacy plan.
At this stage in the process, prospective intended parents will likely have a meeting or phone call with a surrogacy specialist to learn more about the process. They may complete a planning questionnaire detailing their goals and preferences for their surrogacy experience. This questionnaire may include information about the following:
- The type of surrogacy they’d like to pursue (traditional, gestational, etc.)
- Their estimated budget
- Egg or sperm donor requirements, if applicable
- The type and amount of contact they would like to have with their surrogate during and after the surrogacy process
- Their past history with surrogacy and other family-building methods
- Their plans for explaining surrogacy to their child
- And more
The information gathered during this stage of the screening process will be used to assist the agency in finding potential surrogates whose wants and needs for the surrogacy are a good match with the intended parents.
Most surrogacy agencies perform background checks to ensure the intended parents and other members of their household have clean criminal background and child abuse registry histories. These background checks help ensure that the intended parents are capable of providing a safe and stable home to a child.
Typically, agencies will not work with intended parents who have any past convictions, especially those involving a child. Speak with your agency to determine what other safety precautions they take when screening prospective parents.
Home assessments are not legally required in surrogacy, but some surrogacy agencies go above and beyond industry standards and require intended parents to complete a series of in-home visits with a licensed social worker.
Similar to an adoption home study, these visits allow the social worker to complete a home safety inspection and gather further information about various aspects of the intended parents’ lives. Their assessment may include interviews with the intended parents and other members of the household, as well as observation of any children currently living in the home.
In addition, these home visits give prospective intended parents the chance to ask additional questions about the surrogacy process and learn more about what it takes to be good parents to a surrogate-born child.
Your Agency’s Screening Requirements
Different agencies have fewer or additional screening requirements for their intended parents. As you consider the surrogacy professional you would like to work with, ask about each one’s screening process and qualifications for intended parents, and find out whether this screening is completed prior to the matching process.
Here are some examples of agencies’ screening processes and requirements for intended parents:
And finally, you may also want to get to know the prospective intended parents on your own. You should have an opportunity to talk with prospective matches and get to know them prior to signing legal agreements and beginning medical procedures, so consider the qualities you are looking for in intended parents and questions you would like to ask before moving forward.
Remember, you are committing a significant amount of time and effort to the intended parents you choose to work with, so it is important to be comfortable with the family you choose and to feel certain that they are committed to surrogacy and parenthood.
To learn more about intended parents and the surrogacy process, request free information online now.