The early stages of the surrogacy process can feel like swimming in a sea of paperwork. There are registration papers, release forms, and often an intended parent profile to complete. They’re not without reason; these documents are important requirements to help ensure a smooth surrogacy engagement.
Thanks to our exclusive Matching Matters™ process, we’re able to cut down on the formality of an intended parent profile. Rather than requiring you to create a physical document - more paperwork - we do the match work for you. But that doesn’t mean you won’t participate; far from it. By sharing a bit about your life and your family during your Matching Matters™ Consultation, your surrogacy match expert will have all the detail necessary to shape your ideal match. These are four important things to consider as you prepare for your consult.
The Matching Matters™ process focuses on the art and science of a connection. It ensures you’re paired with a gestational carrier most aligned with what is important to you.
The first step is meeting with a surrogate match expert. Think of this as a real-time intended parent profile. Why is the intended parent profile important? It provides a snapshot of you, your family, and the family you’re hoping to create. In your Matching Matters™ consult, you have the opportunity to include a true life depiction of who you are, both as individuals and as a couple. Share as much as you’re comfortable with regarding your fertility story and what brought you down this path. Talk about your relationship, your home, your family dog - elements of your life.
The more detail you provide, the easier it will be for us to connect you with your ideal surrogate. When you meet your surrogate, remember she’s nervous too! Consider sharing how excited you are about becoming parents, and how grateful you are that she’s willing to help in this endeavor. Some prospective parents even write letters to surrogates if there is more they’d like to tell her directly. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but a heartfelt note can be a meaningful exchange at the beginning or end of the process.
What shouldn’t you include in your profile? Remember that at this time, no identifying details are disclosed. Once the contract is complete, your Match Manager will assist you in exchanging contact information. Aside from that, don’t include anything that isn’t an honest reflection of who you are. The same goes for your consult. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, and certainly don’t say what you think your surrogate match expert or the gestational carrier herself wants to hear if it’s not genuine. The more you let your true personality shine through, the more personalized your match will be.
A few days before your Matching Matters™ Consultation, have an honest conversation with your partner about some very important points that make up the foundation of your surrogate match. They’re not always easy questions, but your answers are part of the matching process and will be discussed in more detail during your consult as well as the match meeting with your potential surrogate. Medical aspects such as the number of embryos you’ll transfer, considerations on pregnancy termination or selective reduction, plus more emotional questions regarding expectations, communication, and future contact with your gestational carrier are all important things to consider.
It’s recommended that couples work on their Matching Matters™ paperwork together, but some find they prefer to first jot things down separately. This can be a helpful practice for both your intended parent profile and your criteria for a gestational carrier; it gives you a clear picture of what you’re comfortable with as an individual, some insight into what is important to your partner, and helps you determine as a team what you value.
While it’s important to know what you’d like to share with your potential surrogate, be sure you also work together to consider the qualities of the person you will be matched with. After all, you’ll be in each other’s lives for at least a year!
Who will your surrogate be? We place a lot of emphasis on figuring that out. There are four main points of criteria we encourage you to consider when you picture your ideal surrogacy engagement. These include medical and psychological criteria, legal considerations, values, and personal preferences. Keep in mind that if the criteria within these points are too restrictive, it can be challenging to create a relationship that works well for all parties. These details will be discussed during your Matching Matters™ Consultation, where your surrogacy match expert will offer suggestions about which items should be non-negotiable and which might warrant a bit more flexibility.
Remember, the surrogates in ConceiveAbilities’ program have already passed the most rigorous screening process in the industry. That means her delivery records have been reviewed, she has passed the psychosocial screening and has had a home check – making her well positioned to pass your clinic’s medical screening. Not only does that mean less time and cost in the long run, but also less anxiety over the possibility of needing a rematch.
If you are looking for a surrogate, you’d likely prefer to have been matched yesterday. It’s understandable that you don’t want to waste any time; we want the process to move as quickly as possible for you too, but we also have a responsibility to see that all details have been addressed. While you don’t need an intended parent profile, your Matching Matters™ documents and consult are very important early steps in the surrogacy experience. They allow us to work our magic and find your ideal match. The results play a major role in the communication, expectations, and general relationship between you and your gestational carrier. Give it the time and consideration it deserves so that there is a solid foundation on which to build your surrogacy engagement.
If you have questions or are ready to learn more about Matching Matters™, don’t hesitate to reach out for help! Most people don’t think about surrogacy every day – but we do. Remember that this is a team effort, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.