Surrogacy Screenings Explained
One of the ways in which ConceiveAbilities differentiates itself from our competitors is our longstanding and downright stubborn commitment to working with only the most qualified, most stable, healthiest, and frankly – most awesome women on the planet.
Over the past 20 plus years, our “proudly picky” attitude has helped shape our multifaceted screening process. And although the different phases of our screening may, at first, feel a little daunting as an applicant, they are, in reality, very easy to navigate.
Below we highlight the major phases of our one-of-a-kind screening process. If you are in the midst of your screening process already, please remember your Intake Coordinator is always there to assist you with any specific questions or concerns you might have.
Phase #1: Initial Application
The screening process begins with your filling out ConceiveAbilities’ online, initial application. This is a secure form found on the ConceiveAbilities’ website that allows you to submit your initial application and ensure that you satisfy ConceiveAbilities’ basic qualifications. These basic qualifications include:
- Age between 21-39 years old
- BMI between 18-34
- Not currently on government financial support
- Must have given birth to and be raising at least one child
- Must provide OB/GYN records and a clearance letter
- Uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries as documented by prenatal and delivery records
- Non-smoker living in a non-smoking home
- No history of criminal activity
- No history of clinical mental illness
- Surrogate and partner must agree to psychological testing
- Must agree to a home visit with all persons and pets currently residing in the home
- Stable, responsible lifestyle
- Financially sound
For a more detailed explanation of each qualification, check out ConceiveAbilities’ blog post on the qualifications to become a surrogate.
Phase #2: Phone Interviews
After your initial application has been approved, your ConceiveAbilities Intake Coordinator will conduct two different phone “interviews” with you. These calls are a way for us to learn more about you, gain a better understanding of your personality, and also discuss some of the more delicate aspects of the journey directly and share more information about the process.
Phase #3: Medical Records, Pap and Clearance Letter
Next, our team will begin looking into your medical history, specifically your previous pregnancy(ies) and birth(s). Our team will reach out to relevant hospitals and doctors' offices to obtain your official records.
Our staff will also prompt you to provide your most recent pap results and request that you obtain a “clearance letter” from your current OB. A “clearance letter” is simply a communication from your doctor stating that he or she feels that you are healthy enough to become pregnant.
Phase #4: Criminal and Credit Check
Once your pap, clearance letter, and relevant medical records are all obtained and approved, we will proceed by running both a background and credit check on yourself and your spouse or live-in partner. We run these checks to learn a bit more about you and your family. We are always hoping these checks will confirm what you have already told us.
We should say right here and now, that having debt, a less-than-perfect credit score, will NOT automatically disqualify you. We are not that picky. A lot of people have debt in this day and age, and that is okay. We just need to confirm that your debt is reasonable and not an indication that there may be more concerning issues.
Phase #5: Home Visit and Psychological Evaluation
Once your credit and criminal checks have proven unsurprising, we will schedule your home visit and a psychological evaluation. Depending on which state you live in, your psychological evaluation and home visit may be conjoined or they may be two separate instances. Either way, your evaluations will always be conducted by a licensed mental health professional who will take the time to understand your motivations, address some of the more challenging aspects of the journey and ultimately provide an assessment of both your and your partner’s mental fitness for this pending experience.
The home visit will be conducted by a ConceiveAbilities professional at an agreed upon time. The objective of the visit is for us to confirm the safety and health of your environment. The visiting ConceiveAbilities professional will ask to look in every room and in every closet. This doesn’t mean you need to spend countless hours detailing your home. We know that you have kids and a life. We just need to see, with our own two eyes, that you live in a healthy and safe environment.
Once the home visit and psychological evaluation have been completed, you are nearly at the end of the screening process. It should not be long until you receive your final approval and are ready to be matched with your intended parents and that is of course when the real fun begins!
Less than two percent of applicants are accepted into our program. Passing our entire screening makes you a part of a very elite group of ladies. ConceiveAbilities surrogates are uniquely qualified (medically, psychologically, physiologically, and logistically) to help make (MEGA) dreams come true! Being a part of this community really is something to be extremely proud of. We know you will see how special the community is as soon as you meet our surrogate community.
For more information on the surrogacy process, check out our page here, which goes over the necessary steps and considerations.
To learn about a surrogate’s first-hand experience of the process in her own words, read the first part of Charee's Journey.
For other posts on surrogacy news, guides, tips, and other resources keep following the ConceiveAbilities blog.