Welcome to Part 2 of a three-part series on the surrogate screening process. When we left off last week, potential surrogate Maya had submitted an intake form, had her initial […]
Welcome to Part 2 of a three-part series on the surrogate screening process. When we left off last week, potential surrogate Maya had submitted an intake form, had her initial phone interview, and filled out a detailed questionnaire.
Maya’s Surrogate Coordinator runs criminal and civil background checks on Maya, her husband, Todd, and the biological father of her first child, using information Maya provided for that purpose in her questionnaire. If Maya had any other adults living in her household, such as roommates or parents, the Coordinator would run background checks on them as well. This allows us to make sure her life is safe and stable enough for a healthy pregnancy.
We understand that every person’s situation and history is unique, so we review and discuss each candidate’s background check individually. In Maya’s case, she had a few small claims several years ago before she was financially secure, and she has no criminal history. However, Todd got into some trouble many years earlier when he was in his early twenties. Her Coordinator reviews the case information and calls Maya for more details, and then discusses her case with a supervisor and decides that Maya will still be an appropriate candidate.
While she waits for the Coordinator to review the questionnaire and run her background checks, Maya has been researching surrogacy online and talking to women on online forums who are farther along in the process.
After about a week of waiting, Maya is excited to get a call from her Coordinator. The Coordinator asks her for a few more details regarding her questionnaire, and then invites her to come in for an interview.
All of our potential surrogates come to our offices in Portland or San Francisco to meet with NWSC staff in person. Since Maya lives in Salem, Oregon, her Coordinator schedules her to come to our Portland office about a week later, when both Maya and her husband are able to make time in their schedules during business hours. They also decide to bring their young children.
On the day of her interview, Maya and her family are greeted by her Surrogate Coordinator and another staff member, in this case another Coordinator. The interview lasts about an hour and a half. During that time the Coordinators ask Maya and her family questions to get to know them better, then explain everything that will be happening from that point on. The Coordinators invite Maya and her husband to jump in any time with their questions. Maya asks for more information on how we match surrogates with intended families, and Todd has some questions about the best way to talk to their children about the process.
Maya’s in-person interview has two equally important purposes. One is for NWSC staff to understand and evaluate her in a more intimate way than is possible by paper or over the phone. It allows us to make sure that she is a good candidate for our program, and also to get to know her personally to help us match her with the ideal family later on. The other purpose is for Maya herself to learn all about us and our program so that she has all the information she needs to decide to move forward with surrogacy and with our agency.
The Coordinators feel good about Maya and her family, and Maya ends the interview excited to move forward with us as well. Since everyone feels like it’s the right fit, the Coordinators ask her to work with our agency exclusively to make sure that she will be available for our intended families when we find her the right match.
Maya’s Surrogate Coordinator sends her home from her interview with a list of things to send in and to expect for the rest of her screening process. Read Part 3 to follow Maya as she completes her medical record and insurance review, psychological evaluation, and home visit!