Dear Sassy Surrogate: How to Avoid Issues in Surrogacy
Dear Sassy Surrogate,
I know there are many steps in a surrogacy clearance process. At which points can I be denied or when might issues arise? Anxious about all the pieces fitting together in this crazy puzzle. - Fitting the pieces together
Dear Fitting the pieces together,
You are right in that this process can be complex with many pieces. We like to call it a “hurry up and wait” process because usually a few things come together quickly then we wait for the next step, then hurry up to get the next one done. Here are the main places that as a GC you can be denied, and honestly know that most of these things are out of your control ;-). (These steps and the order may vary depending on the agency you are working with; these are based on Colorado Surrogacy’s process.) Colorado Surrogacy clears GCs before matching; below are some of the pieces in that process.
Have your own children – good pregnancies and deliveries with no complications
Under the age of 40 and over the age of 21
Not on anti-depressants
Not on Medicaid
Under 5 births
Under 3 C-sections
No tobacco or cannabis for the last 12 months
*** There are many disqualifiers, usually based on individual situations, and far too many to list ☺
Piece 2: Application – this is more in-depth information to get to know you.
Piece 3: Retrieving and Reviewing all medical records – We need all OB and Delivery records from all pregnancies. Not only do we review these in house but we also have a Reproductive Endocrinologist review them before clearance in granted. THIS is the toughest part and the hardest to pass. As a Gestational Carrier, Intended Parents and fertility clinics, want the “best” candidate in order to have the best possible outcome in a usually already difficult story. “Best” means no disqualifiers, with the least number of complications and overall good medical, psychological and physical health.
Piece 4: Background Check – this is done for you and any adult living in the household.
Piece 5: Psychological Evaluation – This is an interview with a psychologist for you (and your partner). You will take the MMPI or PAI.
Piece 6: Personal Interview with a member of Colorado Surrogacy’s staff - We just want to get to know you and your family more before moving forward in the process. We will also be asking some of the tough questions like your views on termination.
There are a lot of pieces, which is why working with an agency is a huge help. We are here for you and will help you through the process of putting the pieces together. Yes, there is a chance you may be disqualified, but you taking the time to consider this and start the process is selfless and thoughtful! Please contact us if you have any other questions about the process at email@example.com.
Dear Sassy Surrogate,
What are some of the common issues you see in surrogacy? Wanting to make sure I am aware with hopes of avoiding these? - Aware
Common issues are tough, as each situation is so different, and honestly the issues that could occur hopefully are not all that common ;-). Here are a few issues I have seen:
There a lot of parts that need to be in place or done precisely for the transfer to happen.
The first of which, the legal contract, also known as the Gestational Carrier Agreement, must be in place before injectable medications begin. There are a lot of parts to the legal process, and it is possible to miss the deadline date and have to postpone the transfer date. This is the reason some clinics will not even set a transfer calendar until legal is complete.
Medications need to be started and taken following the clinic’s calendar precisely or this could postpone transfer. Sometimes the medications don’t work like the clinic wants them to, therefore medications are adjusted and it may end up adjusting the transfer schedule.
Transfer dates do move more often than you might expect, they are not set in stone!
Breach of Contract
There is always a possibility that one of the parties does not abide by the Gestational Carrier Agreement, which can be a huge issue, resulting in moving cycle dates, break of the match or worse. From my experience people that make it this far and have signed a legal contract want the best and don’t usually intentionally breech the contract.
PBO or Parentage Status
Knowing if the state the baby will be born in will allow for the IP(s) to be named as parents of the child(ren) on the birth certificate and at birth is super important! If this is not done properly it could cause a lot more time, money and heartache even after the child(ren) are born. Once you know that a state allows parentage status to be given to the IP(s), doing the correct paperwork on time is also equally as important, such as a Pre-Birth Order (PBO) or Post-Birth Parentage Order (PBPO).
The fact that you are aware and asking these questions is a great way to avoid issues. As an agency we welcome questions, concerns and feedback to also avoid these issues and help you have the smoothest process, amongst the inevitable bumps, as possible.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, fill out our intake form to become a gestational carrier or request a free consultation for intended parents.