The more screening that is done before matching, the more secure your match will be from the start. This is why, at IARC, we fully prequalify our surrogates before matching. This reassures both you and the surrogate that the time and emotional energy you each devote to the match is well-spent.
The most highly disqualifying screening steps a surrogate must undergo are 1) a review of her pregnancy and medical records by a fertility physician and clearance from her personal doctor, 2) a psychological evaluation, and 3) a background check. Also, most intended parents will have preferences for what medical insurance is available for the pregnancy. If the surrogate’s insurance is not reviewed prior to match, there is a significant chance the surrogate’s insurance situation will not meet the intended parent’s preferences as to coverage or cost.
At IARC, all of this is carefully reviewed and vetted prior to matching, including:
- Educational Call with an experienced Surrogate Coordinator. Our Surrogate Coordinators have been surrogates so can give new surrogates a first-hand account of the journey ahead and help them determine if they are prepared to take on this commitment.
- Review of all pregnancy records and detailed health history application by a fertility physician. These records will further be reviewed and approved by your fertility physician immediately when a match is confirmed (in most cases, before).
- Approval from the surrogate’s personal physician that she is currently healthy for another pregnancy and has no unusual risk factors in her pregnancy history.
- Background check of the surrogate and her spouse/partner.
- Psychological evaluation of the surrogate and her spouse/partner by a highly experienced therapist.
- Analysis of the surrogate’s medical insurance policy to determine its suitability to cover the surrogate pregnancy and identification of alternative coverage, if necessary.
- Confirmation of the surrogate’s matching preferences, including the type of family she is open to helping, the type of relationship she prefers with the parent(s) during pregnancy and after delivery, how many embryos she is comfortable carrying, her preference on pregnancy termination in the event of a fetal malformation, whether she is open to pumping and providing breastmilk during the weeks following delivery, and all other topics about which you and she must agree.
- Analysis of the legal process to establish parentage in her state of residence so we know that process is suitable for your needs before matching.
For international clients who need U.S. insurance for the newborn after birth, this requires an understanding of the state law and legal procedures available in the state where the surrogate lives, so this is also confirmed before matching. The majority of states will NOT have laws suitable for this purpose, however most IARC surrogates live in the few states where the laws are suitable for this purpose. This is the biggest financial risk for international clients, and our understanding, experience, and proven track record navigating this is a necessity for minimizing this risk for our international clients.
As you continue your research, it is important to remember that the more screening that is left to be done AFTER matching, the higher the likelihood you may start incurring costs for and devoting time and emotional energy on a match that is ultimately not suitable for you.