Selecting the surrogate is one of the most difficult steps in the surrogacy journey. My husband and I interviewed multiple surrogacy candidates before selecting our amazing surrogate. One surrogate we disqualified because she would not agree to termination or selective reduction of the child in the event of a life threatening problem during pregnancy based on strong religious beliefs. Another potential surrogate was excluded because we found out she had a medical condition that would not allow her to safely carry the babies. Once we met our surrogate and her husband (initially via telephone), we knew that she would be perfect for us. She was warm, friendly, positive, and genuinely excited to help us build a family. Her husband, two children, and large extended family were also all very supportive of her undertaking this journey. We were on the same page with all the major issues such as selective reduction, termination, and agreeing to the number of transferred embryos. It was a perfect fit!
All surrogates should be fully informed of the entire surrogacy process and it is important for her to understand that she will have to interrupt her family and work schedules to attend medical appointments and undergo fertility drug protocols and embryo implantation procedures, perhaps multiple times. The surrogate should understand any health risks associated with being a surrogate, including common side effects from the fertility medications and all risks associated with pregnancy. Typically, the medical doctor, surrogacy agency, lawyer, and/or psychologist will explain these demands on the surrogate so it does not have to be discussed by the intended parents.
When interviewing a potential surrogate, some important questions for the surrogacy agent, medical doctor, therapist, or intended parents to ask her (and her husband/partner if applicable) include, but are not limited to:
Have you ever been pregnant before?
Have you ever miscarried? If yes, how many times and at what stage during the pregnancy?
Have you ever been a surrogate before? Were there any complications?
What form of birth control do you use, if any?
How old are your children?
Which medications/supplements/vitamins are you taking?
Do you have any history of addiction?.
How much do you smoke? drink? Drugs?
Do you do any illicit drugs?
Do you suffer from any health problems?
Does anyone in your family suffer from major health problems?
Obtain and review current pap smear and STD testing.
What is your age?
Life and Diet
How often do you exercise and what kind of exercise do you engage in?
Do you regularly engage in any physical labor?
What is your height, weight, BMI, pulse rate?
What does your diet consist of?
Are you willing to change your diet during the time of pregnancy?
What is your occupation? Does your employer understand what you are doing with surrogacy? Are they understanding of your decision?
Are you married? If so, is spouse or significant other agreeable to surrogacy?
What is your support system? What do your friends and family think about you being a surrogate?
Do you have reliable source of transportation?
What are your hobbies? Interests?
Where do you live? Are you willing to travel for embryo transfer? How far will you travel?
Do you or your husband/partner have a job?
Mental and Emotional
Why did you decide to be a surrogate?
Do you have the support of your family and those around you to be a surrogate? Do your children understand what you are doing? Are they supportive?
Have you ever been diagnosed with depression, bipolarity, or any other mental or emotional disorder?
Has a current criminal background check been conducted?
What concerns do you have about the surrogacy process?
Surrogacy Related Questions
What do you anticipate the relationship with the intended parents before, during, and after the birth of the child(ren)?
What is your time frame for starting the process?
How many embryos are you comfortable transferring?
How many babies are you willing to carry?
Are you agreeable to selective reduction or termination, if medically necessary or requested by the intended parents? Are you agreeable to amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), Expanded Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP), etc.? Where will you deliver? Are you agreeable to remain in the birth state during third trimester?
Do you have delivery preferences (i.e. who is allowed in the room, water birth, etc)?
Post delivery preferences (i.e. communication, pumping, nursing, etc)?
What expenses do you expect to be compensated for outside the pregnancy?
Do you have medical insurance that covers surrogacy?
How many attempts are you willing to try surrogacy? (standard is 3 times in a year)
Are you agreeable to allow the intended parents to place you on life support in the event of emergency if the child remains viable?
Do you understand that the custody of the child(ren) is of the intended parents and no child/parent relationship shall be created with the surrogate and child(ren)?
Are you willing to pump breast milk? For how long?