Screening surrogates for financial stability
Vulnerability. It’s the driving criticism in so much of the dialogue surrounding surrogacy. Exploitation of a surrogate’s financial situation and social status is a real concern, with many headline instances of a desperate single mother ‘renting out’ her womb for financial compensation by her richer (and often older) counterpart.
So what can surrogacy agencies do, to double-down on ensuring relative socio-economic status, age and other crucial factors don’t place the surrogate in a vulnerable position?
The number one here is thorough screening measures and eligibility requirements. The onus is increasingly on surrogacy agencies to ensure all candidates are financially stable, and not participating in surrogacy as a means of survival. Whether by assessment or enquiry, this should be a core part of the screening process.
Naia adds, “we also conduct social and family psychological screening, as well as criminal background clearance. Psychological screenings are performed by a licensed therapist with a degree in psychology and include personality and attitude assessment, as well as an in-depth interview for motive and personal background.
Only those who’ve completed this process are eligible to apply to our program as surrogate candidates.”
Careful handling of the surrogate-IP relationship
For agencies like Be Parent, this aspect is exceptionally important. IP involvement during the pregnancy has the potential to change everything for a surrogate, and this should be for the better.
In their guide for parents, Be Parent say,
“Our surrogate coordinator or a member of our team will be on-hand for all online communication and in-person visits. These must be pre-arranged in order to be mutually convenient on both sides.
Many of our surrogate team members are not first language English speakers, so we encourage you to have questions prepared in advance, as meeting your surrogate partner can be an emotional time (for both of you).
Before pandemic conditions, parents were invited to participate in scans and doctor’s visits, if able. As surrogate and baby’s health is of prime importance, and this isn’t possible, open-air meetings can be facilitated through your personal coordinator if desired.”