If you’ve decided you’d like to become a gestational surrogate, there’s no doubt that you’re an extraordinary person. Surrogates are the most strong, selfless, and generous women we know!
Of course, making this decision is only the first step in the journey. We still require all our hopeful candidates to undergo a thorough pre-screening process before the hard work can begin.
Here at Family Source Consultants, our screening process is designed to ensure all surrogate candidates are prepared for the adventure ahead. After all, carrying someone else’s child is a big deal! We go out of our way to make sure that every aspect of your health – medical, emotional, and psychological – is taken care of.
Once your application to become a gestational surrogate has been received, our Surrogacy Intake team will schedule an interview. As part of our intake process, you and your partner (if applicable) will also have to complete a psychological evaluation.
While the thought of a psychological evaluation may sound a little scary, it’s all part of ensuring that our surrogates are in the best of health.
Why do I need a psychological evaluation to become a surrogate?
Family Source strongly believes in safeguarding everyone involved in a surrogacy journey. And, as a surrogate, you are at the very center of that journey! You’ll be the one experiencing all the physical and emotional sides of the pregnancy. Carrying a baby for someone else is an incredibly generous act, and it is also a big responsibility. There may be lots of ups and downs along the way, and we want to make sure that you are fully prepared for whatever may happen.
Another immense part of being a surrogate is having a healthy relationship with the Intended Parents. Like you, they’ll be going through lots of different emotions and experiences throughout the journey. Although you’ll both be feeling incredible joy and excitement about the new life being created, there may be times when everyone is a little stressed or frustrated.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that a surrogate is not only physically healthy but mentally and emotionally, too.
Psychological testing is a good way to understand your unique personality traits and how you communicate with other people. This also makes it easier for us to match you to your Intended Parents!
What is included in the psychological screening process?
The psychological evaluation is part of our screening and preparation process. It is designed to help us establish that you’re fully prepared for what lies ahead.
The assessment will include an interview in which we will get to know you a little better. You will talk about your past and current life circumstances to understand who you are and how your experiences have impacted you. Also discussed are your hopes and expectations for becoming a surrogate. This may mean talking about certain stressors in your life and any painful and traumatic life events you’ve been through.
You’ll also complete some questionnaires and a personality assessment.
All of these things will allow us to consider situations that might be easy for you as a surrogate and situations that might be difficult.
The Clinical Interview
Your clinical interview will involve speaking with a Mental Health Specialist who is well versed in surrogacy arrangements and reproductive medicine.
During the interview, the Mental Health Specialist will ask you a series of questions about yourself, your life, and your plans for being a surrogate. You will also be asked to tell us about your support network, why you want to be a surrogate, and whom you would like to carry a child for.
There will also be some important questions about sensitive things like selective reduction or termination.
If you have a partner, they will be asked to talk to the psychologist as well. It’s very important that we know who will be supporting you throughout your journey.
Personality Assessment Testing
The personal assessment test typically takes about an hour to complete and helps us get a sense of how your mind works. It covers things like anxiety-related disorders, alcohol/drug concerns, anger issues, dominance, warmth, inconsistency, and various other negative/positive impressions.
The most common personality assessment tests used are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI).
The MMPI-2 consists of 567 true-false questions and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete, while the MMPI-2-RF has 338 true-false questions, taking 35 to 50 minutes to finish.
The PAI is comprised of 344 items and requires 50-60 minutes to administer. Each item is rated on a 4-point true/false scale.
Once completed, we’ll discuss the results of your assessment with you. This helps us understand whether the test results are accurate and what it means for you as a surrogate.
Some points to note
Remember: the assessment is not about deciding whether you’re mentally well. It’s about understanding who you are, your background, and whether you’ll be a good fit as a surrogate.
The assessment’s goal is to make sure that the journey goes as smoothly as possible for both the surrogate and the Intended Parents. This is obviously of greatest benefit to the beautiful child being created!
We also want to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the emotional and practical factors that lie ahead. This means that when it comes time to be accepted as a surrogate, you can prove your informed consent.
Once you’ve completed all aspects of the psychological evaluation, the Mental Health Specialist will review the results and generate a report.
If you’re approved (and we’re sure you will be!), you’ll be one step closer to starting your journey as a surrogate. From here, you will go through the medical evaluation before moving on to the most exciting part of all: matching with your future Intended Parents!