The Surrogacy Matching Process: How We Connect Surrogates and Intended Parents

Surrogate woman virtually meeting the intended parents

We strive to make the best possible matches for our IPs and surrogates. We believe that an honest and open relationship throughout the surrogacy process makes for an incredible journey for everyone involved. In order to achieve such a relationship, our surrogacy teams in Boston, San Francisco, and New York use a detailed and extensive matching process.

A Brief Overview of Matching

Once we have accepted a surrogate applicant into our program, our matching and legal teams determine possible matching options based on a variety of factors. These factors include:

  • Her state of residence
  • If she has health insurance
  • The matching preferences of the intended parents and surrogate

We send a profile of the intended parents (with identifying information redacted) to the surrogate. If she expresses interest, we will send her profile to the intended parents (again leaving out all identifying information). Once the surrogate and the prospective parents express mutual interest, we arrange to have them communicate by telephone, Skype, or email to become more familiar with each other. If the surrogate has children and/or a partner or spouse, the intended parents meet them as well.

Surrogate Screening

Before the matching can begin, we review the hundreds of surrogate applications that come in each month. A screening process allows a licensed social worker to review bankruptcy and criminal background checks as well as medical records and the applicant’s overall readiness to be a surrogate. If she advances beyond this initial screening, a member of our social work team conducts a phone interview with the applicant, as well as an additional interview with the applicant’s primary support person (PSP). Should the applicant make her way through these various checkpoints, she is approved to begin matching.

Once she is approved, our in-house legal team will evaluate the available legal matching options. Surrogacy law varies by state – the state in which the surrogate plans on delivering dictates the legal procedures possible and the type of parents who can be matched with a surrogate in that state.

Lining Up Intended Parents and Surrogates

Once IPs agree to work with Circle to build their family, they are added to our queue. This list is used during matching; however, our social work team, when finding matches, balances the waitlist with the quality of fit in order to achieve a timely yet comfortable match.

Main Requirements

We use 3 main requirements to connect a surrogate and intended parent(s): legal fit, personality fit, and views on selective reduction and abortion. Legal fit is the best place to start since surrogacy laws vary from country to country and state to state. Our legal team works alongside lawyers from the surrogate’s and IPs’ home region in order to be sure that the legality matches.

Once the legal matters are resolved, the social work team strives to find the best personality fit while also honoring the waitlist. Using our knowledge of the IPs and surrogates, we try to generate matches so that both share expectations, hopes, and dreams for their upcoming journey. The Circle team sends the profiles of the proposed match to both parties. If the IPs and surrogates express mutual interest, we continue the matching process.

The third requirement is based on the IPs’ and surrogates’ respective views on selective reduction and abortion. Since it is ultimately the surrogate’s decision, in the case that either selective reduction or abortion may be a consideration, it is important that the two parties are on the same page on these matters.

Skype Call

Finally, the two parties schedule a Skype call to talk about the journey and any other thoughts or questions. At the conclusion of the conversation, if both the surrogate and the IPs are interested in moving forward, they are officially matched and ready to proceed to the next stage of the process!

We have successfully made thousands of matches, leading to happy families and the births of over 2,350 babies. Please visit our site for more information on the surrogacy journey and to learn more about our surrogacy agency. We have offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and NYC.