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  • Kristin Marsoli

The Surrogate Screening Process

Young woman researching on laptop

Every woman who applies to become a surrogate mother and meets the surrogate qualifications requirements in the application process will go on to take part in our 3-step screening process. Ensuring you are ready for the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of a surrogacy journey is key in helping ensure you have the best possible journey. Licensed mental health professionals conduct the screening process, and is not something to worry about – it’s a way for the screening team to get to know more about you!

What Is the Surrogate Screening Process?

After filling out the initial application, you will be connected with our intake team to clarify any information, ask any questions, and be invited to the Surrogate Portal. You will work with your Surrogate Advisor to complete tasks that help us learn more about you and ensure surrogacy will be the right fit at this time in your life.

When you are ready to move on to the next step in the process, your Surrogate Advisor will connect you with your screener.

The Screening Process consists of the following:

  • Surrogacy Consultation

  • Surrogate Evaluation

  • Primary Support Person (PSP) Evaluation

  • PAI (psychological testing)

These steps vary in length and are done via video call during Circle’s regular business hours during the week. You can choose to do all steps at once in one block of time, or break the steps up over multiple days. You will receive a $500 screening advance (from your base fee) for completing your screening (paid to you when you go into matching). If, for some reason, you are not asked to move forward after the screening process, you will still be paid.

Part 1: The Surrogacy Consultation

Time: plan for 30-60 minutes

Who attends: both the surrogate and her primary support person  

During this initial call, the screener will walk you through the full surrogacy journey so you both know what to expect. 

Your screener will ask you questions to:

  • Get to know you better and what brought you to surrogacy

  • Learn your surrogacy preferences are for your intended parents and your journey

  • Understand what type of medical care you will have

  • Learn about your insurance needs

  • Know your emotional commitment and any challenges you may have

Surrogates have shared that this initial conversation helps to put them at ease about the process, while also answering all of their – and their support person's – questions. This conversation is a helpful way to prepare for the next part of the screening process: your Surrogate Evaluation.

Part 2: The Surrogate Evaluation

Time: plan for 60-90 minutes

Who attends: the surrogate applicant

This is the most in-depth part of the screening process. During this step, the surrogate meets with her screener for a full evaluation when she will go into detail on topics about herself and her family, her medical history, and more. There’s nothing to “study” for this evaluation, no way to prepare. It should feel like an easy conversation on a topic you know very well: YOU!

Be ready to answer questions about the following topics:

  • Your background: Including your family life growing up, what your family is like, what school was like for you, your education and employment history

  • Your relationship history: Marital status, kids, if you’re co-parenting, if you receive child support, etc

  • Current relationship: How you met, how long together, what makes your relationship great, etc

  • Your support system

  • Pregnancy and OB history: Pregnancy and delivery details, if you experienced any PPD, history of miscarriages or terminations, OB care

  • Your kids

  • Medical history: Any past surgeries or health issues, most recent PAP, gyno history, current form of birth control, STD history

  • Your mental health: Past and current concerns

  • Your financials 

  • Legal history (anything involving the legal system)

The list of topics may feel long, but it’s our job to get to know all about you so we can ensure surrogacy is a good fit for you right now. Women should feel comfortable opening up and sharing information as part of our process.

Part 3: The Primary Support Person Evaluation

Time: plan for 30-60 minutes

Who attends: the surrogate’s Primary Support Person (PSP)

Your Primary Support Person will spend time with the screener answering similar questions to the surrogate applicant during her evaluation (minus pregnancy and OB questions, of course!).

Topics will include personal background, family history, medical and legal questions, how you and the applicant know each other, and how you will support her.

Part 4: The Surrogate Psychological Evaluation

This is known as the PAI (Personality Assessment Inventory)

Time: plan for 30-45 minutes

What to expect: 300 questions, done on a computer or iPad (not your phone)

The last part of the screening process is the PAI, which is conducted by an outside entity., However, your Circle screener will be on the call with you while you’re completing it.

Surrogates can expect to You’ll be asked easy questions, which you answer one at a time. This is not a “pass/fail” evaluation; there’s no need to be nervous. Again, this allows us to better get to know you and your intentions behind wanting to be a surrogate. An application is not rejected just from answers on the PAI, so you can relax and answer the questions with ease.

Being Accepted As a Surrogate

Once you complete all parts of the screening process and we’ve determined you’re a good fit for surrogacy, your Surrogate Advisor can begin to work with you to create your surrogate profile. 

We’ll gather any missing documentation, and if there are any concerns, we will let you know immediately. As we’re writing your profile, you’ll work closely with your Surrogate Advisor throughout the matching process. Once you’re matched with intended parents, you’ll begin your journey with the support of your Program Coordination Team!

If you’re ready to apply to become a surrogate or to learn more about the surrogacy process, click here.


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