If you haven’t heard about my goal to be a surrogate, please go here first.
After the initial paperwork stage, the real first step toward being a surrogate is having your body and mind evaluated to determine that you are, in fact, a good candidate for surrogacy. So that’s what I did today.
My first stop was a fertility clinic in Pasadena. I knew that I’d be having blood drawn, but I wasn’t sure what else to expect. Well, I did expect more paperwork, and I wasn’t disappointed! I filled out about 7 more sheets and was given a booklet on fertility issues, procedures and resources. The appointment was pretty harmless: 7 vials of blood, 1 cup of urine and a pelvic exam. I was given a prescription for birth control pills to start taking the 3rd day of my next period to get my cycle regulated so that if there’s an egg donor involved later, we can be in sync. The results from all my tests should be given to the surrogacy agency in about 2 weeks.
My second appointment was my psychological evaluation. Intended parents (that’s what they’re called) don’t want a crazy carrying their baby: they might never get it back! The surrogacy agency also wants to make sure that I’m mentally strong enough to carry someone else’s kid for 40 weeks, go through who-knows-how-long labor and theoretically never see the baby again. I was interviewed 1-on-1 for about an hour or so, being asked all sorts of questions about my life history and current situation. I was also asked what my ex-husband, “Jake,” thought about my surrogacy plans. I was asked to call and make sure he was OK with it; he was. After the in-person interview, I was asked to take a personality test on the computer (I cracked the joke about wondering if passing the test means I do have a personality; the psychologist didn’t flinch). Most of the questions were supposed to raise a red flag if I answered them a particular way; for example, answering True to “When I’m alone I hear voices that have no visible source.” However, one question’s intent eluded me: “I like to repair latches on doors” (answer True or False). Huh?!? I also wondered if I should have answered True to another question: “I sometimes feel the need to smash things.” Hey, I love a good ant-smashing session when they’re invading my kitchen! Other than those two questions, I think I’ll pass the test. I was told that I should hear about my results in a couple of days.
Updated September 29, 2011
When I talked to my mom after my appointments on Monday, she thought it was both unnecessary and concerning that I was required to call Jake and “get his permission” to be a surrogate. I called the surrogacy agency today to speak to my coordinator “Lila” and asked if they’d heard about my psychological screening results: I’m cleared. I also asked her about the ex-husband issue. She told me that in the past they’ve had ex-husbands start child-custody battles because they thought the surrogacy was inappropriate for their children to be involved in. Lila was concerned that I was not told ahead of time that they might ask me to call Jake and that they didn’t explain to me why they wanted me to call him. She also told me that it’s not a requirement to involve the ex-husband unless there’s a history of abuse or major static between the ex and the surrogate. Lila assured me that she’d call the psychologist and get more information from them about “the ex factor.”
To read all my posts on surrogacy, please visit this page.