Although finding surrogate is not an easy task, it is important to make sure the surrogate is not only a good candidate, but a good candidate FOR YOU.
The agency will conduct the initial interview, perform a background check to eliminate candidates with criminal backgrounds and domestic violence, and the psychological screening which is meant to ensure to you that she understands the journey and that she is mentally healthy.
But there is more to it. You have to get along with this woman and trust her with your unborn child.
For a whole nine months, or even longer, your baby will be inside this woman whom you hardly know. If you are like me, you will want to know how she is feeling, how her doctor’s visits go and how her relationships with her loved ones are going. Imagine having to do all that with a person you just do not get along with.
In a perfect world, both women have a cordial relationship where they meet via Skype or phone periodically and help each other through the process. In an even better world, their journey together ends in a nice relationship where both women continue being friends after the birth.
But in the real world, things can be a little different.
Meet SD. From day one, problems began to arise. Firstly, she never informed the agency of her rocky relationship with her partner who left her right before transfer. As a result, her extra income from the surrogacy suddenly became her ONLY INCOME. She decided her life would be better if she went back to her South American country where she could live with her mother. Obviously, the agency had to deny her that. Then, she decided that she was so fertile that she should not need to use the hormone suppositories designed to hold the baby in her uterus. Needless to say, she required a second transfer. At about the 7th month, she decided that she wanted to travel from Florida to Texas for a family event because, after all, she was going by car and “Texas is in Florida.” She also decided that her deliveries were so easy that life insurance was not required. The miracle is that today the couple has their baby at home and there were no repercussions to the surrogate’s behavior besides the constant nightmare for the agency and for the Intended Parents.
But the biggest nightmare story I know about is the story of a Florida couple who decided to have their second baby using a surrogate they had found on the internet. Their “cutting corners” approach presented them with a complete scammer who ruined their lives.
Fooled into thinking that this woman was an experienced surrogate, the couple trusted that she knew what she was doing. When the time came for the transfer, she convinced them that it would be a warmer experience if she could move in with them for the weekend while they performed the “turkey baster” method. She also said they did not need lawyers and found a one-page contract on the internet. While at their home, she found the document and stole it from them so that they would have no recourse in the future. She received her payments throughout the pregnancy but when the baby was born, she refused to give it to the couple.
As a result of all this, the surrogate kept the child. Not only that, but the father now has to pay child support until his daughter becomes 18.
This couple made mistake after mistake. A background check would have shown this woman's other illegal practices; a psychological screening would have shown inconsistencies in her stories, prompting for further research on her character; a contract would have safeguarded the couple legally; and the key, a clinic would not have allowed traditional surrogacy where the baby is genetically related to the surrogate. Surrogacy is not a place to cut corners; unfortunately, this couple had to learn that lesson the hard way.