What is the Psychosocial Screening?

The purpose of the psychosocial screening for gestational carriers and their partner/spouse is to minimize the risk of psychological harm, estimate their ability to comply with the demands of being a gestational carrier during the surrogacy process, ensure informed consent, and protect all parties from undue harm now and in the future.

Who Conducts the Psychosocial Screening?

A licensed mental health professional with experience in third party reproduction and who is also a member of ASRM (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) conducts the psychosocial screenings for both the gestational carrier and her spouse/partner as well as the intended parents.  

Clinical Evaluation

The psychosocial evaluation requires you to speak with a psychologist whether it is in-person OR virtually.  During the interview, the psychologist will ask a series of questions about how you plan on pursuing certain aspects of the surrogacy journey. The psychologist will ask you about your support system, why you have decided to pursue surrogacy, and who you would like to carry for.  Discussion points will include topics such as selective reduction or termination, relationship with the Intended Parents, and how you may handle difficult situations in a surrogacy journey such as a failed transfer or miscarriage.

While it may feel that you are being evaluated, we recommend that you be yourself and be honest.  This is a great opportunity to openly discuss your fears or concerns about the process to which the psychologist can also provide additional resources. It’s perfectly normal to be worried and feel a little nervous. As an agency, our job is to make the experience comfortable and reassure you throughout your journey.

In addition to interviewing you, the psychologist will also meet with your spouse/significant other. It’s important for both you and your partner to be on the same page throughout the surrogacy journey.

Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)

The PAI is a 344-item personality test that assesses your personality and psychopathology, and takes roughly up to an hour to complete. It’s divided into 22 scales, including anxiety-related disorders, alcohol and drug problems, aggression, dominance, warmth, inconsistency, and negative/positive impressions.

Report

The psychologist will obtain consent from  you at which time you will be informed who will receive the report. The agency will receive the report as well as the IVF Clinic.  At no time will the report be given to the gestational carrier without first meeting with the mental health professional for a complete explanation of the contents of the report. Gestational carriers and intended parents do not routinely receive reports. 

Intended Parent Process

When you are matched with intended parents you can also feel confident knowing that they went through a similar psychosocial evaluation.  Intended parents will also meet with a psychologist to discuss their experiences that led them to surrogacy, expectations, and fears about the process in preparation for the surrogacy journey.

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