Want to Prevent a Surrogacy Disaster?

It’s all over the news today: a surrogate is offered money to have an abortion. Who wasn’t shocked by this headline? I wasn’t. Do you know why? It appears that corners were cut and there was no psychological screening of the surrogate. What could have prevented this whole sad story? A psychological evaluation by a mental health professional credentialed through the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). I have been that mental health professional since 1998.

When I see a potential surrogate, also called a gestational carrier, I ask as many questions as I can to make sure that the surrogate has the right motivation to carry a baby for someone else. Here’s a big hint—“I need money” is the wrong answer. This appears to have been the case in today’s headline. I also insist that we discuss any number of difficult decisions that can arise during pregnancy, like ending a compromised pregnancy. It is crucial that these issues be discussed in full BEFORE a pregnancy ever happens. Intended parents and surrogates must agree in advance about what they feel they can and cannot do in a pregnancy together. If there is no agreement on the most difficult decisions, don’t hope for the best. Walk away, even you like each other. I also insist that the surrogate’s partner be part of any surrogacy arrangement from the very beginning. Psychological testing is an important part of the evaluation. I tell intended parents all the time, “Don’t cut corners. Protect yourself and your surrogate, even though it all costs money. You do not want to be tomorrow’s headline.”

And here’s more two cents: Don’t make surrogacy arrangements privately. Use an agency skilled in making surrogacy arrangements. Legal matters MATTER. As you can see in today’s headline story, few states have laws allowing surrogacy. I work with excellent surrogacy agencies from around the country. Choose one.

The bottom line? Don’t cut corners. If you want to prevent a surrogacy disaster, make sure you include a mental health professional in your surrogacy arrangement. I am that mental health professional. You can schedule with me at 763-546-5797.

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