Becoming an intended parent is an exciting time. You’re steps closer to having the child you’ve always dreamed about — and becoming the parent you’ve always wanted to be.
But, when you go through the application process, you may be surprised at the depth at which you need to answer questions. Why does the surrogacy agency need to know your full history? Why can’t they focus on the last few years, when you first started your family-building journey?
The paperwork and screening can seem intrusive, but it’s important to ensure you are ready for the physical and emotional challenges of gestational surrogacy. American Surrogacy always encourages prospective intended parents to be honest; that way, we can talk to you in detail about how your personal history might affect your upcoming journey.
But, if you have a complicated personal history, you may be worried how our specialists will react to this information. Don’t worry — we’ve seen it all before. You can always call our specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to discuss whether you are personally eligible for surrogacy. We’ll always be happy to answer your questions.
In the meantime, we’ve gone ahead and answered a few of the ones we receive most often below.
1. Can you be an intended parent if you have a criminal history?
No one is perfect. We’ve all made mistakes at some point in our lives. But if your mistakes are permanently recorded in a criminal charge or case, you’re probably worried about their effect on your upcoming surrogacy journey.
Every intended parent must undergo a criminal background screening prior to being approved with our agency. This is to ensure you can provide a safe and stable home for a child born via surrogacy. If you have a criminal history, it will show up during this screening — but it’s not an automatic disqualification for the process.
In most cases, you can still be an intended parent, even if you have a criminal history. Your specialist will discuss the charge or situation in detail with you, so we can better understand your personal history and whether you’ve learned from your mistakes. We may ask you to write a detailed letter about the situation and the outcome for our records. We make decisions on a case-by-case basis but, as long as you have learned from your mistakes and are no threat to a surrogate or a baby born via surrogacy, you should be approved by our agency.
It’s important that you are 100 percent honest with your specialist from the start. That is the only way we can help you. Remember, your background will come out during your screenings, so keeping us in the loop from the beginning allows us to stay ahead of the situation and work much easier with you.
2. Can you be an intended parent if you have a history of addiction?
Similarly, you may worry that a history of addiction will disqualify you from surrogacy — or make a prospective surrogate less likely to work with you. This is not the case at all.
We know that addiction is a terrible disease to overcome. But, if you’ve come out on the positive side after a history of substance abuse, we trust that you are stronger than your disease. You should know this will likely be a topic discussed during your mental health screening. A licensed professional will talk with you about this history, how you overcame it, and how you plan to stay clean in the months and years to come. After all, surrogacy is a stressful, complicated journey, so it’s important that you stay committed to your sobriety during this time — and in your upcoming parenting journey.
Again, we request that you are completely honest about any substance abuse history you may have. If you are, we can work with you to keep it from affecting your family-building journey. We may require a letter from your therapist or from you about this history and your plans for maintaining sobriety, for our records.
3. Why does my personal history matter?
We know the screening process for becoming an intended parent can be intrusive. You might even think it’s unfair, given that millions of people around the world can have a biological child without going through anything like this.
We understand your frustration — but remember that gestational surrogacy is about more than your desires. It’s about keeping your surrogate safe, too. Every prospective surrogate goes through similar background checks and mental health screenings prior to working with our agency. They have a right to request the same of their intended parents, too. We set these requirements to protect everyone’s best interest. We also reserve the right to request an in-home assessment of intended parents, as well.
Ultimately, remember that these background checks are in place for your protection. They’re also an important reason why we can offer such a smooth, safe surrogacy process.
Our specialists are always happy to discuss our background check requirements for intended parents. Feel free to contact us online or call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) to speak with a specialist today.