As a surrogate, you are at the very center of that journey! You’ll be the one experiencing all the physical and emotional sides of the pregnancy. It’s so important to ensure that a surrogate is not only physically healthy but mentally and emotionally, too. Psychological testing is a good way to understand your unique personality traits and how you communicate with other people.

What is a psychological evaluation in surrogacy?

The psychological evaluation is done as part of the surrogate screening process. Its purpose is to assess whether a surrogate candidate understands the process, meets all of the criteria for acting as a carrier, and is of sound mind to enter a legal agreement. The evaluation is completed by a licensed mental health professional who is trained in third-party reproduction.

Why is a psychological screening necessary?

On a basic level, they are required because fertility clinics and attorneys will not proceed without an evaluation on file. However, this is also an important part of the process because it gives the surrogate a chance to talk with a third-party expert.

You will have the opportunity to talk through topics that are sometimes difficult, such as termination, health risks, and how you might feel when the process is complete. These topics are important to consider before a pregnancy occurs.

What should I expect during the surrogate psychological screening?

There are three parts to the screening process – the clinical interview, personality assessment, and the report.

During the clinical interview, the provider will assess the surrogate and her partner to ensure they are psychologically stable and understand their role in the process.

The provider will also allow them to ask any questions or bring up concerns. The interview will include questions about the candidate’s life, plans and expectations for various aspects of her journey, and a discussion of her support system and motivation. The interview usually takes about an hour to complete.

The personality assessment is a standardized multiple-choice test usually just completed by the surrogate. Depending on the provider, this may be the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) or the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI).

The MMPI-2 consists of 567 true-false questions and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete, while the MMPI-2-RF has 338 true-false questions, taking 35 to 50 minutes to finish. The PAI is comprised of 344 items and requires 50-60 minutes to administer. Each item is rated on a 4-point true/false scale.

After the interview and assessment, the clinician will complete a comprehensive summary of their interactions with the surrogate (with partner, if applicable. They will detail any concerns they have and state whether or not there is clearance to continue as a surrogate. This report is shared with the agency and fertility clinic, but it is not shared with the surrogate or intended parents.

How should I prepare?

There is nothing special you need to do to prepare for this meeting. The provider will walk you through the process and your job is to be open and honest!

What happens after?

The final report is usually ready within a week. You will be notified of the results at that time. In most cases, a surrogate will receive psychological clearance and move ahead with the rest of their medical screening.

We understand that the idea of the psychological screening may seem scary or overwhelming. But try not to feel intimidated! This is just one step in a complex journey of building beautiful families. Most surrogates walk away breathing a sigh of relief and thinking, “That was it?!” As always, our team at Hellobaby Surrogacy is available to answer questions and support you through this and all other steps in your journey!

Interested in learning more about surrogacy at Hellobaby Surrogacy? Check out our parents page for information about becoming a parent through surrogacy or our surrogate page to learn about becoming a surrogate! You can also follow along on our Facebook and Twitter as we share updates, resources, and client stories daily!

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