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The Psychological Evaluation (And Why It Isn’t As Scary As It Sounds)

When my husband and I met Mary for the first time, she walked us through the Surrogacy Timeline, and she casually said two words – two words that jumped out at me like a live electric wire and sent a chill down my spine – PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION. She said those words like they were no big deal, but inside I was shocked and a little confused.  My monkey mind started conjuring visions perfect for a black and white movie thriller – complete with dramatic music, a dark room, and a therapist’s couch with a Freudian figure in the shadows asking me questions about the deep dark past and the skeletons in my closet.

Ok, so my imagination was running away with things. There are no skeletons in my closet I can think of. I came out of the closet years ago – so much so that I’m writing about my big gay parenting life right now. But, at the time, I did worry about what a professional psychologist might find. I was specifically worried that somewhere, hidden in the back of my mind, some poke-and-prodder might find something that would disqualify me from surrogacy.

This is a pretty common fear for anyone going through surrogacy. Many people worry that something they don’t know about might pop up and halt them in their surrogacy tracks.

Me and my husband, touring Madison after our Psychological Evaluation. See… we made it through happy!

Why then, do you have to complete a Psychological Evaluation to go through surrogacy?

 

The first and easiest reason is this – the Psychological Evaluation is required by clinics before they will help you create a baby through surrogacy. Most clinics need a professionally qualified record that all parties involved in a surrogacy matter are of sound mind to participate. A doctor wants to know that before they help a surrogate become pregnant on behalf of her intended parents that she is mentally capable of making that decision. Moreover, on the legal side, attorneys want to know that everyone is of sound mind and is not being coerced in this process. One simple appointment can take care of both requirements for your medical and legal team!

Complete Care Through The Entire Process

 

Because the Psychological Evaluation is such a critical part of the entire process, the team at Hope Surrogacy will work with you to make sure you have a professional experience and that it goes as smoothly as possible. We’ll help you meet with a licensed mental health professional who is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Anyone you meet with should follow the ASRM’s mental health guidelines for surrogacy, or as they say, “third party reproduction”. Don’t worry – we’ll help answer all your questions along the way.

And more good news – we’ll connect you to the best in the business.

One of the hallmarks of Hope Surrogacy’s program is the clinical psychologist with whom we predominantly work. Frankly, she is a surrogacy rockstar. Remember those ASRM guidelines we mentioned? She co-wrote them. And she is the past chair of the Mental Health Group for ASRM. She is well renowned in the country, and an expert in preparing Intended Parents and Surrogates for their surrogacy adventure She’s been helping clients move forward in their surrogacy journey for years, and we’re proud to have her as part of our professional team.

Peace of mind is on it’s way!

There are a few more reasons why the psychological evaluation is important.

First, both surrogates and intended parents must complete the Psychological Evaluation before their match meeting. During the appointment, the psychologist will talk through the process, help you face the parts of surrogacy you might be scared of, and talk through the realities of the journey. I remember during my appointment we talked about so many things that my husband and I hadn’t thought about like our feelings about parts of the medical process or how we might talk to our families about surrogacy. She helped us think about how we could talk to each other and to our surrogate about some of the tough stuff – bonding and bodies and money. I came away from that appointment so much better prepared for our journey, so much more at ease.

On top of that, you’ll know that whoever you’re matched with has gone through the same process, had the same counsel, faced some of the same questions, and gotten all the same information that you have. When you finally meet each other, you’ll know you’re on the same page.

 

The Psychological Evaluation is a necessary part of the Surrogacy Timeline. It can be an intimidating step, but it doesn’t need to be!  If you’d like to talk about this with a member of our team, contact us here. We can’t wait to talk with you!

 

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