In the world of surrogacy everyone begins by looking for a match. Once a surrogate has decided 100% that this is what she wants to do, she starts looking for a wonderful couple who needs her help to fulfill their dream of a baby. On the other side, once a couple has decided that surrogacy is the way they will move forward to complete their family, they begin searching for the woman they will trust to carry their baby. Once the two meet, they just know. And that is when the hurry up and wait really begins!
I have been a surrogate before, I carried twins for a couple who live in New Jersey. The twins were born in June of 2010 and are happy and healthy. After some time went on, I realized that my time as a surrogate was not over, so I began my search for another couple to work with. Some surrogates do this on their own with the help of ads and surrogacy websites, but I prefer to use an agency and so I contacted the wonderful ladies at Modern Family Surrogacy Center and let them know I was ready to start again. I like having the agency because not only are the details laid out from the beginning for everyone, but also because I prefer to leave the business and financial details to them so that the IPs and I don't end up with a business-type relationship. Oh yes, IPs... that brings me to the abbreviations! There are many, many abbreviations used these days on forums, chats, texting, etc- and surrogacy is no exception. It has it's own language when it comes to abbreviating. On the right side of the page, you will find a list of commonly used abbreviations. For those of you new to this, it may take a little while to catch on, but soon these will be part of your vocabulary too!
Where was I? Oh right, the matching phase. Once I contacted MFSC, I filled out a surrogate profile and submitted it along with a few pictures of myself and my family. The profile consists of questions about you, your health, past pregnancies, and why you want to be a surrogate. IPs are able to view and read profiles before they decide they'd like to meet a potential match. Once IPs have selected a potential match, their profile is given to the surrogate so that she can then decide if she is interested in meeting them. If both parties agree, an initial meeting or phone call is scheduled. It's like a first date, in a way. Everyone is nervous and hoping this will be "the one" and that the other person/people will feel the same way. It's a tough decision to make from either side of it, but the advice I always give is to just go with your gut. This time there was no denying that our match was meant to be. I was given J & T's profile on Thursday, November 10th and agreed that they were a potential match for me. We had our initial phone call on Friday, November 11th and it went wonderfully! We both called the ladies at MFSC right away and agreed that we were a match. After that, plans were made to have a face to face meeting ASAP. We couldn't wait to meet each other in person. So, on Tuesday, November 15th we met for dinner and everything came together so nicely... we were ready to move forward!
Now, of course, it can't just be that easy. Once you have a match the screening process begins for the surrogate. J & T are working with a particularly picky doctor, so first my file was sent to his office for review. Check...everything looked great. Next step is a medical evaluation at his office. Mine was completed Tuesday, November 29th and I passed the doctor's standards... whew! The next step we had a little trouble with... but not because I couldn't pass! It was the psychological evaluation, and since I have been a surrogate before, they knew I had previously completed one. TFI thought they could simply request my medical records from the previous clinic and the letter from the psychologist would be included, and that was all they needed. Well, it wasn't in that file, so we requested records from the psychologist directly, but she would not release the records. So, after waiting and waiting, we finally decided to move forward with a new psych eval. Unfortunately, this meant an additional long drive for me, since the clinic (TFI) and the psychologist are about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where I live. Even worse, the traffic ended up being so bad, it took me 3 1/2 hours to get to the appointment! But, I passed my psych eval on Thursday, December 22nd and I am done with screenings. Now we let the attorneys do what they do best and draw up our contracts, then we'll review them and sign! Let the next phase of waiting begin. ; )