I have compiled a wealth of references that provide a good start in
answering your questions. To get some more direct information, you
will probably want to call several surrogacy clinics.
OVERVIEW OF SURROGACY
Read "What is Surrogacy?" Victoria Fertility Centre.
Read "Considering surrogacy? Your questions answered." BMA
Peruse the Intended Parents website
About the Gestational Carrier:
"Before the medical procedures can occur the carrier will meet with a
psychologist to make sure she is ready to become a carrier and is
comfortable with the arrangement. All expenses incurred for these
visits including gas and child care will be paid by the couple. The
husband/partner may need to attend certain visits. After the
psychological testing is complete you and your partner will have to
undergo medical testing. A background check will also be performed.
Once all the results come back and they are favorable a contract will
be drafted to protect all parties? interests including the carriers."
You might want to utilize the Telephone Chat to get some detailed answers
Also see Surrogacy Solutions
Canadian Surrogacy resources are quite limited. You might want to
start with the following organization but the information on their
site is quite limited. They might be able to direct you to some
Canadian Surrogacy Options, Inc
"This is Canada's first surrogate consulting service offering
surrogacy as an option to infertility."
An article from Canadian Parents:
"A Surrogacy Story," By Shandelle Ramsey
The following excerpt is from "Counseling Issues and Surrogate
Parenting," By Hilary Hanafin, Ph.D.
* "It is important to note before addressing specifics, that
psychological assessment and counseling is still optional.
"Unless a program, the physician or the patients deem it necessary,
surrogacy agreements can proceed without the benefit of mental health
professionals. However, most of the IVF clinics in my area and the
program with which I am associated do mandate psychological screening.
This role of gate keeper is controversial. Over my thirteen years of
evaluating surrogate mothers, prospective couples, and, more recently
egg donors, it is clear that the assessment and counseling is effected
by one's perspective on openness, child welfare, women's issues, child
development and the pains of infertility."
SCREENING OF SURROGATE MOTHERS
"The psychological screening of surrogate mothers is very similar for
both traditional artificial insemination surrogates and IVF
gestational surrogates. The important differences will be addressed at
the end of this section. In both programs, it is crucial that the
candidate already have at least one child that she has given birth to
and parented. If she has not had pregnancy and parenting experience,
it would seem impossible for her to give any level of informed consent
and it may be difficult for her to empathize with the parents and the
child. Additionally, it seems risky for a doctor to endorse women
without such obstetrical histories. We also do not accept women on
government aide, in major life transitions, or who do not have a
stable income. This role criteria is an attempt to prevent collusion
with denying important feelings because of an immediate need for
"One role of the psychologist is to help the candidate see if being a
surrogate will serve a positive functional purpose or a negative
dysfunctional purpose in her life. Thorough assessment can prevent
collusion with pathology, exploitation, and unhealthy degrees of
"The clinical interview reviews her history in an attempt to screen
out women who have traumatic histories from which unresolved feelings
may surface during crisis or during stressful conditions. It is
interesting to note, one study conducted on surrogates discovered no
differences in early attachment and loss histories of surrogates and
non-surrogates (Resnick, 1987). The clinical interview also addresses
motivations. Studies across the nation seem to report similar
motivations (Hanafin, 1987, Parker, 1983, Resnick, 1989). It is
crucial that the candidate obtain something for herself beyond
financial remuneration. If she cannot focus on what being pregnant and
relinquishing a child can do for her, then traits such as low
self-esteem, low intelligence and martyr patterns should be evaluated
"Related to motivations are the candidate's expectations concerning
her relationship with the prospective parents. It is crucial to
explore her needs for contact and her hopes for openness. This issue
can reveal such dynamics as unrealistic expectations, an attempt to
use surrogacy to fill void in her life, fragility or mistrust, and an
inability to predict her own behavior. Specifically, a woman who
assumes she will be an "aunt" or a woman who wants no contact are of
concern. An ability to do reality testing, an ability to understand
boundaries, and an ability to trust herself to set limits are vital
variables. Furthermore, what a surrogate's wish list and criteria as
it pertains to the new parents is very revealing and can provide some
"Of course general mental health is an obvious necessity.
Psychological testing, clinical interviews, observations in a group
setting, and feedback from others involved in the case are all
important. Specifically, it is important to eliminate sociopaths,
depressed persons, borderline personalities, and those who have little
ego strength. It is important to assess their coping mechanisms,
defenses, and resiliency especially when under duress. Surrogates also
need an intellectual ability to do abstract thinking, conceptualizing,
and retain a lot of information. It is vital that she have the ability
to think independently, as well as take care of herself so to prevent
"Over the years, evaluating a surrogate's support system, resources,
and immediate family has become increasingly important. Assessing the
husband's beliefs and thinking is most revealing. A surrogate with
minimal to no resources or minimal ability to use resources is often
indicative of a person with poor judgment who will need a lot of case
management. Furthermore, her children are of utmost concern.
Discovering how she plans to tell her children, and assessing how much
life trauma the children have undergone are important considerations
for surrogacy to proceed safely. If a candidate answers that she may
not tell her children the truth or if her children have a history with
much loss and/or trauma it is often best not to accept her. As mental
health professionals we have a responsibility to protect children
psychologically where possible. For a child's mother to be a surrogate
is of unknown consequences, therefore it is best to eliminate families
who have come to surrogacy with minimal support and/or painful
Psychological articles concerning Surrogacy from Surrogacy.com
COMPONENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL SURROGATE ARRANGEMENT
Motivations of Surrogate Mothers.
Overview of Surrogacy Parenting
"Better screening of potential surrogate mothers advocated," by Sherry
Boschert. Psychological Evaluations. OB/GYN News, Oct 15, 2002
"A program to facilitate surrogate pregnancies rejected 2 of 20 women
applying to be surrogates after psychological evaluations detected
moderate-level personality difficulties, Gary S. Bruss, Ph.D., said at
the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society."
"The results highlight the need for guidelines on how to evaluate
potential surrogate mothers, said Dr. Bruss, a psychologist at Argosy
University, Orange, Calif. The American Society of Reproductive
Medicine in 1998 published psychiatric and psychological screening
guidelines for evaluating oocyte and gamete donors but no formal
guidelines exist for psychological screening of surrogates, he
reported in a poster presentation."
The following question was asked on the Surrogate Mother's Online
Message Board, but the response is not very definitive:
Question - "I was wondering if mental illness (social phobia, major
depression, but both are better)make you unelligible to donate your
INSURANCE, LEGAL, ETC.
A Q&A about insurance for mother and baby from the Suromoms website:
Read "What happens with a child using a surrogate mother?"
From the Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc
Scroll down to insurance matter under Phase 1:
"Insurance has become a very important part of the screening process.
If you do not currently have an insurance policy that covers a
surrogate pregnancy, you may not be eligible to move forward in the
program. We will be happy to discuss the insurance issues once you
begin the process."
Considerations for a legal contract
Read "MEDICAL INSURANCE ISSUES AS THEY AFFECT THE SELECTION OF A
POTENTIAL SURROGATE," By Steven H. Snyder, Esq.
See "Surrogacy and Health Insurance Coverage."
Regarding Canada, please feel free to follow this search string:
I have collected some samples of fees below:
Center for Surrogate Parenting - California
Victoria Fertility - Canada
Intended Parents - New Jersey
Canadian Surrogacy Options - Canada
Surrogacy Solutions - Arkansa
Egg Donor and Surrogacy Programs
The Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy
Surrogate Mother's Online Message Board:
Links from Surromoms online
Fertility/Surrogacy clinic links
I hope this information is helpful as you begin to explore this issue
with your friend!
Canada screening surrogates depression
screening surrogate mothers for depression
are surrogate mothers screened for mental health?
insurance for surrogate mothers
insurance for surrogate mothers AND Canada