I’ve found a Gestational Carrier/Intended Parent: Now what?

December 22, 2017

By Ellen Essig, Partner at Essig & Evans, LLP

You’ve reach that point in the journey where the decision must be made to move forward with a woman who has agreed to be your gestational carrier or to be a gestational carrier for an intended parent.  Maybe you were matched through a matching program. Maybe you met online. Maybe you are friends or relatives. How do you decide if you should move forward?

A gestational carrier must go through screening in order to be approved as a candidate.  The screening might include a psychological assessment, financial and criminal background check. It will certainly include a medical evaluation. It is ideal if you are able to visit each other’s home and interact in person and with others in the household. If you cannot do this, try FaceTime or Skype. There are many matching programs which do an excellent job of screening. Check out the reputation of your specific program if you are working with one. If you have found this match on your own, do your homework.

Once you have the results of any screening, my best recommendation to you is to trust your gut but do not ignore any red flags. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t though I will caution that there are times when people are in such a frenzy to actually find a match, they see things that they feel are worrisome that need not be. Feel free to bring in someone you trust to check your reaction.

When you enter into this arrangement, you want to be certain you are all on the same page on the important issues. Take the time to talk about these issues.  Do you feel the same way about a possible termination or reduction of pregnancy in the case of multiples or medical issues? Are you both interested in the same level of contact during pregnancy? Do you have the same sensitivities about prohibited activities and foods during pregnancy? As you move forward in developing your relationship with each other, are you finding that you are receiving responses to inquiries in a timely manner? If you are a gestational carrier working with an international intended parent, how do you feel about limited contact with your intended parent during the pregnancy?

If you get to the end of the screening process and are feeling uneasy, you should stop and take stock of where you are. The fact that you have spent a lot of time and money is not a good reason to go forward if alarms are ringing. Consider this before signing a contract and proceeding to embryo transfer. And, equally important, make sure you have an attorney with experience in the state where the birth will occur. You will want this expertise to protect your rights and make sure the parentage process runs smoothly.

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If you would like to speak with an experienced fertility law attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio, call Essig & Evans LLP at (513)-455-4700 or contact us online.