Now that we are matched, the next step in this process for me is screening. This takes place in two parts - medical and psychological. The medical portion of the process includes FDA required infectious disease testing for both my husband and me, plus my uterus needs to be examined and given the stamp of approval from the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) who will be placing someone else's precious cargo into it in a few months.
The psychological portion of the screening varies depending on the clinic's requirements. Usually both the GS and her partner are required to attend, since it's important that the GS have full support from her spouse. It also sometimes involves a written personality test. The end goal is to make sure that you are just crazy enough to think that carrying someone else's baby is a good idea, without being TOO crazy - I think they are looking to weed out people who are not emotionally stable enough or don't have enough understanding of the process to handle the emotional highs and lows. I'm sure they are also keeping eye out for cash-strapped women who are using surrogacy as a desperate attempt to secure income, or total loonies who are going to have a mental snap and run off with the baby once it's born. You know, the usual stuff.
So, what are the requirements of my clinic? I'd love to be able to tell you, but unfortunately I can't because I don't know them yet. The clinic my IPs were trying to use at the recommendation of our agency ended up not being a good match for them. Luckily, they actually know another couple who is currently expecting twins via GS through another clinic in their area. Initial consultations with clinics are very hard to come by, so they had to book theirs several weeks in advance. Their initial meeting is the first week of June, so I won't really know what exactly I need to do until then. Our agency coordinator said she's planning to call and find out whatever info she can once we get closer to the appointment time - probably next week. So hopefully we will get the ball rolling then.
The IPs are going to be using an egg donor (ED), so they are going to try to get access to the donor database sometime this week so they are able to choose a donor by their appointment date. Hopefully once they have their first meeting things will move quickly. Ideally I will be able to get all my screening done in June, then we can complete our contract and I can start my meds in July, and hopefully get pregnant in August!
In the meantime, I will just have to bide my time. But now that I'm matched with my IPs, I can use the time to get to know them better. I'm excited to get things going!