What to look for when screening a surrogate

Fertility Specialist Elaine Gordon, PhD, shares advice on the important things to consider when checking or screening a potential surrogate mother
Finding A Surrogate - What To Look For When Screening A Surrogate
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What to look for when screening a surrogate

When screening a surrogate mother, it's important to take a lot of things into consideration. We want to make sure that she's doing it for the right reasons. She has the support of family and friends. She's psychologically healthy, physically healthy, and that she's doing it because she really wants to help someone else have a child. It's something she can do easily. She enjoys pregnancy. She has no problem giving birth. She understands the process. She is ready to engage in a relationship with the intended parents. Surrogates, by and large, are very proud about what they get to do. They want to help someone else. We want to really make sure that both the intended parents and the surrogate, have a mutual respect for each other. We support that and we work with them so they have a positive experience. The goal is not just to have a baby; the goal is to have a good experience together.
PREGNANCY, Fertility, Surrogacy

Fertility Specialist Elaine Gordon, PhD, shares advice on the important things to consider when checking or screening a potential surrogate mother


Expert Bio

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Elaine Gordon, PhD

Fertility Specialist

Elaine Gordon is a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in infertility, child development, reproductive medicine, and third party family building.  Besides her role as a therapist and group facilitator working with patients struggling with infertility related issues, she lectures on various topics surrounding the psychological and ethical issues of contemporary family building. Dr. Gordon is the author of Mommy, Did I grow in your Tummy? Where Many Babies Come From a children’s book dedicated to explaining a child’s unique reproductive beginnings whether it be IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, surrogacy or adoption.

Her professional associations include The American Psychological Association, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine and The American Fertility Association. She has served, as the educational chair for the Psychological Special Interest Group of the ASRM, is a member of the educational committee of ASRM.  She has served on various committees regarding many aspects of reproductive medicine. Dr. Gordon’s clinical work involves individual therapy, group process for couples and individuals, staff training for programs involved in reproductive medicine and third party screening and evaluations for all participants.

Dr. Gordon is well versed in both the medical and psychological aspects of reproductive medicine utilizing third parties. Her involvement in egg donation and surrogacy programs has stimulated an interest in the issues surrounding secrecy and disclosure in third party parenting. Related to the disclosure/nondisclosure issue is the need to assess the advantages and disadvantages of open versus closed donation policies. She lectures on disclosure policies and how you talk to children about non-traditional family building with the focus being the best interest of the child. 

Throughout her career as a psychologist she has become increasingly concerned about the ethical and moral dilemmas inherent in growing field of reproductive medicine. She has co-authored a chapter entitled "Legal and Ethical Aspects of Infertility Counseling" in the textbook Infertility Counseling: A Comprehensive Handbook for Clinicians. Dr. Gordon is currently involved in several research projects investigating the psychological implication of using egg and or sperm donation as a means of building families. She continues to work with other professionals in establishing a ‘standard of care” policy for the infertility patient and third party participants.

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