Having been an independent surrogate for a family member in the past, where there was no application process and minimal screening, I wasn’t sure what to expect when working with an agency. I knew it would be more in depth, and indeed I was impressed with all the bases that NYSC covers at this stage of the journey.

The application itself was several pages long and touched on almost all aspects of my life: my health history (pregnancy and otherwise), what I do for work and how much I earn, what kind of surrogacy situations I am open to (carrying for straight/gay couples), and much more. It wasn’t something one could rush, and I took some real time with it so make sure NYSC got an accurate picture of who I was and am.

Once my application was accepted, the screening process began. This involved a CPS check, FBI background check, hair follicle drug test, DMV abstract, credit report, and STD screening. The CPS check, DMV abstract, and credit report I could all do from my computer, but the other items involved going to various labs. The background check was a simple fingerprinting procedure. The hair follicle drug test was the most interesting part. The lab technician cut three small bunches of my hair right at the follicle, and with this they could detect any drugs I’d taken in the last 90 days. Thankfully, the technician had done this hundreds of times and you couldn’t tell I was a few dozen strands of hair lighter once she was done.

I am not an intended parent, but I can only imagine that all these checks surely must make IPs feel confident that they’ll be matched through NYSC with healthy, responsible surrogates.