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Evaluations for intended parents, donor oocyte candidates and surrogate candidates

Deciding to use third party reproduction is an incredibly complex and personal decision. It can be a time filled with excitement as you take steps to build your family and with sadness as you come to terms with the loss of having a genetic child or with not being able to carry your own child. It also involves trusting another human being with your most prized possession. We are here to help you think through the process and the implications for your family.


If you have decided to use an egg donor, a sperm donor or a gestational carrier, your infertility clinic or agency will want you to schedule an evaluation with a psychologist that specializes in reproductive health psychology. That's where we come in. As a mom of twins born to surrogacy, Dr. Christina Rush brings her own lived experienced with infertility, pregnancy loss, and surrogacy, together with her extensive training and clinical experience to provide in-depth, comprehensive, affirming, and transparent counseling support and psychological assessment. 

Here are some issues we will flesh out for intended parents:

  • Desires for a potential donor or carrier

  • Communication before, during, and after pregnancy

  • Sense of loss or any sadness related to not carrying or being genetically related to you child

  • Impact on your family and friends

  • How you will discuss your child’s birth story with your child

Here are some issues we will flesh out for donors or carriers:

  • Medical processes involved

  • Risks associated with IVF and pregnancy

  • Psychological functioning

  • Support systems in place

  • Communication before, during, & after pregnancy

  • Impact on your family and friends

  • How to cope with various situations that may arise

This process can feel daunting to begin and it's easy to get stuck in how to move forward. It is very normal to feel confused about what the next step is so, below, we walk you through what those steps might entail. 

Egg/Sperm Donors/Gestational Carriers

Once you contact us and we determine we're a good fit for what you need, we will send you electronic forms to complete via our secure portal and schedule an appointment for you and your partner (or support person) to come into the office. Assessments take 2-2.5 hours to complete and include a clinical interview and psychological assessment. Dr. Rush will ask you a series of questions about yourself and your life to get a holistic picture of who you are. You will complete either the MMPI-2-RF (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Second Addition, Restructured Format) or the PAI (Personality Assessment Inventory). Both are effective tools for gathering information about an individual's personality and mental health and take around 45 minutes to complete. To complete a thorough evaluation, we request both the gestational carrier and the partner/support person complete the evaluation. You will also complete a projective assessment and a checklist of life events during the meeting. After we meet, Dr. Rush will write a report that summarizes the findings and determines if you meet the Association of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) Guidelines for being a donor or carrier. Results are provided to the agency or the fertility to clinic within a week.    

Intended Parent or Parents

Once you contact us and we determine we're a good fit for what you need, we will send you an electronic questionnaire to complete. We will meet for 90 minutes to discuss general mental health and life stability. We also discuss fertility history, the decision-making process, your desired relationship with the donor/surrogate, and how to discuss your experience and needs with family, friends, and the child. 


Match Meetings

Gestational carriers and intended parents are sometimes lucky enough to meet in person prior to this journey. This meeting allows both parties to discuss communication styles, desires for their relationship, and possible complications. These meetings help smooth out potential problems before they arise and/or allow individuals to determine if it is a good match. 


Supportive Therapy

So you have made the decision, completed the evaluations, and you’ve matched, but you're aware, and likely afraid there are still no guarantees. The cycle might not work, there might be a miscarriage, there might be a need for selective reduction, there might be bed rest, or there might be a bundle of joy in your arms but you're incredibly sad and anxious. We are here to provide supportive services for you along your journey. If circumstances require or make it easier for you, we can meet via phone or video-conferencing. 

Pregnant Woman Enjoying her Drink

Psychological Assessments
For Third-Party Reproduction

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