I evaluate candidates for oocyte donation and gestational surrogacy, and I offer consults for intended parents (in-office and online)
Egg Donation – Donor
Donor evaluations consist of a face-to-face clinical interview with the potential donor and of a written personality inventory. The clinical interview assesses family history, educational background, relative stability, motivation to donate, current life stressors and coping skills, difficult or traumatic reproductive history, interpersonal relationships, sexual history, history of major psychiatric and personality disorders, substance abuse in the donor or her first-degree relatives, legal history, and history of abuse or neglect.
The personality inventories I administer are either the MMPI-2 RF (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Second Edition Restructured Format) or the PAI (Personality Assessment Inventory). The MMPI-2 RF is the most widely used and widely researched test of adult psychopathology. It consists of 567 true/false items and takes 90-120 minutes to complete. The PAI is a multi-scale test of psychological functioning that assesses personality and psychopathology and has proven useful in a variety of contexts. It has 344 items and requires 50-60 minutes. Both tests have proven effective in screening potential donors and the choice of which to use is yours (some people like the MMPI-2 RF because it is better-known and has been in use longer, others like the brevity and lower cost of the PAI).
Once I analyze the data from the evaluation, I compose a report which I send to your doctor or agency within 10 business days.
Gamete Donation – Recipient(s)
I offer a one-or two-session meeting with intended parents to explore the psychological aspects of building a family through egg or sperm donation (such as the developmentally-appropriate ways to discuss with a child how he or she was conceived).
Surrogacy – Gestational Carrier
Evaluations of gestational surrogacy candidates are detailed and thorough. They begin with the candidate completing a number of life-history and adjustment questionnaires. Following this initial screening, I meet with the candidate alone for an hour-long clinical interview, immediately followed by a conjoint meeting with the candidate and her partner. A large portion of this meeting is devoted to helping the couple consider possible psychological risks and vulnerabilities of both parties and the prospective child in the surrogate parenting process. During the meeting with the candidate and her partner we walk through the potential emotional, logistical and practical issues that can sometimes arise during the IVF cycle, pregnancy, delivery and postpartum periods. After the clinical interview, the candidate completes the MMPI-2 RF and several shorter personality assessments. The data from interviews and written tests is collected, analyzed and compiled into a comprehensive written report.
Surrogacy – Intended Parent(s)
I offer psycho-educational meetings for couples about to embark on a gestational surrogacy journey. The goal is to assess the preparedness of the couple and to explore the range of outcomes and possible long term effects of building a family through gestational surrogacy.