If you are thinking about applying to be a surrogate, you may have noticed that there are some pretty universal surrogate requirements that you need to fulfill before you can actually submit a formal application to be a surrogate. Since surrogates are going through a medical procedure and getting paid to be a surrogate, it makes sense that they need to meet some necessary qualifications. Note that sometimes known surrogates (i.e., someone in the intended parents’ families) may not need to meet all of these requirements.
This is a very special process that you want to be a part of, but you shouldn’t do so at the risk of your health or the health of the baby you will carry. All surrogate mothers need to do quite a bit of emotional labor as well as physical labor.
Not everyone can be a surrogate, but if you are dedicated, you have a good chance of meeting the requirements.
You Need To Be Healthy Enough To Carry A Pregnancy
While health can be somewhat subjective, there are some basic things you need to do to make yourself a viable candidate. The first is that you need to be a female between the ages of 21-40. These are the healthiest years of your life reproductively speaking.
You should be a non-smoker and live in a non-smoking home – smoking of any kind. In the same vein, you cannot vape or do any other type of drugs. This is one of the strictest requirements that we have – for many surrogacy agencies, a history of substance abuse will also disqualify you from the process.
You should also have a BMI of 30 or less. This significantly reduces the risk of diabetes, hypertension, or other complications during pregnancy.
Before becoming a surrogate, you will have to be able to undergo a psychological evaluation and pass it as well medical examinations for STDs, HIV, drugs, Hepatitis, and other diseases that you could pass onto the baby or cause complications in getting pregnant or carrying a healthy pregnancy.
You Need To Live In The Right Place
Sadly where or how you live can disqualify you from the surrogacy process. Currently, you need to live in any of the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington DC, West Virginia or Wisconsin. You must be a legal US citizen in many cases and have a legal right to work in the US.
There are some programs where you can be an international surrogate. Often, the requirements are the same for an international surrogate, but it can be harder to keep track of the surrogate. This isn’t recommended in many cases.
You Need To Be Self Sufficient
If you are applying to be surrogate, you should not receive any kind of federal or state financial assistance for housing, food, or medical care. Student loans typically will not nullify your application.
You also want to have your own vehicle (with insurance) for transportation.
While the intended parents or even the surrogacy agency may help you, it is better that you are able to handle things like transportation, food, and clothing for yourself. Of course, some of the compensation that you get will go towards that.
Your Own Family Needs To Be Complete
One important consideration is that your own family needs to be complete – you never know if something could go wrong and you will not be able to have any more of your own. In the same vein, you need to have carried at least one previous pregnancy to full term (without complications), and you need to have retained custody of that child.
While having your own children after being a surrogate may be possible, it is suggested that you do not plan on it. Completing your own family should be your first priority.
Why Are There So Many Surrogate Requirements?
Often, people think that the surrogacy requirements are too strict for someone who is doing what is essentially a service to the intended parents. However, these are medical and legal requirements in many cases that have been defined to protect the health of both the surrogate and the newborns. If you come across an agency that does not have such strict requirements, it could be a sign that you may not want to work with them.
If you have any questions about the surrogate requirements listed above or the gestational surrogate process, please don’t hesitate to call us at (949) 363-9525.