Becoming a surrogate is an incredible journey. At its core, it’s a selfless act that gives intended parents the greatest gift someone can give: a newborn baby. The intended parents usually can’t become pregnant on their own, so surrogacy allows them to start a family. It takes a special kind of person to go on this journey, so if you’re asking yourself, “Do I qualify to become a surrogate?” then we can go over some of the basic requirements.
Different surrogacy agencies may have slightly different qualifications, so you’ll need to make sure that you meet the requirements for that specific agency. In this article, we’ll go over some of the universal requirements that most surrogacy agencies follow to help you decide if you can become a surrogate.
Requirements For Becoming A Surrogate
Each surrogacy agency will have its own specific requirements for becoming a surrogate, but most follow the ones set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). These general surrogacy requirements were developed by experts to ensure the highest chance of success.
Pregnancy is always demanding and can be risky, but modern medicine has made it much safer. The ASRM has developed some basic requirements for surrogacy, although these might vary from agency to agency.
If you want to become a surrogate, then you should:
- Be between 21 and 40 years old.
- Have undergone at least one successful pregnancy with no serious complications.
- Not have had more than five previous deliveries or three previous C-sections.
- Have had all births occurring after 36 weeks (unless it was multiple pregnancies).
- Be in overall good health with a healthy body mass index (BMI), usually 19 to 33.
- Have a healthy heart, kidneys, and blood pressure.
- Have no new piercings or tattoos one year before the pregnancy.
- Not be a smoker or exposed to second-hand smoke.
- Have no history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Not be at high risk for HIV or STIs that can be passed on to the baby.
It’s important to remember that these are just general requirements. Most agencies approve surrogacy on a case-by-case basis and may make an exception for some of these requirements.
Additionally, all potential surrogates should undergo a complete physical examination by a qualified doctor who can then give approval for the pregnancy. This includes a blood test, urine drug screen, and, in some cases, a mammogram. Finally, the surrogate and their active sexual partner should both be tested for HIV or STIs.
Pregnancy isn’t just demanding on the body – it can also be emotionally or psychologically challenging. Most surrogates don’t get attached to the baby, but it’s still normal to have complicated feelings during the process.
If you’re unsure about whether you’d like to take this journey, ask yourself the following:
- Can I be pregnant with someone else’s child?
- Is my partner okay with the pregnancy?
- Can I go through all the emotional and physical challenges if it’s not my baby?
- Am I ready to commit to the whole surrogacy process?
Surrogacy is a unique journey and it’s important that you consider all the ups and downs that journey might take. In most cases, this will last at least one year, including the screening process, fertility treatments, and doctor visits. Plus, the intended parents will want to have regular phone calls and visits to hear about the progress. These are all factors you have to consider.
According to the ASRM, potential surrogates should:
- Be in good psychological and emotional health.
- Be off any anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications for at least one year.
- Have a stable family environment and adequate support network.
Finally, the ASRM suggests that the potential surrogate undergo a psychosocial evaluation. This includes a clinical interview that will consider the impact of surrogacy on you and the intended parents. Psychological testing may also be necessary, but the handling of all data will follow American Psychological Association Ethical Standards.
Additional Surrogacy Requirements
The agency you will use might have some additional requirements to becoming a surrogate. In some cases, you might need to:
- Be mentally and legally able to give consent.
- Live in a state where compensated surrogacy is legal.
- Be either a legal permanent resident or a US citizen. In some states, legal immigrants must present immigration documents that are valid for at least two years.
- Have another child that you’re already raising in your home.
- Be willing to get SC or IM injections.
In some cases, if you’re on government assistance, you may also need to have another source of income. Other agencies don’t allow surrogates to be on any state or federal financial aid unless it’s subsidized insurance. To learn more about these details, it’s best to contact the agency in question.
What Are The Qualifications To Be A Surrogate Mother
Most surrogacy agencies follow the basic requirements we mentioned above. Let’s now go over the surrogate mother qualifications here at Surrogacy By Faith.
Keep in mind gestational surrogacy is a demanding process, but it’s ultimately so rewarding. Helping intended parents create their perfect family is God’s work, and here at Surrogacy By Faith, we take it as our mission to make that happen.
Part of that mission includes our strict qualifying guidelines. We believe that our process identifies the best surrogates for this righteous task. As Proverbs 31:29 teaches us about motherhood: There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!
Surrogacy By Faith follows many of the basic ASRM guidelines, but we do have slightly different qualifications.
How To Qualify as a Surrogate at Surrogacy By Faith
- Be 21-37 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a non-smoker in excellent health
- Be within a healthy height and weight ratio with a BMI of 29 or below
- Have a healthy reproductive history, having given birth to at least one child that you are raising
- Have had all births occurring at 36 weeks gestation or later (unless a multiple pregnancy) without complications
- Not be receiving state or federal financial aid
- Be willing to undergo subcutaneous and intramuscular injections
If you’re located in Southern California, you’ll have to undergo a home visit. We want to make sure that you have the support and love you’ll need to bring this wonderful gift into the world. If you’re located elsewhere, we require a few Skype sessions to get to know you. Additionally, all potential surrogates must pass a background check and a drug test.
Our strict qualification process means that we find the best matches for surrogates and intended parents. These relationships become strong and are forged together in a common belief: every child is a gift. As a surrogate mother, you’ll have the chance to give that gift to the right family.
Anyone who’s interested in becoming a surrogate should fill out our Surrogate Initial Inquiry form and we can get the process started! We approve applicants on a case-by-case basis, so if you meet the basic requirements we strongly encourage you to apply.