Thinking about becoming a surrogate mother in California and wondering if you meet the requirements? First off, we want to commend you for considering giving such a wonderful blessing to a deserving family! When you think about it, becoming a surrogate means giving the gift of love.
Without compassionate women like you, couples struggling with infertility might never be able to experience the joy of having their own biological child. This is a significant, deeply personal, and life-altering decision. And not only for you, but for the family whose dream of becoming parents you may make a reality.
For women in California who feel called to help others become parents, know that the state is not responsible for establishing most surrogate mother requirements. Instead, individual surrogacy agencies have their own requirements that potential surrogates must meet.
The surrogate requirements agencies have vary. The guide below is designed as an overview of the basic requirements for surrogate mothers in California, and gives the specific requirements for the Surrogacy By Faith Agency to help you determine whether or not the surrogacy process is right for you.
Who Can Be A Surrogate In California?
Surrogacy By Faith conducts an extensive and thorough screening process before a woman is able to join our surrogacy agency as a gestational carrier. These requirements are necessary to ensure a healthy and happy surrogacy experience.
To qualify as a surrogate candidate in California at Surrogacy By Faith, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be between the ages of 21-37 years old
- U.S. citizen
- Non-smoker in excellent health
- Within a healthy height to weight ratio, with a BMI of 29 or below (calculate your BMI here)
- Have a healthy reproductive history and given birth to at least one child that you are raising
- Had all previous births occurring at 36 weeks gestation or later (unless a multiple pregnancy) without complications
- Not be receiving state or federal financial aid
- Willing to undergo subcutaneous and intramuscular injections
Most agencies are looking for women who are truly committed to helping others fulfill their dreams of becoming parents. Therefore, surrogate hopefuls are required to undergo a complete background investigation, drug test, medical and psychological screening, and in-depth interview with agency staff.
And yes, surrogate mothers in California are compensated for their time. This compensation includes California-specific provisions like lost wages.
Plus at Surrogacy By Faith, we offer one of the best benefits packages for surrogates which includes extras such as gym membership, maternity clothes, travel expenses, housekeeping costs, etc. This helps ensure our surrogates have a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.
But the truth is, most women do not embark on this journey for financial reasons, becoming a surrogate is about much more than that.
Many women who have done this before say surrogacy feels like a calling. They prayed on it, and felt their hearts open to the thought of being able to give such an amazing gift to another family.
What Are The Health Requirements To Be a Surrogate Mother?
If you’re considering becoming a surrogate mother in California you might worry that a specific health condition could prevent you from meeting the health requirements. It’s difficult to say, because everyone’s personal health situation is unique.
Surrogate health requirements are in place both for your protection, and the protection of the baby you will potentially be carrying. The reason agencies have strict requirements is because they want surrogates who are in excellent health to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties involved.
Some of the health requirements that you’ll likely need to meet as a surrogate mother in California include:
- Having given birth at least once with no complications
- Being in overall good health
- Drug and smoke-free and abstain from alcohol for the entire surrogacy journey
- A BMI range of 29 or less
If you meet the basic health criteria to be a surrogate in California, then you’ll move on to the medical screening process – where you’ll typically undergo urine testing, blood testing, a physical and more.
The medical screening is done to ensure that you’re physically healthy enough to undergo fertility treatments, embryo transfers, pregnancy and delivery.
Every hopeful surrogate must complete the medical screening process to help ensure our surrogate mothers are in the best possible position to give intended parents a chance at a successful pregnancy.
What Psychological Requirements Are There For California Surrogates?
Women who become surrogates need to be mentally strong. It’s essential to understand that becoming a surrogate is a big commitment, one that will last well over a year.
Think of being a surrogate mother in California as being akin to having a very important job; in fact it’s like having the MOST important job. A hopeful couple that has struggled in the past is relying on you to attend appointments, take care of yourself, and do your best.
That can feel like a lot of pressure for someone who’s head isn’t in the game or who isn’t mentally prepared for this journey. That’s one reason why all prospective surrogates must participate in a psychological screening as part of their application process.
If you’re married, the agency will likely want your spouse to be interviewed as well. You will need their full support throughout the surrogacy process, so most agencies want to ensure your partner is also psychologically ready for what lies ahead.
It’s also why surrogacy coordinators have usually been surrogates themselves. So they can give tips and advice based on their own experiences to help you mentally prepare.
Almost all our staff at Surrogacy By Faith have been surrogates in the past. This way they can empathize and be there with you, every step of the way, and also let you know what to expect.
Flexibility is also a key psychological requirement for being a surrogate mother in California.
Things will not always go as planned. You’ll likely need to shift your schedule around to accommodate appointments etc. Mentally preparing for this now can help you feel less stressed and more at ease throughout your surrogacy.
What Are The Emotional Requirements For Being A Surrogate Mother in California?
Surrogacy can be an emotionally taxing experience. Understanding the emotional challenges you may face during each stage of your journey is another requirement for being a surrogate mother in California.
Throughout the screening and interview process, you’ll be discussing your feelings about surrogacy and the possible situations that might occur to see how you’d handle different scenarios.
Becoming a surrogate is an emotional investment. You are helping a family have the baby of their dreams… that’s a big responsibility!
Lots of people are depending on you, the surrogacy agency, medical doctors and intended parents – not to mention your own family and friends who you normally take care of. It can be a lot to manage.
As a surrogate mother, you may develop an attachment to the fetus before you give birth. As you’ve already experienced the joy of motherhood yourself, it’s important to emotionally prepare for the transfer process.
Throughout the journey surrogates are encouraged to remind themselves that they’re helping another loving couple bring life into this world. One surrogate we spoke to said it best, “I’m not giving up the baby, I’m giving the baby back to its parents.” Keeping this sentiment in mind from the outset will make for a much easier transition.
Another important part of being emotionally prepared for surrogacy is to make sure you have a support team in place to help you. Your spouse or partner is obviously first on this list, but also think about nearby family or friends who can help around the house or care for your other children as your pregnancy progresses.
Having a team in place that understands you and your emotional needs can make the surrogacy process a lot smoother.
Are There Any Legal Requirements To Be A Surrogate In California?
The good news is that under California family law, gestational surrogacy is 100% legal. California is actually a very surrogacy-friendly state, and is ahead of the curve in many ways when it comes to surrogacy law.
One thing to note about California is that the law requires both parties (intended parents and surrogate carrier) to be represented by separate legal teams. They cannot share the same attorney, which is actually a good thing, as you want to ensure your individual rights are protected.
Luckily a quality agency will handle dealing with the lawyers for you. That’s why choosing the right California surrogacy agency is so important.
Your agency will work with counsel to draft a surrogacy contract for you to sign. They will also explain the ins and outs of the contract, so you understand fully what is expected of you as a surrogate mother.
In addition, the state of California does grant pre-birth orders. It’s actually one of a few states that currently allows intended parents to establish legal parentage rights before the child is born without having to go through adoption proceedings.
Under California pre-birth orders, intended parents can be declared the legal parents even if only one is genetically related to the child. This includes every possible form of gestational surrogacy, including:
- Married couples
- Unmarried couples
- Same-sex couples
- Single parents
- Intended parents using their own sperm and egg
- Intended parents using donors
As you can see, California truly is a surrogacy-friendly state! Then once the baby is born, all records are sealed and become accessible only to the surrogate carrier, intended parents, legal teams, and the Department of Social Services.
Any More California Surrogacy Requirements I Should Know About?
There are other requirements for surrogates in California that may affect your ability to pursue this path. But as we mentioned previously, many of these requirements are set by the agencies themselves. So you’ll need to consult with an agency rep to know for sure.
At Surrogacy By Faith, some of these additional surrogacy requirements include:
- Being a U.S. citizen
- Not being on any type of government financial assistance
- Having the full support of your spouse or partner
- Home visit or video call
- Committing to all fertility treatments, surrogacy related travel and pregnancy health-related appointments for up to a year
Do you meet all the health, mental, and other requirements to be a surrogate mother in California? Then this might be the right path for you!
There are families in California right now who are looking for an angel to carry their child. Becoming a surrogate in CA is an incredible way to give a priceless gift to someone who’s been praying for the blessing of parenthood.
How Can I Become A Surrogate Mother In California?
Whether you’re looking to start your journey towards surrogacy in Los Angeles, San Diego or any other city in California, becoming a surrogate mother starts by partnering with a surrogacy agency that aligns with your personal values.
Surrogacy By Faith is a California-based agency that prides itself on providing the most supportive and nurturing environment for their surrogates. We take the time to match you with the perfect intended parents, so that the interpersonal connection runs deeper than at other agencies.
Surrogacy By Faith is guided by our strong Christian values, but we don’t limit ourselves to working only with Christian surrogates or intended parents.
What really sets us apart is that for us, surrogacy is more than a business – it’s a mission. We’re dedicated to helping grow families by the grace of God… one surrogacy at a time.
We are also one of the only surrogacy agencies in the country that does not support fetal reduction and/or pregnancy termination.
If there ever comes a point in the pregnancy where your treating physician suggests termination for medical reasons, Surrogacy By Faith’s very specific, one-of-kind legal contract gives our surrogates the final choice, without being in breach of contract.
Why would you choose to begin your California surrogacy journey at Surrogacy By Faith? It’s simple – we are God-lead!
We want to keep things as easy as possible for you. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a surrogate with Surrogacy By Faith, please complete our initial Inquiry Form.
After our conversation if you decide you’re ready to start your surrogacy journey, a screening questionnaire will be emailed to you. God bless you as you take your first steps in pursuit of becoming a Surrogate Mother!
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalms 127:3-4.