It is a truly special experience to bring a child into the world, and even more so when you do it for someone else through surrogacy. Yet, it is not a light decision and needs much thought, preparation, and guidance. We have outlined the basic requirements for becoming a surrogate to help get you started on your surrogacy journey.
Basic Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate
Regardless of whether you choose to sign on with a surrogacy agency or go the independent route, there will be a standard set of requirements that a woman must meet in order to be considered as a surrogate. These requirements reflect the guidelines the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has set in place, and these same guidelines will also be required by the fertility clinic the Intended Parents are using. This is to ensure the safest, healthiest possible pregnancy and relationship between the surrogate and Intended Parents.
These basic requirements are as follows:
- You must have previously given birth to at least one (live) child.
- You are between 21 – 42 years old, and in good health.
- You are a non-smoker and do not use drugs.
- You are of a healthy weight with a BMI in the normal range. Some will allow a little wiggle room here, with the maximum BMI allowed usually a 32.
- Have healthy pregnancies with no complications.
- Be financially stable, and not on any form of public assistance.
Aside from the requirements list, there are a few things we would like to add:
- Complete your own family before moving onto surrogacy. As with any pregnancy, complications can happen, and if you were to experience complications that resulted in your not being able to carry a pregnancy again, would you be okay with that?
- Take the time you need to breastfeed and wean your child. The medications taken during surrogacy are not safe for breastfeeding.
- Remove your IUD, if you have one. Please note that if you’ve had Essure, it’s likely you won’t be accepted as a surrogate. Tubal ligation is fine.
- Be absolutely sure you can follow through with everything! This includes: responding to communications in a timely manner, taking your medications exactly as prescribed and instructed, and sticking to your agreed upon terms within your surrogacy contract.
If you meet these few requirements, great! Please continue on to see if surrogacy is right for you. If you do not meet all of these requirements, you may still be able to become a surrogate. For instance, if your BMI is a little higher than 32, dropping a few pounds will get you where you need to be, and you can then pursue looking into becoming a surrogate.