Becoming a surrogate is a big commitment, one that entails meeting certain surrogate mother requirements put forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) as well as Fertility clinics.
Women who wish to apply to become a surrogate mother will often have questions about the requirements – and sometimes have questions about things not listed in the surrogate qualifications.
To help women better understand what’s required to be a surrogate, we’ve taken the most popular questions we’re asked about becoming a surrogate and answered them below!
Can I be a surrogate if I’ve never had a child?
Unfortunately, no. Fertility clinics require surrogate mothers to have had at least one full-term pregnancy and delivery, without complications. So while we are appreciative that you’d like to help others, the clinics would need to see that you were able to carry and deliver a baby without complications before accepting you into a surrogacy program.
What if my tubes are tied?
Our agency – like most others – will only do gestational surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy is when an embryo that is created from the intended parents’ biology (and perhaps that of an egg donor) is implanted into your uterus. Because of this, gestational carriers have no genetic relationship to the baby they are carrying. We do not use your eggs for surrogacy, so it does not matter if you’ve had your tubes tied.
What if I don’t have health insurance?
It is not a requirement that you have health insurance in order to apply to become a surrogate mother. If you do not already have health insurance when becoming a gestational carrier, once you are matched with Intended Parents, they will be responsible for purchasing a temporary policy for you that covers the pregnancy and delivery. You are never responsible for any medical bills related to the pregnancy.
What if I don’t meet the BMI requirements but have had healthy pregnancies?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is defined by a calculation between your height and weight. Your BMI is a good indicator of your general health. A high or low BMI can be an indicator for potential risk factors associated with pregnancy. Most women do not know their BMI, you can find out your BMI with this BMI Calculator to see if you qualify for surrogate BMI requirements. While you have had your own healthy pregnancies, you’ll need to meet healthy BMI requirements from the fertility clinics; this gives surrogates the best chance of success with their medications and surrogate pregnancy.
What if I’m worried I won’t be able to give the baby up?
As a gestational carrier, you will not be carrying a baby that you are genetically related to (surrogates do not share DNA with surrogate babies). Because of this, surrogate mothers aren’t giving the baby “up”, they are giving the baby “back” to the intended parents. This is how surrogates talk about delivery day and when they can give the baby they’ve been carrying back to his/her parents. Part of becoming a surrogate mother is to be prepared emotionally for the journey ahead. If you feel it will be hard to carry the baby and then give the baby to the parents, you may want to speak with someone at the surrogacy agency, or with an experienced gestational carrier, to see if surrogacy is right for you.
What if I’m over 40 years old?
Yes! We work with surrogate mothers who are between 21-44 years old. If you are an experienced carrier, there may be some flexibility with the maximum age requirement.
What if I’ve had a felony?
It depends on the severity of the felony and when it occurred. We encourage you to apply as we review applications on a case-by-case basis.
Can I be a surrogate if I have herpes?
We do not reject women if they have – or have had – herpes. However, depending on the circumstances (such as an active outbreak) a c-section may be requested, however that will be determined by your doctor.
What if I’ve had multiple c-sections?
If you have had 4 or more c-sections, we unfortunately cannot work with you as a surrogate mother. If you’ve had 3 c-sections there are some fertility clinics who may open to working with you, however they will request to review your medical records.
What if I’ve had miscarriages?
If you’ve had 3 or more miscarriages, you are not able to be a surrogate mother with us. In many cases, clinics will require that you have had a successful pregnancy and delivery after miscarriages to be considered as a gestational carrier.
If you’d like to read more of our most frequently asked questions, check out our Surrogate FAQ page!