Women who want to help other individuals or couples experience the joy of raising a child may consider becoming a gestational surrogate—carrying a baby who isn’t biologically related to the surrogate. It takes a special person to become a surrogate, and our agency appreciates all those women who reach out to us.
If you’ve already done some online research about the process of becoming a surrogate, you’ve likely noticed that the list of surrogate mother requirements is extensive. There are some excellent reasons for carefully screening potential surrogates. Our agency works much more closely and personally with each applicant than some other agencies do.
Certain requirements are set in stone. However, we’re willing to work with surrogates who may not perfectly fit all criteria if we feel that we can match them with intended parents. Some requirements are more well-known than others. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a few of the issues that some surrogate applicants may have questions about.
First, here are the rigid requirements. A surrogate applicant must:
- Have given birth and had a healthy, full-term pregnancy
- Be financially stable
- Not be a smoker
- Live in a surrogate-friendly state
- Be a U.S. citizen, legal resident, or legal immigrant with documentation that they will remain in the U.S. for at least 2 years
The number of states where it’s legal to compensate surrogate mothers is expanding. We’re already accepting applications from women in New York, even though the new state law goes into effect in early 2021. Currently, the only states that we do not work with are Nebraska, Louisiana, Hawaii, Alaska, and Michigan.
Although surrogates get paid, it’s essential that their commitment extends beyond the compensation they receive. This is why surrogates must be financially stable.
What About Other Requirements?
Did you know that surrogates, in most cases, must be willing to travel? While it’s limited, surrogates travel to the intended parents’ fertility clinic, where final testing confirms you’re ready for the embryo to be transferred. Reproductive Possibilities can provide assistance with those travel arrangements if intended parents prefer.
Other requirements include:
Having someone dedicated to supporting you: This is often a spouse or partner, but that’s not a requirement. We have single mothers who are surrogates whose support persons may be family members or close friends. It’s also important, if not a specific requirement, that a surrogate’s own child or children understand what is happening.
Have a body mass index (BMI) within an acceptable range: In general, we would like surrogates to have BMIs under 33, but some clinics have less strict requirements.
Being between the ages of 21 and 44: We may make an exception for a slightly older woman if she’s an experienced surrogate.
If you believe you satisfy all the requirements to be a surrogate mother, you can start the application process immediately. Once we receive the application and confirm you meet the requirements, a member of our team will contact you to schedule a series of interviews.