What Does it Take to Be a Surrogate? [Am I Eligible?]
Who Can Become a Surrogate?
There are specific screening, medical and legal requirements to determine your surrogate eligibility.
- You must go through an in-depth screening process
- You’ll need to meet specific medical requirements
- A surrogacy attorney will help you commit to a legal surrogacy contract
As you consider surrogacy, you might be asking, “Do I have what it takes to be a surrogate?”
Luckily, a surrogacy professional can help you determine your surrogate eligibility when you complete this online form.
Until then, the following information will break down the screening process, the medical requirements and the legal steps you must take to understand better what to do to be a surrogate mother.
The Screening Process for Determining Surrogate Eligibility
When asking, “Can I be a surrogate?” It’s first important to understand that determining your surrogate eligibility is a lengthy process. Prospective surrogates like you go through a detailed screening process where you must meet specific requirements.
Because surrogacy comes with emotional, psychological, physical and medical challenges, the screening process determines whether or not you are ready to take on the gestational surrogacy journey with an intended family.
So, what does it take to be a surrogate, and what does the screening process entail? Here are some of the many qualifications for determining surrogate eligibility:
- The American Society of Reproductive Medicine suggests that a surrogate be between 21 and 45 years of age, but many agencies require a prospective surrogate to be no older than 40.
- Your BMI should be 30 or less (though some agencies and clinics will make exceptions on a case-by-case basis)
- At least one previous successful pregnancy
- Currently raising at least one child in your current home
- No major complication in past pregnancies
- No felony convictions
- No history of postpartum depression
- No use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication in the past 12 months
- A stable lifestyle and support system
- And more
We encourage you to reach out to a surrogacy specialist to get more information on the screening process and what it takes to be a surrogate mother.
Once you’ve met all of the general requirements in the initial screening process, you can move forward with the following steps of the surrogate eligibility screening process:
- Social and medical history – You will be required to submit detailed information about you, your family and your health and medical history.
- A physical exam – You will meet with a fertility clinic for a physical exam and lab work to ensure you’re healthy enough for gestational surrogacy.
- In-home assessments – A social worker may meet with you at your home to talk about your personal motivation for choosing surrogacy and make sure your environment is conducive to a healthy pregnancy. An in-home visit is an important aspect of determining who can be a surrogate.
- A mental health evaluation – Working with a mental health professional is essential in making sure you are prepared for the emotions of both the pregnancy and carrying a child for another family.
After reading about the screening process and what it takes to be a surrogate, it may seem overwhelming.
However, being better prepared for the screening process and the surrogate eligibility requirements by working with a professional will help you decide whether surrogacy is right for you.
What it Takes to Be a Surrogate Mother: The Medical Requirements
Medical and physical health is a significant factor in having a successful pregnancy and surrogacy journey.
You are closely monitored throughout the entire surrogacy process, and you will undergo several medical tests, procedures and get prescribed various fertility medications.
There are several steps in meeting the medical requirements for surrogacy:
- Medical screening: Physical and lab testing is a part of the medical screening process to determine surrogate eligibility. Your medical professional will screen for sexually transmitted diseases, infectious diseases and viruses impacting fertility.
- Fertility treatments and medical procedures: You will be required to undergo fertility treatments, blood tests, injections and ultrasounds throughout the medical process. Medications such as birth control pills and hormones will help regulate your cycle and prepare your body for in vitro fertilization (IVF). You can learn more about embryo transfer and the medical process here.
- Embryo transfer: Using the intended mother’s egg or a donor’s egg that has been fertilized in a laboratory using the intended father’s or donor’s sperm, the embryo is transferred into your uterus for implantation. This procedure does not require medication or anesthesia. This is one of the most important and exciting requirements of the medical process — it’s when you actually become pregnant with the intended parents’ child!
- Prenatal care: You’ll need to make routine visits to the fertility clinic for blood tests and ultrasounds to eventually hear a heartbeat and confirm a healthy pregnancy. At that point, you will get transferred to your regular OB-GYN for prenatal care.
Again, because the medical process has multiple steps, you are encouraged to speak with an experienced surrogacy specialist to get more information.
Learning more about the medical process and getting answers to your question of, “What do I need to do to become a surrogate mother?” will better prepare you for the journey ahead.
What Does it Take to be a Surrogate? The Legal Requirements
Agreeing to a legal contract with the intended parents with the guidance of an experienced surrogacy attorney is the next important step you’ll take.
Before you begin any of the aforementioned medical procedures, you and the intended parents will clearly outline your expectations in a surrogacy contract. Your contract will address the legal aspects of your surrogacy journey, including:
- Surrogate compensation
- The potential risks and liabilities involved in surrogacy
- Your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the intended parents
- The hospital plan and relinquishment of the child
- And more
Once the intended parent’s attorney drafts the legal contract and you review and agree to its terms, you can start the medical process.
Because surrogacy laws vary state-by-state, working with an experienced surrogacy attorney is critical. Thankfully, you will get connected with the best legal professionals when you work with an experienced surrogacy agency.
So, what do you need to do to be a surrogate mother? First, complete this form to connect to a surrogacy professional and get answers to your important questions.
You can better understand what it takes to be a surrogate mother and what to expect from the screening process by speaking with a professional before committing to surrogacy.
Who Can Become a Surrogate?
Surrogacy isn’t for everyone. After learning more about the process, a prospective surrogate may decide it’s not the right timing or the process is too much.
If you’re asking, “Can I be a surrogate?” hopefully, this guide to determining surrogate eligibility has given you a better idea of what to expect and helped you decide if surrogacy is right for you.
Remember, you can always reach out to a professional to get more information. If you feel like you’ve met the qualifications for surrogacy, you can choose which agency to work with and begin the process of finding and matching with intended parents.
Your decision to carry a child for intended parents physically or biologically unable to have a child is heroic. You’ll also have the chance to experience the incredible journey of pregnancy once again.
Ready to get started? Contact a surrogacy agency now to get free information.