Bringing a child into the world is a beautiful experience. When it’s in the service of another family as a surrogate, it can be all the more remarkable.
Although the surrogacy journey may be filled with ups and downs, choosing this route of self-sacrifice is often an unforgettable and highly rewarding experience. However, to ensure the best start possible for the new family, candidates must meet certain criteria in order to become surrogates.
So, what are the qualifications for becoming a surrogate?
The Purpose of Surrogate Qualifications
While the specific requirements may differ by clinic, there are standards throughout the industry. These qualifications for becoming a surrogate mother are necessary to ensure the health of the surrogate and the baby.
They’re also in place because the process is different than conventional pregnancy in that there are additional medical procedures and monitoring expectations. As such, it’s important that women who wish to be gestational carriers meet the surrogate mother qualifications as closely as they can.
What’s more, being a surrogate may not be the right choice for someone even if she qualifies. It can be a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding process. It also requires patience, energy and a strong commitment. That’s why prospective surrogates need to be properly vetted before they can embark on the journey.
Standard Qualifications to Become a Surrogate
The qualifications for a surrogate typically fall into the categories of physical and psychological screening.
Medically speaking, participants are required to meet criteria regarding lifestyle, age, weight and previous pregnancies. Generally, surrogate candidates should:
- Fall between the ages of 21 and 40
- Have a healthy BMI, no higher than 33
- Have carried at least one pregnancy successfully to term and currently be raising a child of her own
- Have had no major complications during her previous pregnancies or deliveries
- Be a non-smoker and not taking any illegal substances or medication not prescribed by her doctor
The psychological qualifications are not as easily defined, as they touch on a woman’s mental and emotional preparedness for surrogacy. Those in consideration typically speak in-depth with a surrogacy professional about the challenges, expectations and, at times, conflicting emotions. The goal is to determine if she is in a solid place emotionally and ready to overcome those challenges.
Lastly, there’s a multi-step process involving psychological, medical and personal screenings. These screenings can include a look into her support system, financial situation, reproductive health conditions and any issues with previous pregnancies. The final step of the screening process is to meet with the intended parents after being matched based on compatibility.
Once a relationship with the intended parents has been established and all the necessary tests have been passed, the exciting part can begin!
Consider Taking Your Surrogacy Journey With Us
Becoming a gestational carrier for another family is a wonderful and unique experience. Here at International Surrogacy Center, we have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to be a surrogate, as more than 50% of our staff members have been surrogates themselves.
We can offer you support from the time you’re researching the process to postpartum care and beyond. Our mission is to support the women undertaking surrogacy and to help families become whole through the gift of life.