If you’ve considered becoming a surrogate mother, you’ve likely done plenty of research about the medical procedures, compensation, legal contracts and more. But, you’re probably also wondering - how do I know if I’m a candidate for surrogacy?
Dr. Angeline Beltsos, the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Vios Fertility Institute, lays out the basic requirements, and why each requirement exists.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about what could disqualify a gestational carrier.
No. We do require that you have given birth to and we have this requirement for several reasons. Most importantly, it allows us to ensure that you've had a good medical experience with pregnancy and have enjoyed an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. Second, having already experienced pregnancy, we have great assurance that you have an idea of what you’re undertaking as a gestational carrier.
Yes. Being married is not a requirement, but it is important to consider who will be your support system during the surrogacy journey. You will, of course, have your match manager readily available to answer questions and offer support, along with your Surrogate Sisterhood support group, but that only meets part of the need. From emotional support to everyday logistics such as childcare and housekeeping, it helps to have someone – perhaps a network of people – you can reliably depend on during the year or more of your surrogacy engagement. All gestational carriers, married or not, benefit from that support. Consider who those people are in your own life and how they might best be able to rally around you.
It depends. When you apply, we will talk with you to better understand your situation and provide our feedback.
Certain assistance programs, such as supplemented childcare, are not disqualifying. You should, however, consider whether the compensation you receive as a surrogate will make you ineligible for certain support programs.
Yes. Because it does not impact your uterus, you can be a surrogate after a tubal ligation, sometimes referred to as getting your “tubes tied.” This form of permanent birth control will prevent you from getting pregnant naturally when an egg enters the fallopian tube to be fertilized. And because it is not your egg being used in a surrogate pregnancy, your fallopian tubes don’t need to function to become pregnant as a surrogate through In Vitro Fertilization.
Preferred candidates for surrogacy are between the ages of 21-39. Studies indicate this is the optimum age range for childbearing, meaning fewer complications and, typically, a faster recovery.
Almost every state is a viable location from which to be a surrogate. Because surrogacy laws are not federally mandated and can vary from state to state (even county to county), however, not all states are favorable towards gestational surrogacy. Michigan, for example, forbids compensated surrogacy.
Stay tuned, though, as the tide is turning quickly. New York just passed exciting, state-of-the-art legislation after a hard-fought battle. Several states, including New Jersey and Vermont, secured laws protecting surrogacy in 2018.
If you think you are disqualified to be a surrogate, we still encourage you to apply to be a surrogate. Our team may be able to find a way for you to follow your dream of becoming a surrogate and, if you aren’t able to proceed, perhaps you have a friend that may qualify and your desire to help another family can be fulfilled by educating her.
For a full list of qualifications to be a surrogate mother, visit our website for surrogacy requirements. If you interested in surrogacy, we’d love to learn more about you!
And, are you a woman who enjoyed a healthy and successful pregnancy? Do you have friends or family who have suffered from infertility or need assistance from someone else to build their family? Have you ever considered the role you could play in helping someone else build their family - as a surrogate? Learn more about the process of helping someone else's dream of building a family come true. We would love to talk with you.