Surrogate Qualifications and Requirements

Surrogacy is a modern and growing means of bringing new life into the world, where a woman carries a baby for another person or a couple. The intended parents undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), meaning fertilization outside of the body, to transfer an embryo into the surrogate mother’s uterus. In our work at ConceiveAbilities, surrogates are not genetically or legally related to the baby and are compensated for their time and service by the intended parents. In 2018, more than 10,000 births took place by surrogate in the United States, and the market is steadily growing at 15% per year based on data from the Centers for Disease Control. And, in the past ten years, the percentage of all IVF transfers that took place with a gestational carrier grew from just over 1% to 4.8%. Surrogacy makes family dreams come true. Learn more about the people you can help on our blog Why Does Someone Need A Surrogate.

What Are The Surrogate Requirements?

In order to ensure that the surrogacy process can be a healthy and successful experience for you, the basic gestational surrogate requirements include your age, your experience with prior deliveries, and your medical history.

The requirements helped me feel safe and supported throughout the whole process. I knew I was healthy and in the right frame of mind to make the commitment.

The basic requirements to be a surrogate mother include:

Next steps for surrogate qualification

These surrogacy qualifications are a first step. Once we get to know each other a bit, our relationship will build. Together, our next steps involve a screening process, which includes:

Virtual interviews

A thorough review of your medical records

Ensuring you have up-to-date assessments of both your physical and mental health

An in-depth background review of you and those with whom you share your home

At each step, we'll explain "the why," making sure the journey is a healthy and safe one for you. And, with each step, we're bringing you closer to your goal of helping someone else build their family. Because, after all, family is everything.

I felt heard, supported and like I had everything I needed from the first phone call on.

FAQ: Frequently Ask Questions About Surrogate Requirements

Why do you want to be a surrogate?

Perhaps the most important requirement is your motivation for pursuing surrogacy. Surrogacy creates an exciting purpose as you can help others build their family, and get well-paid for doing so. At the same time, surrogacy is a serious responsibility. By agreeing to become a surrogate mother, you are offering to give your time, your energy, and your own body to help someone else build their family. Of course, there is the financial compensation, which averages out to approximately the average annual income for a household in the United States (and experience does earn a surrogate mother higher financial compensation). Many past surrogates, however, have found that the greatest reward they experience is the sense of pride – bordering on awe – at the service which they have been able to provide.

Why should surrogates apply through ConceiveAbilities?

We offer exceptional care to surrogates, from our initial (and thorough) medical screening and matching our surrogates with their intended parents through recovery after pregnancy. Our All-In Care and Compensation program promotes a memorable, successful surrogacy journey and is comprised of six key benefits.

  1. Being matched with the right parents for you, made possible through our Matching Matters® process
  2. A straight-forward financial package, with no hassles (e.g., not having to submit receipts) and the right amount of compensation for you
  3. Legal guidance through our Life Simplicity Promise™ to ensure the terms of your contract with your intended parents are fair, valid, and enforced
  4. Insurance coverage, which is also part of the Life Simplicity Promise™, to ensure no out-of-pocket expenses, fast resolution of any potential disputes, and peace-of-mind for you and your family
  5. Being an equal partner in the surrogacy experience with the ability to share in important decisions with your intended parents via our Shared Decision framework
  6. An organized step-by-step road map and calendar to help you prepare for and manage the activities associated with embryo transfer through In Vitro Fertilization ("IVF")

What are the ideal qualities for a surrogate mother?

Without a doubt, a surrogate mother must have compassion and commitment – in ample quantities. Further, since ConceiveAbilities has been working with reproductive endocrinologists, obstetricians, IVF clinics, intended parents, egg donors and surrogates for almost 25 years and across every major market in the United States, our surrogacy agency has developed exhaustive specifications for high quality, reliable outcomes. If you’re ready to take that first exciting leap towards becoming a surrogate mother, we are here to guide you through every step of your journey. Take the first step and complete your surrogate application now.

Why is a surrogate’s age a requirement to be a surrogate mother?

At ConceiveAbilities, our surrogates are at least 21 years old and generally no older than 43 at the time that their surrogacy journey begins. Age is a requirement based on the growing data set about the impact of age on a successful and healthy surrogacy journey. To offer the best chances for the delivery of a healthy baby boy or girl, without any complications, we believe a gestational surrogate must be within her primary childbearing years and also have positive prior experience with childbirth.

Why is it important to be stress free as a surrogate?

We choose prospective surrogate mothers who have already exhibited the emotional qualities that we feel offer the best chance of providing a safe, stable, and healthy environment for themselves and the baby they will carry, over the course of the surrogacy. We look for individuals with a demonstrable history of responsible and upstanding behavior. We offer support networks and resources which can help our surrogates accommodate a busy modern lifestyle with their responsibilities as a surrogate. Finally, we work in partnership with you to reduce other risk factors for pregnancy complications and stress, at every stage of the process, as much as possible

Does receiving government assistance disqualify me?

No. A surrogate must demonstrate financial stability in order to qualify for the surrogacy program, however, receiving government assistance is not on its own a disqualifying factor.

Can I be a surrogate with your program if I haven't had a child?

No. We require that our surrogates have had healthy previous pregnancies; a surrogate must have given birth to at least one child. Part of our qualifying process involves the review of your prenatal and delivery records to ensure you have a history of healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries.

What does "uncomplicated" or "healthy" pregnancy mean?

An uncomplicated or healthy pregnancy is one that results in a full-term birth without complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, bed rest, blood transfusion or other issues that could pose health risks to the surrogate and/or unborn child.

If I am currently breastfeeding, can I apply to be a surrogate?

Yes, should you meet the basic requirements, we will work with you in completing our qualification process. However, to match you with intended parents, you must have completely weaned and have had at least one menstrual cycle.

Can I apply to be a surrogate if I have an IUD in place for my birth control?

Yes, you can apply and, assuming you meet the basic requirements, we will work through the entire qualification process with you. That said, we will not be able to match you with intended parents until you have had your IUD removed (at your own cost) and have had at least one menstrual cycle.


More questions about surrogate mother requirements and how to become a surrogate mother? Our compassionate professionals are ready to help and listen as you begin your journey to become a surrogate.

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