What Disqualifies You from Being a Surrogate? Your Questions Answered
If becoming a gestational surrogate is something you’ve been considering, then you’ll know that one of the most important things you can do to start your journey is figure out if you’re even eligible to become a surrogate. There are tons of factors that are taken under consideration to determine who is a good fit for becoming a surrogate, and all for good reason too. Making sure that everyone who becomes a surrogate is healthy and ready is part of keeping everyone involved safe.
We understand that the decision to become a surrogate is a big one, and there are a lot of factors to consider. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process with ease. So whether you’re a first-time surrogate or you’ve been considering it for a while, read on to find out everything you need to know about what might disqualify you from being a surrogate.
The Basic Requirements for Surrogacy
Surrogacy is essentially like one big 10,000-piece puzzle, where there are no end pieces. It’s a highly complex process that involves many different requirements for all parties involved. Here are the basic requirements for surrogacy for you to keep in mind so that you can make sure none of your puzzle pieces end up on the floor.
Individual Surrogate Requirements:
In order to become a surrogate, you must meet certain requirements as an individual. These requirements typically include:
- Age: Surrogates need to be at least 21 years of age and often no older than 40.
- Physical health: Surrogates need to be in good physical health with a healthy BMI. They must also have a history of uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries (with at least one successful birth). Part of being in good physical health also includes avoiding smoking, drug use, and heavy alcohol consumption.
- Mental health: Surrogates have to undergo a psychological evaluation to make sure that they are mentally and emotionally prepared for the surrogacy journey.
- Legal status: Surrogates must be legal residents or citizens of the country they will be carrying the pregnancy.
Medical Surrogate Qualifications:
Surrogates must meet certain medical qualifications in order to protect the health of both themselves and the baby they carry. These qualifications include:
- Reproductive health: Simply put, a surrogate’s reproductive system should be in tip-top shape. This includes having no significant reproductive health conditions (plus a strong history of at least one previous successful birth).
- Medical exams: A prospective gestational surrogate will go through medical exams to make sure her body is healthy enough to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) and to carry a pregnancy to term.
- Health screenings: Surrogates must undergo health screenings to ensure that they are free of certain diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and some STDs, like syphilis.
Financial Requirements to Become a Gestational Surrogate:
Becoming a surrogate is a significant commitment of time, energy, and physical and emotional resources. Therefore, surrogates are typically compensated for their services. However, a person must still have their finances in check before becoming a gestational surrogate. Usually, that includes the following requirements:
- Income: Gestational surrogates are expected to not need to rely on the compensation they receive from a surrogacy agency. They should have their own reliable income that they depend on. This income can come from themselves or from a spouse who supports them.
- Government assistance: Gestational surrogates typically should not be receiving government assistance. In some states, like California, individuals may not be eligible to become gestational surrogates if they rely on government financial assistance services.
- Taking time off: Gestational surrogates need to be able to take time off of work in order to commit to the surrogacy journey. Some surrogates may take temporary leave, or they may use other means to prioritize their time. It’s important that a gestational surrogate’s income is not threatened by beginning the surrogacy journey.
Individual Requirements That Can Cause Disqualification
There are different reasons an aspiring surrogate may be disqualified from surrogacy. These requirements can relate to those outlined above, as well as because of non-medical and non-financial requirements too. It’s important to be aware of these requirements so that you can determine whether or not you may be able to become a gestational surrogate.
Not meeting the qualifications and requirements can lead to complications and risks, both for the surrogate and the intended parents, as well as the baby. That’s why it’s so important for surrogates to be open and upfront about their qualifications so that they can be matched with the intended parents who are the best fit for them. By meeting the qualifications and requirements of becoming a surrogate, you can play a crucial role in this journey and make a meaningful impact on someone’s life.
Some of the ways a person might be disqualified from becoming a surrogate include these reasons:
No Previous Children
Surrogacy requires a significant amount of physical and emotional commitment, and having a history of successful pregnancies and deliveries is typically considered an important qualification for surrogates. Surrogates who have never been pregnant or given birth may be considered higher risk and may be disqualified from participating in surrogacy.
Not A U.S Citizen or Legal Resident
Surrogacy laws and regulations can vary widely from country to country, and in some cases, non-citizens or non-legal residents may face significant legal and logistical challenges in participating in surrogacy. In order to ensure the success and well-being of the pregnancy and all parties involved, surrogacy agencies and intended parents may require that surrogates be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
Felonies on Record
Surrogacy involves quite a bit (well, more like a lot) of legal and regulatory oversight, so surrogates have to be able to meet certain legal requirements in order to participate. Surrogates with felony convictions on their record may be disqualified from participating in surrogacy due to the potential risks and legal implications involved.
Disagreement Between Partners
Surrogacy requires a great deal of support and commitment from both the surrogate and her partner. If there is disagreement or conflict between each other about the decision to become a surrogate, problems can arise that can negatively impact the surrogacy process. In order to support the emotional well-being of the intended parents and the surrogate, it’s important that both the surrogate and her partner are fully supportive of the decision to become a surrogate.
Living in Non-Surrogacy-Friendly States
Surrogacy laws vary widely from state to state in the United States, and some states have restrictive laws or regulations that make it difficult or impossible to participate in surrogacy. Surrogates who live in non-surrogacy-friendly states may be unable to participate in surrogacy as a result.
Medical Conditions That Can Cause Disqualification
Surrogacy requires a person becoming a gestational surrogate to be in good health. As a result, certain medical conditions can disqualify a person from participating in surrogacy. Surrogacy involves a significant amount of medical screening and testing to ensure the health of both the surrogate and the baby, and surrogates who have certain medical conditions may not successfully get through these tests, ultimately disqualifying them from the journey entirely.
Below are some of the common medical reasons a person may disqualify a person from becoming a gestational surrogate.
Surrogates must be in good physical health and have a healthy body mass index (BMI) in order to participate in surrogacy. A BMI that is too low or too high can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature birth. Surrogates with a BMI that falls outside the recommended range for pregnancy may be disqualified from participating in surrogacy.
Certain Mental Health Conditions
Surrogacy can be a physically and emotionally demanding process, and surrogates must be mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the challenges involved. Having a mental health condition can make it difficult to adequately manage the challenges and obstacles that come along with surrogacy. Additionally, surrogacy can also be very stressful. As a result, surrogates with certain mental health conditions may be disqualified from participating in surrogacy.
Surrogates who are HIV-positive are typically disqualified from participating in surrogacy due to the potential risks involved. HIV can be transmitted from the surrogate to the baby during pregnancy or delivery, and there is a significant risk of transmission during the process of in IVF. For this reason, surrogates must be HIV-negative in order to participate in surrogacy.
Reproductive-Related Medical Conditions
Some reproductive-related medical conditions can disqualify a person from surrogacy as well. Here are some of the most common reproductive-related medical conditions that can cause a person to become disqualified from surrogacy:
Having had multiple C-sections can increase the risk of complications during a subsequent pregnancy, including uterine rupture and placenta previa. Because surrogacy involves carrying a pregnancy for someone else, the risks associated with a previous C-section make a person disqualified from surrogacy.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes irregular periods and even infertility. It can also increase a person’s risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
History Of Preeclampsia:
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys. It can lead to very serious complications for both the surrogate and the baby. A history of preeclampsia may disqualify a person from the surrogacy due to the increased risk of the condition recurring.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, and it can increase the risk of complications for both the mother and the baby. The increased risk of complications associated with gestational diabetes may disqualify a surrogate from the process.
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, which can lead to pain and even fertility issues. While endometriosis itself may not necessarily disqualify a surrogate from the process, the associated fertility problems and increased risk of pregnancy complications may make it too risky for an aspiring surrogate to successfully carry a pregnancy to term.
Financial Requirements That Can Cause Disqualification
If you’re thinking about becoming a surrogate mother, it’s important to understand the financial situation and requirements involved. Because surrogacy is a costly process, the intended parents want to make sure that their surrogate is financially stable and able to support herself and her family throughout the journey.
As a surrogate, you’ll need to be financially stable and able to provide for yourself and your family throughout the surrogacy process. This may involve showing proof of your income and assets, as well as undergoing a financial background check. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have a good credit score, since surrogacy agencies and intended parents may require you to get a life insurance policy and a disability insurance policy, which can be difficult to obtain without a good credit score.
During the surrogacy process, you’ll also be required to attend medical appointments and potentially travel for the delivery of the baby, which can add up in terms of expenses. You’ll additionally need to be willing to forgo income during the pregnancy, as you’ll be unable to work for a period of time due to the medical procedures and bed rest required. These costs will mainly be covered by the intended parents, but it’s still important for you to have enough wiggle room to be able to adjust financially to your new responsibilities.
In general, being in good financial condition is an important requirement for a gestational surrogate. It ensures that you’ll be able to meet your own financial needs and support your family throughout the surrogacy process, which further allows you to be able to focus on the important role of carrying a healthy pregnancy for the intended parents.
Start Your Surrogacy Journey with Us
In a nutshell, it’s important for surrogates to meet the qualifications and requirements of becoming a surrogate because doing helps make sure that the process is safe, healthy, and successful for everyone involved, including the baby. Surrogacy is an intricate process that requires the most careful consideration and planning. By meeting the qualifications and requirements of surrogacy, a surrogate can ensure that they’re physically, mentally, and financially prepared for the journey ahead of them.
At Family Inceptions, we can help you to become a gestational surrogate. We can walk you through all of the requirements that you need to meet, as well as help you determine what steps you need to take to become qualified.
Want to become a surrogate with Family Inceptions? Check out our benefits and compensations today.