Gestational surrogates are special. Carrying a baby for another person — especially someone you don’t know — requires a big heart. For nine months, these women give up their bodies to nurture and grow an infant who they are not biologically related to. It’s a selfless deed of kindness and compassion.
While many women have the kind of selfless heart needed for gestational surrogacy, not everyone qualifies. Each surrogate chosen through The Fertility Agency must meet certain standards. Our co-owners are both parents through surrogacy and they only allow surrogates into our program that they would have used to carry their own children.
We are known for having some of the top surrogates in the industry and we turn down most applicants because they do not meet our standards. So, who do we turn away?
#1: No Prior Pregnancies and Births
You need to have successfully carried at least one of your own children to term in order to apply to be one of our gestational surrogates. You could not have had any major pregnancy issues during that pregnancy unless they were followed by a full-term, trouble-free pregnancy.
For eligibility, you must provide medical records showing that your pregnancy(s) and delivery(s) were after 36 weeks (for a singleton) and were complication-free.
For health reasons, our gestational surrogates must abstain from using tobacco products for at least a year prior to conception and throughout the duration of the pregnancy. During pregnancy, smoking is harmful to both you and the unborn child. Both the chance of irregular bleeding and the likelihood that the baby will be born with birth abnormalities like cleft lip or cleft palate (or both) increase when the woman smokes.
#3: Unhealthy Lifestyles
During pregnancy, how well you take care of yourself directly affects the health and development of the unborn child. Because of this, we insist that our gestational surrogates make healthy choices. This includes abstaining from or reducing your consumption of soda and caffeine throughout your pregnancy as directed by your OB. It also means abstaining from all alcohol consumption while pregnant.
The clinics we work with require that our gestational surrogates have been off antidepressants for at least 6 to 12 months before matching with intended parent(s). You might be eligible to be a surrogate if you’re prepared to stop taking the medicine and are able to remain off of it for several months during the application process. However, you are not qualified to serve as a gestational surrogate if you are unable (or it’s unhealthy for you) to stop taking your medicine due to psychological issues.
#5: High Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is the ratio of your height to weight. Every IVF center establishes its own standards for surrogates, including their preferred BMI. Some facilities only accept patients with a BMI under 30, while others accept those with a BMI of up to 35.
You must receive proof from your doctor (or nurse) confirming your height and weight if you are a woman with a BMI of 30 to 35. You can still apply to be a surrogate even if your BMI isn’t perfect, but you’re getting closer and working on it.
#6: Financially Instability
Even though we recognize that each person’s circumstances are unique, one of our requirements is that you are not a participant in certain government programs. Although not all government aid programs have restrictions, you should know that receiving compensation while acting as a gestational surrogate may disqualify you from receiving those government benefits.
#7: Unstable Living Conditions
Being a gestational surrogate is physically and mentally demanding. Because of this, we insist that our surrogates have secure living arrangements and infrastructures in place. For instance, if you’re married, your partner needs to be on board with your plan to become a surrogate. If you’re single, you need to have a local support network of friends and/or family members.
These are just a handful of the reasons women get disqualified from being a surrogate with The Fertility Agency. Learn more by exploring the full list of eligibility requirements.
Learn More About Our Surrogacy Services
Everyone at our organization sincerely thanks all women who even think about embarking on the journey to become a surrogate. Your selflessness is inspiring!
Since 2004, The Fertility Agency has helped bring over 1100+ babies into the world. We work with all intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors no matter their sexual preference, relationship status, ethnicity, location, etc. Our personal experiences and years of expertise provide us with the perfect balance of business and passion. Contact us for more information.