Gestational surrogates are unique. It takes a special kind of person to carry a baby for someone else. These women give up their bodies for nine months to grow and nourish an infant that doesn’t share their biological DNA. It’s a selfless act of compassion and kindness. And the fact is: Not everyone can be a gestational surrogate. So what disqualifies you from being a surrogate?
Even if you have a big heart and a giving nature, and you want to be a gestational surrogate for all of the right reasons, you still must meet certain eligibility criteria. When we turn someone away from being a gestational surrogate, it means they didn’t qualify. And when a woman doesn’t qualify to be a gestational surrogate, it’s usually for one of the following reasons.
7 Disqualifications for Surrogacy
1) Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is Too High
BMI is your height and weight ratio. Each IVF clinic sets its own requirement for surrogates including the desired BMI. Some clinics won’t accept anyone over a BMI of 30, while others will accept up to 35. You can use this tool to calculate your BMI.
For women between 30 – 35 BMI, you will be required to obtain documentation from your doctor (or nurse) to confirm your stated height and weight. If you’re not at your ideal BMI (but you are close and working on it) you can still sign up to be a surrogate.
2) You Take Antidepressants
We require that our gestational surrogates be off of antidepressant medications for at least 6 -12 months in most cases before you can be matched. If you’re willing to go off the medication and wait until 6-12 months, you may qualify to be a surrogate at that time. If you’re unable to go off your medication for psychiatric reasons, you aren’t eligible to become a gestational surrogate.
3) You Smoke
We require our gestational surrogates to be non-smokers for at least 12 months before pregnancy, as well as throughout the pregnancy. Smoking is dangerous for both you and the baby during pregnancy. It increases your risk of having abnormal bleeding, and it raises the baby’s risk for birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, or both.
4) You’re Not Financially Stable
While we understand that everyone’s situation is different, one of our requirements is that you are not enrolled in certain government programs. Not all government assistance programs are restricted, but you should know that reimbursements received while you are a gestational surrogate could possibly make you ineligible for certain government benefits.
5) You Haven’t Given Birth Before
To become one of our gestational surrogates, you need to have successfully carried at least one child of your own to term. During that pregnancy, you cannot have experienced any serious pregnancy complications unless they were followed by a full-term, uncomplicated pregnancy:
- Preterm labor
- Incompetent cervix
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
To qualify, you must provide medical records demonstrating that your pregnancy/s and delivery/s were after 36 weeks (for a singleton) and were complication-free.
6) You Don’t Live a Healthy Lifestyle
How well you take care of yourself directly impacts the health and growth of a baby when you are pregnant. That’s why we require our gestational surrogates to live healthy lifestyles. This includes giving up or lowering caffeine and soda intake for the duration of the pregnancy as prescribed by your OB. It also includes abstaining from drinking any alcohol during pregnancy.
7) Your Living Situation is Unstable
Being a gestational surrogate is taxing on the body and mind. For this reason, we require our surrogates to have stable living environments and support systems in place. For example, you must have a spouse who’s supportive of your decision to become a surrogate if you’re married. If single, you must have a local support system in place whether it is a friend or relative.
The above list includes a handful of the most common reasons people are disqualified from becoming gestational surrogates. This is not a comprehensive list. You can see our full list of qualifications to get a complete picture of what it takes to qualify as a gestational surrogate.
Learn More About Our Surrogacy Services
The surrogates we work with have big hearts. 95% of our surrogates say they find joy in giving to others. And 75% of our surrogates have first-hand experience with a friend or family member’s struggle with infertility.
Also, our surrogates are givers. About half of them volunteer often. Half are registered blood and organ donors, and all of them feel the biggest reward of being a surrogate is helping others.
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.