What are our requirements for gestational carriers?
- Are between the ages of 21-41 years of age
- Have given birth to a healthy child within the past 7 years
- Have had healthy births since any miscarriage
- Do not participate in certain government aid programs including section 8 housing
- Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33 (some clinics allow up to 34)
- Live in a surrogate-friendly state in the United States (we are very sorry but we can not accept gestational carriers who reside in Washington, Nebraska, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, or anywhere outside of the United States)
- Have the support of family and friends
- Do not use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol
- Have not had more than three previous births by caesarean sections
- Generally have medical insurance (though this is not a requirement)
- Women with IUDs are welcome to apply, though additional qualification requirements may arise that may affect a projected timeline.
I am currently enrolled in a government assistance program. Why can't I be a surrogate?
Government programs such as TANF, Section 8 housing and the food stamps program generally have strict requirements on income. Reimbursements received while you are acting as a gestational surrogate could potentially impact your eligibility for these benefits.
I have had 3 pregnancies with no complications resulting in healthy babies, but my BMI is now on the higher side. Why is BMI so important?
BMI guidelines are set by the IVF clinics. For surrogate mothers whose BMI is 33-34, we do require a signed document from your family doctor stating your height and weight. The BMI requirements are established not only for health reasons, but also to ensure that you will respond appropriately to the medications necessary for this process.
How long do I have to wait after my last delivery before I can become a surrogate?
Based on guidelines set by fertility clinics, we can only work with surrogates three months after a vaginal delivery or six months after a delivery by c-section. Applicants must also stop breastfeeding and have at least one normal menstrual cycle before they can join our program.
I am 40 years old. I just had a baby last year. Why can't I be a surrogate mother?
Age limits are set by the IVF clinics. Because of fluctuating hormones after 41 years of age, and the increased health risks to you and the baby/ies, the age limit is no higher than 41 years of age. On occasion, we make exceptions, but only for women who have been surrogate mothers recently.
I have had an abortion in the past. Will that disqualify me?
As long as you've had a healthy, full term pregnancy since, this does not disqualify you.
I needed Prozac after the birth of my last baby for postpartum depression. Can I still be a surrogate mother?
Any use of anti-depressants could disqualify you. In general, you must have ceased using any anti-depressants for 6-12 months before applying. We will need the detailed records from the doctor who treated you, prescribed the medications and followed your treatment. We may also ask for a letter from that physician authorizing you to become pregnant again.
My significant other doesn't seem on board with my being a gestational carrier. Can I still move forward?
We are sorry but we require that all surrogates and egg donors in our program have the full support of their husband or partner. If you are not married, you must have a support person in place that can help you out in the event of an emergency.
I have had a tubal ligation. Can I still be a gestational carrier?
If I have a sexually-transmitted disease/infection (STI/STD), can I still be a carrier?
Some STIs/STDs will disqualify you. HIV and Hepatitis (or any others that could be communicated to a fetus/baby) would disqualify you, whereas others, such as genital warts and genital herpes, may not. Please note that if you are experiencing an outbreak of genital herpes close to delivery we would request that you have a c-section and follow the advice of your primary obstetrician.
I do not believe in selective reduction or abortion for any reason. Should I still apply?
Yes. We do have couples who share these beliefs; however, they are less common and you should understand that it may take a little longer to match you. Additionally, you can request that fewer embryos be transferred to decrease the chances of a multiple pregnancy.
I am currently pregnant. Can I be a surrogate mother to the child I am carrying?
You cannot be a surrogate mother to a child you are currently carrying, as intended parents typically contribute their own genetic material to children born through surrogacy, and the surrogacy process requires a great deal of planning before you become pregnant. However, you might consider adoption as an alternative. Feel free to contact our office and we can provide contact information for an adoption agency or attorney near you.