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What Are the Requirements To Be a Surrogate?

A smiling woman holds her pregnant belly, embodying the joy and fulfillment of meeting surrogate requirements.

We always receive lots of questions about surrogate requirements— and why gestational carriers need to meet them. These qualification criteria ensure that interested candidates are emotionally and physically ready for a surrogacy journey. Our top priority is the health and well-being of our babies and surrogates! Find out what are the requirements to be a surrogate below. 


Who Decides What Surrogate Requirements Are? 

Surrogacy agencies are guided by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) when establishing the surrogate criteria you see on our website. Circle must uphold these requirements so that our surrogates meet the IVF clinic guidelines for surrogacy when they start their journey. 


3 Types of Surrogate Qualifications 

The list of qualifications to be a gestational surrogate can be put into 3 categories: 


Personal and Health Requirements 

To have the best chance of a healthy, successful pregnancy for our surrogates and the families they are helping to grow, our surrogates must: 


  • Be between 21 and 42 years of age 

  • Have delivered a child of her own and be currently parenting a child 

  • Have had uncomplicated pregnancy(ies) and birth(s) 

  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) lower than 33. Calculate your BMI


Financial Requirements 

Although gestational surrogates are financially compensated for their role in an Intended Parent’s family-building journey, we do need to ensure that our surrogates are able to carry their pregnancy in a safe, secure environment. As such, our surrogates must be: 


  • Financially stable 

  • Not participating in the following government aid programs 

    • Cash assistance 

    • Welfare 

    • Public housing 

    • Section 8 


If you are receiving other forms of government assistance and meet the other requirements, we still encourage you to apply. We will consider whether you qualify for the financial requirements on a case-by-case basis.  


Lifestyle and Support Requirements 

The last category of surrogate qualifications gauges whether you are ready to undergo a surrogacy journey and whether now is the right time for you to do so. Our surrogates must: 


  • Have the support of their families; if married or partnered, they must have their partner’s support 

  • Be willing to travel twice to the intended parents’ IVF clinic (keep in mind that one trip may last 4 to 7 days) 

  • Not use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol 

  • Reside in a surrogacy-friendly state in the US (we, unfortunately, cannot accept surrogates who reside in Nebraska, Louisiana, or Michigan) 


When you apply to be a surrogate with Circle, please know that these requirements are put in place with the best intentions for all parties involved in the surrogacy process. 


Model stands by window smiling and resting her hand on her pregnant belly.

What Disqualifies Someone From Being a Surrogate? 

Some reasons you may be disqualified from becoming a surrogate include: 


  • You are older or younger than the age requirement 

  • Your BMI is too low or too high 

  • You experienced infertility in your own pregnancies 

  • You live in a state that is not surrogacy-friendly (or you do not reside in the US) 

  • You have a pre-existing condition that is not accepted by IVF clinics 

  • You had complicated pregnancies or births 


If you do not qualify to be a surrogate, this simply means that you do not meet the surrogate requirements; it is never a reflection of you as a person or a mother or of your ability to get pregnant. 


Frequently Asked Questions About Surrogate Requirements 

Can you be a surrogate if you’ve never had a baby? 

Unfortunately, no. You must have successfully carried a pregnancy to term and given birth, both without complications. This ensures that your body is able to get pregnant—and stay pregnant—and that you are able to deliver a healthy baby. 

Mother and young daughter painting on the floor

Why is my BMI important? 

BMI guidelines are set by the IVF clinics, and we require documentation that verifies your current BMI. The BMI requirements are established not only for health reasons but also to ensure that you will respond appropriately to the medications necessary for your surrogacy journey. 


Can I be a surrogate if my tubes are tied? 

Yes! A tubal ligation has no impact on your ability to become pregnant via IVF or carry a pregnancy to term. 


Can I be a surrogate if I have an STD? 

For most sexually transmitted diseases, as long as you’ve had them treated properly, it should not affect your ability to become a surrogate. 


I have kids of my own and got pregnant easily, but my application was rejected. Why can’t I still be a surrogate? 

Whether or not you meet the requirements to be a surrogate has no bearing on your ability to get pregnant, how healthy you are, or who you are as a person.  


Unlike your personal, natural pregnancies, surrogate pregnancies require IVF medications. Because of this, you must meet certain requirements to ensure your body will react positively to the medications so that you can have a successful pregnancy. 


What are the surrogate requirements where I live? 

No matter where you live, our surrogate requirements will apply to you. If you live in a state that is not surrogacy-friendly, we, unfortunately, cannot work with you at this time. 


Take the First Step 

As you consider surrogacy and search for the best surrogacy agency, you may have questions along the way. With several experienced surrogates on staff, we've helped countless women navigate their surrogacy journeys successfully. If you have additional questions, you can reach out to us on Instagram or email us at [email protected]

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