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Surrogate requirements: see if you qualify for surrogacy

Becoming a surrogate mother is a one-of-a-kind journey with Circle Surrogacy because of our requirements, thorough process and wonderful benefits. Learn if you qualify with our surrogate criteria below.

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Surrogate Mother Requirements and Qualifications

Women interested in becoming surrogate mothers with Circle Surrogacy should meet the below gestational surrogate requirements.

Personal and Health Requirements for Surrogates

  • Be between 21-44 years of age
  • Have delivered a child of her own, and is currently parenting at least one child
  • Have completed successful pregnancy(ies) and birth(s), without complications
  • In most circumstances, must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate My BMI
  • Reside in the United States in a surrogate-friendly state (we are very sorry but we cannot accept gestational carriers who reside in Nebraska, Louisiana or Michigan, or from outside of the US)

Financial Requirements for Surrogates

  • Not participate in the following government aid programs: cash assistance, welfare, public housing and section 8. All other forms of government assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lifestyle and Support Requirements for Surrogates

  • Have the support of her family. If married or partnered, the surrogate must have her partner’s support
  • Be willing to travel to a fertility clinic for the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process
  • Not use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol

We understand the requirements feel like a lot (and can seem strict!) but please know that some are guided by fertility clinics and The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Most importantly, we use these surrogate requirements as a starting point to get to know you!

We want to ensure as successful of a journey as possible for everyone involved!

What Are Disqualifications for Surrogacy?

Why Was I Disqualified to be a Surrogate Mother?

When a woman does meet surrogate mother requirements, it doesn't mean that she hasn't had healthy and successful pregnancies of her own, or that she can't have a healthy pregnancy again in the future. Not meeting the requirements to become a surrogate means that a woman does not meet the criteria put forth by ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) and fertility clinics to have the most successful surrogate pregnancy possible for all parties involved.

Reasons why a surrogate applicant may be disqualified:

  • Not being in the correct age range
  • Not having a child of her own
  • Having a BMI above the accepted range
  • You do not live in a surrogacy-friendly state
  • You are a smoker
  • You do not meet the financial requirements
  • You do not have the support of your family and/or spouse

Reasons for being disqualified or "rejected" as a surrogate does not reflect on the applicant as a person at all. It simply means that a surrogate pregnancy is not the right fit for her health or her lifestyle at this time. For example, having a BMI above 33 does not mean you do not live a healthy life, it simply means you are not in the optimal range for the medications and guidelines for being a surrogate. There are IVF medications involved in a surrogacy, and clinics need to be sure that the surrogate will respond appropriately, and that she has the best chance of carrying a successful pregnancy.

 Surrogate mother injections and medications

What are surrogate medication requirements?

When you become a surrogate, there will be surrogacy medications that will need to be taken throughout the course of the pregnancy.

First, at the beginning of your journey, you'll take IVF medications to prepare your uterus for pregnancy by providing two important hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Taken in sequence, these two hormones are meant to simulate the surrogate’s natural cycle. This combination maximizes the chances of pregnancy and helps to prevent a miscarriage.

Once the embryo transfer occurs, a surrogate will continue to take medications for continued success with the pregnancy. When advised by a medical professional, she will stop medications and let her body continue with the pregnancy naturally.

Surrogate medications can be a combination of pills taken by mouth, suppositories inserted vaginally and injections.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction that helps intended parents start families when they otherwise couldn't. Coming from different backgrounds, intended parents pursue surrogacy for several reasons, yet they all have the same dream: to one day have their own family.

Am I emotionally ready to be a surrogate?

Women come to surrogacy for a variety of reasons. Some women have a friend or family member who struggled to conceive, others desire to help same sex singles and couples experience parenthood, and some enjoy pregnancy and parenthood so much that they just want to help others. No matter what the reason you might be interested in becoming a gestational carrier (surrogate), it is one of the most selfless and monumental gifts you could ever give to someone.

If you want to become a surrogate, you should be prepared to be "all in" emotionally on your journey. Here is how you can emotionally prepare for a surrogacy journey:

  • Be open and honest with your agency and your intended parents about what you expect from your surrogacy journey
  • Trust your agency, surrogacy professionals and yourself
  • Research surrogacy and what is expected of you
  • Ask yourself the following questions: Am I ready to carry a baby for someone else? Will I be ready to say goodbye to the baby and my intended parents after birth?
  • Think about how you will talk to your kids about being a surrogate
  • Gather a support network and share your exciting news

What are the benefits of being a surrogate?

The monetary benefits of surrogate pregnancy are significant, but the indescribable sense of fulfillment you get from helping intended families bring a child into the world cannot be found doing anything else.

Some benefits to being a surrogate are:
  • You have the opportunity to give the greatest gift humanly possible to another family
  • You'll build a life-long relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • You'll work closely with a dedicate team of professionals for support
  • You have the opportunity to work with U.S. and international intended parents

Circle Surrogates enjoy their surrogacy journeys so much, that many of them agree to doing a second journey with us!

 Surrogacy Requirements in My State

Surrogacy Requirements in My State

Whether you are on the East Coast, the West Coast or somewhere in between, the state you live in does not dictate your requirements in being a good surrogate applicant (unless you live in a state that is not surrogacy friendly). Surrogacy requirements are put forth by ASRM and clinics (and some agencies may have specific gestational carrier requirements). The state you live in may have an impact on the types of intended parents with whom you can match. Surrogacy requirements in California and Pennsylvania will be the same. Read more about surrogacy in your state.

Why are there so many surrogate requirements?

Many women have easy, uncomplicated why is it that there are so many requirements in order to carry a baby for someone else?

While the act of being pregnant with your own child and being pregnant with a surrogate baby is relatively the same, how you become pregnant – and how you are monitored for pregnancy – is very different. For example, a surrogate must take IVF medications in order to prepare her body for a pregnancy. A surrogate must meet medical requirements in order to ensure she will respond to medications properly.

Surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics desire the most successful outcome possible. Many intended parents come to surrogacy after many IVF failures, and they are hoping surrogacy will bring them the baby of their dreams. Having a woman meet health and medical requirements – as well as emotional and support requirements – will assist in the success in the surrogacy.

Common questions from surrogates like you.

As you consider the surrogacy process, you may have questions along the way. With many experienced surrogates on staff, we've helped women navigate their surrogacy journeys successfully, and have answered almost every question out there! Whether you're curious about surrogacy law, parental rights, fertility issues, or embryo transfer, we've got the details you need.

I have had a tubal ligation (had my tubes tied). Can I still be a gestational carrier?

Absolutely. Having a tubal ligation (aka having your "tubes tied") will not affect your ability to be a successful gestational surrogate.

Do I need to have insurance that will cover surrogacy?

No. If you do have medical insurance coverage, we'll take a look at the plan to see if it is likely to cover surrogacy. If so, you may be entitled to a higher base fee. But if you don't have insurance, it's not a problem. We'll find a plan that will cover you and your intended parents will pay any costs associated with the process of surrogacy.

Why is BMI important?
BMI guidelines are set by the IVF clinics. If you're a woman whose BMI is between 28-33, 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 this process. To learn more about the importance of BMI, click here.
I do not believe in selective reduction or abortion. Can I still apply to become a surrogate?

We do occasionally have couples who share these beliefs, however it is a rare occurrence as most of our intended parents ultimately want the choice to make decisions about their own family. You are encouraged to inquire with our staff whether or not we currently have intended parents who would not terminate a pregnancy due to a severe medical diagnosis of the fetus.

How much do surrogates make?
Circle offers a comprehensive benefits package for all surrogates. We are flexible, and as a surrogate you can customize your benefits, and how you'll use your payments. Surrogate compensation varies depending on your insurance, state of residence, whether you've been a surrogate before, and the terms outlined in your Carrier Agreement.
Why is having kids a requirement?
Yes, you must have given birth (without complications) and currently be parenting a child in order to qualify to become a gestational surrogate. Clinics want to be sure that you are able to successfully carry a baby to term before you become a gestational carrier.
I am currently breastfeeding. Can I apply to become a surrogate?
Yes! If you are breastfeeding please feel free to apply and we can discuss a timeline that works best for you.
What's the difference between traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy?
Gestational Surrogacy is the process by which a fertilized embryo is implanted in a gestational carrier, who will carry the resulting child/children to term, but bears no genetic relationship to them. These are the types of arrangements that Circle Surrogacy facilitates. By contrast, traditional surrogates are both genetic and gestational mothers, and undergo artificial insemination and relinquish custody of the resulting child/children upon birth.
Why should I choose Circle Surrogacy?
As a surrogate, when you embark on a journey with Circle, we promise to be beside you every step of the way. We promise to educate, lead and guide you through your surrogacy journey. We will work tirelessly to support you as you help make parents' dreams come true.

Many women on the Circle staff are experienced surrogates – some have completed 3 journeys! – and are open to sharing their experiences and answer any questions. Our two-way matching process focuses on finding the best fit for you and your intended parents. We offer extensive support to our surrogates from the moment you start researching through the pregnancy and delivery, and beyond. By becoming a surrogate with Circle, you are joining a family of hundreds of incredible women who have helped build families. We have been supporting surrogates for over two decades, and we've seen – and navigated – almost every situation.
At Circle, we have the highest level of dedication to our surrogates than any other agency. We offer an exclusive private social community for our surrogates to connect with other surrogates, as well as local meet ups. We'll help you navigate the road, smooth the bumps, and cheer when we reach our destination. Every person who works at Circle is dedicated to you and your journey.

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