If you’ve been thinking about surrogacy for a while now, you’re probably familiar with the qualifications to become a surrogate. But what are the major disqualifications that would prevent someone from being a surrogate?
Major complications in pregnancy
Of course, the number one requirement for a surrogate is that she’s able to carry a healthy pregnancy to term. This means that if you had any major complications during pregnancy, you will struggle to be accepted as a surrogate. Major complications can include:
- Preeclampsia (before labor)
- Chronic gestational hypertension (or severe prolonged high blood pressure)
- Gestational diabetes that was not diet-controlled
- Hospitalization for preterm labor with or without delivery
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Severe postpartum hemorrhage and more.
While requirements vary from clinic to clinic and some are more relaxed than others, if you know you had a hard time with your own pregnancies then it’s probably not a good idea to consider surrogacy. You could put your own life, and the life of someone else’s child at risk.
GSHC Surrogacy Agency’s highest priority is the safe of the surrogate and the child she carries. If you have experienced any of the above issues, it is unlikely that you will be approved for surrogacy.
If you delivered your own children prior to 37 weeks’ gestation, there’s a good chance you will be disqualified from being a surrogate. An exception to this rule is if you were carrying twins; normally clinics will accept anything after 34 weeks for a twin delivery.
BMI higher than ASRM guidelines
The ASRM guidelines state that a surrogate’s body mass index should not exceed 30. Although some clinics will accept surrogates with a higher BMI, generally most of them adhere to these guidelines and will reject a surrogacy candidate with a BMI over 30. If you’re considering surrogacy but know you’re overweight, it’s a good idea to work on it before you apply; it will be better for your own health in the long run, and will also open up way more matching opportunities when you’re not limited to those few clinics that are more relaxed about their BMI requirements.
You can calculate your current BMI HERE.
Felonies on record
If you or your spouse have felonies on your record, you will be disqualified from being a surrogate. This is because we need to know the baby is safe with the surrogate for the duration of the pregnancy. A clean background also shows a level of responsibility that is required for a surrogacy journey. While we understand that people make mistakes, serious crimes on record will not be tolerated. However; a misdemeanor is usually okay and may or may not be accepted, at the agency’s discretion.
If you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings, you will have to wait until your divorce is final to pursue your goal of becoming a surrogate. This is for legal reasons, as your spouse would still have to be willing to go to medical screening and sign all legal documents even if you don’t live together, until the divorce is fully finalized.
More than 5 prior deliveries
After 5 deliveries, pregnancies become much more high risk as each pregnancy causes more strain on the uterus and cervix. For that reason, most doctors won’t accept patients with more than 5 prior deliveries. Like with everything else, it’s possible you will find a clinic to accept you with more than 5 prior deliveries IF you are an experienced surrogate. The chances of being accepted with more than 5 deliveries as a first-timer are quite slim, as the dangers of pregnancy would be heightened significantly.
Mental health issues
If you have psychological issues, or even if you have been medicated in the past for psychological issues such as anxiety or depression, this is a disqualification for surrogacy. The exception to this rule is if you were diagnosed with postpartum depression and were medicated temporarily – although, many clinics still state this is a disqualifier. You will undergo a thorough psychological evaluation as a surrogate to make sure you are mentally and emotionally fit to go through this process. The hormones associated with pregnancy can exacerbate underlying psychological problems, and so this requirement is for your own safety and that of the baby.
History of multiple miscarriages
If you have multiple miscarriages on your medical record, chances are this will be a disqualification. Some clinics will disqualify a candidate if her last pregnancy ended in miscarriage, although again this is at the clinic’s discretion.
Certain reproductive issues such as PCOS, uterine fibroids or endometriosis will disqualify you from being a surrogate.
Smoking or drug use
If you are a smoker or drug user, you will not be able to be a surrogate. You will be tested during medical screening and throughout the pregnancy. If your medical records show a history of smoking during pregnancy, it will be at the reproductive endocrinologist’s discretion to accept you as a patient.
Age over 44
ASRM guidelines suggest that a woman acting as a surrogate should be no more that 44 years of age.
Not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
You must be a US citizen or permanent resident to be a surrogate mother in the US.
If you knowingly give false information on your application, or omit important information from your application, there is a good chance you will be disqualified. Not only is it important for the safety of the baby that the doctors have all the correct information to make a proper decision on whether you’re a suitable candidate, but it shows a lack of responsibility that is not acceptable when acting as a surrogate.
There may seem to be a number of disqualifying criteria for Gestational Surrogacy but it is important to remember that the health of the surrogate and the baby is paramount. Any circumstances that may prove dangerous or questionable will be addressed in the early stages of application to ensure the utmost safety for our surrogates.