Understanding the Prerequisites for Becoming a Surrogate

Jun 14, 2024
Understanding the Prerequisites for Becoming a Surrogate
Surrogacy is an emotional journey driven by compassion and a strong desire to help others grow their family. But not everyone can be a surrogate. Learn about the prerequisites for becoming a surrogate and why they’re important. 

Becoming a surrogate is a profoundly emotional journey driven by compassion and a heartfelt desire to help others fulfill their dreams of having a family. Surrogacy brings joy to both the surrogate and the intended parents (IPs).

As wondrous as it sounds, surrogacy isn’t for everyone. To be considered a candidate for surrogacy, you must first meet specific criteria. The purpose of surrogacy prerequisites is health and safety. 

At Great Beginnings Surrogacy Services @Gen 5 (GBSS@G5) in San Diego, California, our surrogacy expert, Dr. Samuel Wood, and his team of specialists have a reputation for creating great matches between surrogates and IPs. Part of our success is due to your screening process, including our surrogacy prerequisites.

Here, we want to explain our prerequisites for becoming a surrogate and why they’re important.

Understanding surrogacy

Surrogacy is a truly remarkable journey that brings joy to many people. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Surrogacy is when a woman carries and delivers a baby for someone else. 

Sounds simple enough, but surrogacy is far from that. It’s an emotional, physical, and legal roller coaster ride that can take up more than a year of your life. 

Pregnancy in and of itself is a medical condition that affects the health of the woman and comes with risks. But before the pregnancy, the surrogate and IPs must meet, undergo various evaluations, and hash out legal contracts. All of this is emotionally and physically draining for both parties.

After the preliminary tests and screenings are complete and legal paperwork signed, the surrogate undergoes in vitro fertilization (IVF), which includes hormone injections, multiple visits to the doctor, and a medical procedure that implants the embryo in the uterus.  

The joy of surrogacy requires a certain amount of strength and stamina, and the reason behind the prerequisites. 

Prerequisites for surrogacy

There are no overarching laws or rules for surrogacy, but the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has set surrogacy guidelines that help agencies like ours find perfect surrogate candidates. 

Our surrogacy prerequisites are based on these guidelines. To be considered a surrogate, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be between the ages 21 and 37 (ASRM says up to 45)
  • Have had at least one healthy full-term pregnancy
  • Haven’t been pregnant more than five times
  • Haven’t had more than two Cesarean sections
  • Have a stable home life
  • Be a United States citizen
  • Have no medical, psychological, or mental health issues
  • Be a nonsmoker and abstain from alcohol
  • Have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Have no criminal record

We also only work with surrogates who live in surrogate-friendly states like California. Our prerequisites help ensure that our surrogates and IPs enjoy every step of the surrogacy journey. 

Our screening process

Our surrogates go through a few steps before we set up a meeting with potential IPs. We start with an online questionnaire to gather basic information, and then our care coordinators conduct a prequalification phone interview.

If you meet the prequalification criteria, we will have you complete a full application that includes signing release forms so we can do a background check and request your medical records. 

We then do a pre-screening medical exam and request a letter from your OB/GYN saying they approve of your decision to become a surrogate.

Prescreening can take up to four weeks. Once complete, we start the matching process.

Surrogacy isn’t for the faint of heart, and you must meet the prerequisites before we consider you a candidate. These prerequisites are in place to keep you safe. 

If you think surrogacy is a journey you want to pursue, we can help. Call our office today or book a consultation online. You can also complete the online prescreening questionnaire, and one of our coordinators will call you back to discuss the process and complete the pre-qualification screening.