Every woman who wants to become a surrogate mother must consider the health requirements of surrogacy before enrolling in a program. These health requirements not only ensure your safety as a surrogate mother, but also the safety of the child you are carrying and the intended parents.
Before you become a surrogate, you will need to find a surrogacy professional who will determine whether you meet all the healthy requirements to become a great surrogate mother or not. This is done through several rounds of screening that we will be covering in this post.
When you become a gestational carrier for a couple who has been fighting with infertility for years or a single or gay couple who wishes to extend their family through surrogacy, you are their ultimate hope. They invest a great deal of time, energy, emotions, and money in you. They trust you and your ability to carry their child in the hope of becoming parents.
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The surrogacy health requirements ensure that their hope is not shattered. Thus, it includes several screening requirements that analyze your ability to carry a child. No matter which agency or surrogacy professional you choose to work with, you will be required to meet these health requirements.
The Health Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mother
Every surrogacy agency lays down some basic surrogacy health requirements before recruiting surrogates. There may be a few requirements that differ from agency to agency, however, the basic requirements are the same.
The initial application
The first step you will be asked to fulfill in your journey to become a surrogate is filling out the application form. The form is very basic in nature and includes general information about you, your family, your objective or aim behind your desire to become a gestational carrier, and a brief about your medical history and previous pregnancy experiences.
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After your surrogacy application is received by a surrogacy professional, the agency will recommend a background check including any criminal records and financial status of your family. The financial screening is done to ensure that you can provide for yourself without being solely dependent on the surrogate compensation. Even though surrogates get a hefty compensation, you should opt to become a gestational carrier just for financial gains. This also gives the agency and the intended parents’ peace of mind that the surrogate lives in a stable and sufficient financial state. These requirements ensure that you’re fit for becoming a surrogate.
Mostly when we hear of surrogacy we only think about the medical and physical toil and risks experienced by the surrogate. However, surrogacy affects you emotionally and psychologically as well. Not only you, but it will have an impact on your family and spouse as well.
To ensure that you are mentally prepared for the challenges and emotional risks associated with surrogacy, a psychological test is recommended by most of the agencies. It ensures that you’re emotionally fit to become a surrogate. It is aimed to analyze how you feel about the process and the feelings that may surface after you give birth to the baby.
The medical screening ensures that you are physically fit to carry a child. Most of the agencies prefer surrogates who have had one successful pregnancy of their own. It involves a series of tests conducted to see if your body is capable of holding the embryo and all your reproductive parts are functional.
Apart from these health requirements, agencies will also require the surrogates to abstain from any drug intake, especially antidepressants, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, etc. during the pregnancy to ensure that you give birth to a healthy child.
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American Society for Reproductive Medicine has listed down some other basic health requirements of surrogates.
- A healthy BMI – not more than 25.
- Aged between 21 and 35.
- Experienced at least one successful pregnancy and must be raising her own child.
- No major complications in the last pregnancy.
- Should not have any untreated STIs.
- Should not be a drug or smoke addict. The family environment must also be free of smokers and alcoholics.
- No use of antidepressants for the last 12 months.
Amongst the most frequently asked questions related to health requirements of surrogacy, many women ask why previous pregnancy is important to become a gestational carrier.
If you become a gestational carrier without having any successful previous pregnancies, you put yourself and the intended parents, both at risk. As your body is experiencing pregnancy for the first time, you will have no idea how it will react or what emotional or physical changes you will go through. Hence, agencies prefer women who have proven previous pregnancies (at least one).
Understanding these health requirements is an important part of a surrogate journey.
Always share your doubts and questions related to the requirements to become a surrogate and associated risks with your surrogacy professional.