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FAQ: What disqualifies a surrogate mother?

2018-11-27
What disqualifies a surrogate mother?

If you’ve considered becoming a surrogate mother, you’ve likely done plenty of research about the medical procedures, compensation, legal contracts and more. But, you’re probably also wondering - how do I know if I’m a candidate for surrogacy? These are some of the most frequently asked questions about what could disqualify a gestational carrier.

Can I be a surrogate anywhere in the United States?

No. Because surrogacy laws are not federally mandated and can vary from state to state (even county to county), not all states are favorable towards gestational surrogacy. Michigan, for example, forbids compensated surrogacy (altruistic surrogacy is legal).

Stay tuned, though, as the tide is turning quickly. New York just passed exciting, state-of-the-art legislation after a hard-fought battle. Several states, including New Jersey and Vermont, secured laws protecting surrogacy in 2018.

Can I be a surrogate mother if I’ve never been pregnant?

No. We do require that you have given birth to and are raising at least one child and we have this requirement for several reasons. First, it allows us to ensure that you've had a good medical experience with pregnancy and have enjoyed an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. Second, it's important that your family is complete; we find that it is difficult to do something of this magnitude for someone if you haven’t done it yourself. Finally, having already experienced pregnancy, we have great assurance that you have an idea of what you’re undertaking as a gestational carrier.

Can I be a surrogate if I’m not married?

Yes. Being married is not a requirement, but it is important to consider who will be your support system during the surrogacy journey. You will, of course, have your match manager readily available to answer questions and offer support, along with your Surrogate Sisterhood support group, but that only meets part of the need. From emotional support to everyday logistics such as childcare and housekeeping, it helps to have someone – perhaps a network of people – you can reliably depend on during the year or more of your surrogacy engagement. All gestational carriers, married or not, benefit from that support. Consider who those people are in your own life and how they might best be able to rally around you.

Can I be a surrogate if I’m receiving government assistance?

It depends. We are not able to work with women who are currently receiving welfare, using Medicaid, or supplemental security income (SSI) but other assistance programs such as supplemented childcare are not disqualifying. You should, however, consider whether the compensation you receive as a surrogate will make you ineligible for certain support programs.

Can I be a surrogate mother after tubal ligation?

Yes. Because it does not impact your uterus, you can be a surrogate after a tubal ligation, sometimes referred to as getting your “tubes tied.” This form of permanent birth control will prevent you from getting pregnant naturally when an egg enters the fallopian tube to be fertilized. But because it is not your egg being used in a surrogate pregnancy, your fallopian tubes don’t need to function to become pregnant through In Vitro Fertilization.

In addition, a woman who has had her tubes tied can also have her eggs retrieved directly from her ovaries and either donate those eggs, or undergo IVF to become pregnant.

Can I be a surrogate at any age?

No. Preferred candidates for surrogacy are between the ages of 21-39. Studies indicate this is the optimum age range for childbearing, meaning fewer complications and, typically, a faster recovery.

For a full list of qualifications to be a surrogate mother, visit our website for surrogacy requirements. If you meet the criteria, we’d love to learn more about you! Contact our team to get started on a journey that will change your life and help create a family.