Surrogacy has reached the mainstream after once being seen as something only celebrities could do. A fertility clinic in New York is seeing more couples in search of someone to carry their hopes of parenthood while others are curious about becoming a surrogate themselves. As the practice grows in popularity, it’s only right to know what it takes to become a surrogate before signing up.
There are age limits to being a surrogate. A woman has to be at least 21 years old to be considered a viable candidate; experts feel at this age a person is more mentally and physically ready to take on this task. Another factor in the specific age group is a reduced risk factor for younger women. Ages 40 to 45 is the maximum age limit for most doctors, as they consider procedures like egg donation as well as in-vitro fertilization. Older women have more physical problems in general and those select issues could increase the likelihood of a dangerous pregnancy. Some health issues that an older surrogate may encounter are:
In addition to health concerns, the advanced age could make it harder to get pregnant. If the couple has chosen a friend or family member that is older than the usual age group, they must be approved by the doctor.
A surrogate has to be in good health before they are a viable candidate. An overall checkup with lab tests is needed at the onset of acceptance to being a surrogate. There are a number of things considered like having a good BMI and weight; with obesity being a big block to overall fertility. Another thing potential surrogates must refrain from is drug use and smoking. Doctors will look into any past pregnancies to establish the risk of miscarriage. They will also get a medical and sexual history as well as request any medical records. Any spouse or partner is checked for drugs or any diseases during the process.
Psychological exams are part of any checkup for surrogates. Professionals such as counselors or social workers will look into mental well-being as a factor. They will quiz any potential surrogate on their feelings and what’s going on in their day to day life to measure potential issues. A candidate should be stable and willing to handle emotional responses that come with changing hormones. There is a check at the home of the surrogate to see the home setting and further discuss ideas about surrogacy; a psychologist or social worker wants to see the support she will have from a spouse, partner, and family.
Background checks are run through several agencies and consist of federal and state screenings for any criminal problems-convictions for drugs, DUI or child abuse are all potential red flags. There are financial background checks as well. The surrogate has to be able to provide for themself and not be on any government programs or depending on surrogacy fees.
Reliable transportation is important to anyone but a surrogate must be able to make all appointments on time in a safe manner. Costs of this are covered by the future parents, but that does not happen in every case. Some expectant parents choose to bring/accompany the surrogate to appointments.