Each lady who needs to turn into a surrogate mother should consider surrogacy’s well being necessities before taking on a program. These health requirements ensure your safety as a surrogate mother. This also ensures 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. He/she 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.
You can become a gestational carrier for a couple who has been fighting with infertility for years. Or it can be for 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.
The surrogacy’s 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.
1. 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 fundamental 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.
2. Background Screening
After a surrogacy professional receives your surrogacy application, the agency will recommend a background check, including your family’s criminal records and financial status. 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.
3. Psychological Screening
When we hear of surrogacy, we only think about the surrogate’s medical and physical toil and risks. 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, most agencies recommend a psychological test. It ensures that you’re emotionally fit to become a surrogate. It aims to analyze how you feel about the process and the feelings that may surface after giving birth to the baby.
4. Medical Screening
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 can hold 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.
Some more requirements
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 child.
- No significant 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.
Among the most frequently asked questions about surrogacy’s health requirements, many women ask why previous pregnancy is essential 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 integral part of a surrogate journey.
Always share your doubts and questions about the requirements to become a surrogate and associated risks with your surrogacy professional.