We absolutely adore and celebrate our Surrogates; they give our patients something that no one else can – a baby who will fill their hearts and homes. While we are always looking for new Surrogates to join our California Premium Surrogacy family, not everyone can meet qualifications to become a Gestational Surrogate. There are several industry standard qualifications that you will need to meet and although these rules may seem rigid, it’s important to remember that they are in place for good reasons. Sticking to common guidelines helps us keep surrogates and babies as healthy and as safe as possible. Read on to learn the gestational surrogate qualifications here at California Premium Surrogacy and why we have each rule in place.
Our Surrogates Must Be Under The Age Of 38
At California Premium Surrogacy, we require our surrogates to be under 38 years old. Women in their late 30s and beyond are considered to be of advanced maternal age, which can lead to complications during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Babies born to women of advanced maternal age are also more likely to be born premature or face health issues. For these reasons, many families prefer to work with younger surrogates. However, each case is different. We occasionally accept surrogates who are 38 or 39 years old, provided they have given birth recently and meet other specific guidelines.
Our Surrogates Must Live in California Or Another Surrogacy-Friendly State
Our surrogates must reside in California, Oregon, Washington, South Dakota, Nevada, Georgia or Florida. This is because the laws in these states will make the surrogacy process as streamlined as possible. Surrogacy is so much more than simply carrying a baby for nine months. It’s a journey that will require court visits, travel arrangements, and legal documents such as pre-birth orders.
By limiting our surrogate pool to women in surrogacy-friendly states, we are able to work with favorable jurisdictions. This makes the legal side of surrogacy as simple as possible and gives confidence to intended parents that they won’t face any additional (and otherwise avoidable) legal issues.
Our Surrogates Must Be Physically and Mentally Healthy
In order to meet the qualifications to become a surrogate, you really need to be physically healthy with no history of smoking or drug use. The reason for this surrogate qualification is obvious: healthy women are more likely to have healthy pregnancies. We require our surrogates to be mentally healthy as well, so you must not have a history of anxiety or depression, including postpartum depression.
If you have suffered from postpartum depression with one pregnancy, it is common to suffer from it during additional pregnancies. For this reason, our clinic chooses not to work with women who have a history of postpartum depression.
Our Surrogates Must Not Have a Criminal Record
We want our babies to grow in the safest environments possible. For this reason, we cannot work with surrogates who have criminal records. We extend this rule to anyone who is living with one of our surrogates as well, so be sure your partner and anyone else living in your household also have clean records before you apply.
While this policy applies to felony charges and most misdemeanor charges, please contact us if you have a minor charge on your record and would still like to apply to be a surrogate. We occasionally accept these applications but will consider them on a case-by-case basis.
Our Surrogates Must Have a Healthy Pregnancy History
Our surrogates must have given birth, be raising at least one child and cannot have a history of gestational diabetes, blood pressure issues, or preterm labor (birth occurring before 37 weeks or 34 weeks for twins). We need our surrogates to have healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies. The best way to predict this is to look at a woman’s health history, including previous pregnancies. While there are no guarantees in pregnancy, limiting surrogacy to women who have already had healthy pregnancies is the best way we can reduce common risks.
Our Surrogates Must be US Citizens
We can only accept surrogates who are US citizens. While some of our other surrogate qualifications have exceptions, we must stand firm on this rule. Immigration laws in America are more fragile today than ever before, and we cannot risk one of our surrogates leaving the country or being deported. This would force you to bring someone else’s child to a foreign country, creating a complex set of legal problems that can be otherwise avoided.
Our Surrogates Must Have a BMI Under 30
It’s important for our surrogates to be at a healthy weight. Women who are obese may face numerous complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and miscarriage. Certain medications that we prescribe to our surrogates are also less effective if you are obese.
For these reasons, we can only work with surrogates who have a BMI under 30. If your BMI is slightly above 30, you may still qualify. However, we will usually ask you to lose some weight before you begin taking fertility medications.
Other Important Considerations
Are You Receiving Government Assistance?
While we accept surrogate applications from women receiving state healthcare and/or WIC benefits, we cannot accept applications from women receiving other types of government assistance or women who are in a very low-income bracket. While surrogates are compensated well, that money is to offset the time and effort needed during their pregnancy and cannot be considered the main source of income for a surrogate and her family.
Are You Willing to Terminate a Pregnancy?
Surrogates must be willing to terminate their pregnancy or reduce multiple births if recommended based on medical grounds. While these outcomes can be devastating to think about, they are possibilities that surrogates should be okay with. Because this baby is not the surrogate’s child, the surrogate must be willing to handle the pregnancy based on decisions made by the parents and/or medical professionals.
Contact California Premium Surrogacy
If you are considering becoming a Surrogate and would like to see if you meet the qualifications to become a surrogate or find out more about our surrogacy program and surrogate qualifications, please contact us or call (310)-566-1487.
You can also submit your application here.