If you are interested in becoming a surrogate, there are some basic requirements and qualifications that candidates must meet, as well as undergoing our screening process. But there may also be confusion around conditions that you believe may disqualify you when that may not be the case! For example, one of the conditions some women falsely believe will prohibit them from becoming a surrogate is the often searched: ‘Can I be a surrogate with my tubes tied?’ We will address this common misconception as well as several others, so you will have the most accurate and up-to-date information you need to make the decision about surrogacy that is best for you.
Can I Be A Surrogate After Tubal Ligation?
Yes, you can be a surrogate after tubal ligation. This is a common misunderstanding and it’s easy to see why you might be confused about this. After all, if you have undergone a tubal ligation (had your tubes tied), you can no longer become pregnant naturally, as your eggs can no longer travel from your ovaries through your Fallopian tubes to the uterus for fertilization. But tubal ligation does not stop your ovaries from working and does not prevent menstruation, even though the procedure does block your eggs from reaching the uterus.
In gestational surrogacy, your eggs are not used, because it’s not your eggs that are fertilized in the IVF process. Your uterus is what is needed, not your tubes, and after tubal ligation, your uterus is still a perfectly hospitable environment for the introduced fertilized embryo to grow to term. So yes, you can be a surrogate after tubal ligation.
Can I Be A Surrogate If My Tubes Have Been Removed?
Yes, you can be a surrogate after your tubes have been removed. This question is related to surrogacy after tubal ligation but is a bit different, in that the woman’s Fallopian tubes have been surgically removed instead of tied or clamped. Tube removal of one or both tubes, which is known as a salpingectomy, is performed for various medical reasons, including ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, a blockage in the tube, infection, and cancer. Of course, you must be in good health to become a surrogate, but Fallopian tube removal is not an automatic disqualification. In general, yes, you can be a surrogate if your tubes have been removed.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Am Overweight?
The answer is generally yes, but it depends on how overweight you are. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number that is calculated based on your height and weight and is used medically to assess your health. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal and healthy for adults. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. If your BMI is under 30 we can usually work with you. If your BMI is 31 or 32 you will need to lose some weight to reach a BMI of less than 30 before you can be fully cleared for surrogacy.
If you are around 10 pounds over a BMI of 30, we can begin the application process and connect you with a nutritionist to help you get the weight off at no cost to you. However, your BMI must be under 30 prior to matching and embryo transfer.
While we are advocates of the body positivity movement and believe no one should be shamed or discriminated against based on their body weight, there are real medical concerns for women who are overweight or obese when it comes to carrying a pregnancy to term. The risks of a high BMI have the potential to affect not only you but the baby as well. These risks include a higher risk of gestational diabetes, a greater risk of developing high blood pressure during the pregnancy, and a higher risk of preeclampsia (toxemia of pregnancy.) The infant also has a higher risk of complications, including a high birth weight as well as an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Yes, you can be a surrogate if you are overweight but again, it depends on how much above the BMI of 30 you are.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Am Not Married?
Yes, absolutely, you can be a surrogate if you are not married! However, if you live with a partner, the partner will also be required to go through some of the screening as well as a background check. These would be tests to make sure they don’t have any active clinical disease or STIs (sexually transmitted infections) that might negatively affect your pregnancy. But because you are not married, your partner will not be a part of the surrogacy legal agreement.
Can A Single Mom Be A Surrogate?
Yes, you can be a surrogate if you are a single mother. But if you are single, you need a close, strong support network in order to qualify for surrogacy. This network could consist of a family member or a close friend you can depend on to be there to support and help you through the surrogacy process. Pregnancy under any circumstances is challenging, both physically and emotionally, and surrogacy is no different. Becoming a surrogate is a big decision and having a support network is critical to your psychological and physical health throughout this process.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Take Antidepressants?
The answer here is “it depends”. One of the things we take into consideration is what the antidepressant is being prescribed for, as some people take antidepressants for depression, but others have it prescribed for anxiety. If you have a history of depression that arose from a particular situation (for example, the unexpected death of a loved one) and that has now been resolved, you still may be able to qualify. The answer to “can I be a surrogate if I take antidepressants” really depends on your individual circumstances and you should reach out to speak with us if this is your situation.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Am Breastfeeding?
Because breastfeeding affects your reproductive hormones, you will need to stop breastfeeding and wait for a normal menstrual cycle to return. The hormone prolactin is produced during breastfeeding and it not only stops you from ovulating, it stops you from having your menstrual cycle as well, meaning that your uterus won’t be able to be prepared to accept an embryo transfer.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Have A Full-Time Job?
Yes, you can hold a full-time job and still be a surrogate. In terms of your employment, a pregnant surrogate has the same rights at work as if they were carrying their own child. Keep in mind that you’ll have ongoing physician appointments throughout your pregnancy, so it’s always a good idea to discuss your situation with your employer to make sure they are supportive, and you won’t be placed under unnecessary stress.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Am A Stay At Home Mom?
Yes, you can be a surrogate if you are a stay-at-home mom. However, there must be a stable income in the household and you, as the surrogate candidate, cannot be receiving any federal or state assistance, such as cash aid, food stamps, or housing. State-sponsored medical insurance, such as Medical in California, is an exception to this.
Do I Need To Have Insurance To Be A Surrogate?
No, you do not need insurance to be a surrogate, as the intended parents will cover any surrogate insurance that is required. Most medical insurance policies exclude surrogate pregnancy coverage, so even if you do have insurance, we will need to secure supplemental medical and life insurance policies that will cover you on your surrogacy journey.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Had A C-Section?
Yes, you can be a surrogate if you have had a C-section. However, we do limit the number of previous C-sections, as multiple C-sections increase the medical risks for both the mother and the child. Multiple surgical procedures increase the likelihood of scar tissue formation, which may interfere with the proper implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining. There are also other risks associated with multiple C-sections, including increased risk of bleeding due to placenta accreta (placenta growing too deeply into the uterine wall), as well as risks of premature birth and complications during delivery. We cannot accept candidates who have had more than 3 C-sections or 6 deliveries in total.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Had A Miscarriage?
Yes, you can be a surrogate if you have had a miscarriage, as long as miscarriages are not a recurring issue for you. Multiple miscarriages call into question your ability to carry a pregnancy to full term or can signal some other problem with the reproductive health of the surrogacy candidate.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Had An Abortion?
Yes, you can be a surrogate if you have had an abortion. You can still be a surrogate as long as you had no post-abortion complications, you have previously carried a healthy pregnancy to term and are raising at least one child.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Had HPV?
Yes, it is possible to become a surrogate if you have had HPV (Human Papillomavirus.) If you have not had an outbreak in quite some time, and you are willing to take suppressive therapy in your third trimester, we can likely work with you. Keep in mind that matching can be a bit more difficult and may take longer, as we are obligated to disclose the history of HPV to the intended parents.
Do I Qualify To Be A Surrogate?
The decision to become a surrogate is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and carrying a child for someone else is absolutely life-changing for you and for the intended parents. It’s unfortunate that some women dismiss the possibility of becoming a surrogate, based on their belief that they can’t be a surrogate if they have had their tubes tied, or they can’t be a surrogate if they are overweight, or are a single mom or have had an abortion. Many times, women who have had these conditions in their history are perfect candidates to become surrogates.
The basic criteria for becoming a surrogate are:
- Age less than 40 (preferable less than 38).
- You must live in a state that is surrogacy-friendly.
- You must be physically and mentally healthy, with no history of smoking or drug use.
- You must not have a criminal record as well as no criminal record for the members of your household.
- You must have had a previous healthy pregnancy and delivery, with no history of gestational diabetes, blood pressure problems, or preterm labor.
- You must be a United States citizen or permanent resident.
(See a complete description of our surrogacy qualifications here.)
Of course, everyone’s individual circumstances are different, so if you are unsure if you qualify, please contact us online, or call us at (310) 566-14-87.
We also have a lot of useful information to help you in your surrogacy decision and journey, including a FAQ, What is surrogacy, surrogate screening process and surrogate compensation pay and benefits.
Many of our surrogate candidates have found it helpful to read the stories of other surrogates, to find out what the surrogacy experience was like, and to get helpful insights into others’ surrogacy journeys, including what motivated them to become a surrogate as well as the challenges encountered during their journeys.
Surrogacy can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever undertake. Yes, it’s a big decision and we are here to help you make the decision that is right for you. Contact us today with any questions or apply to see if you qualify to become a surrogate!