Can you be a surrogate if you are overweight or underweight? BMI matters in this process. We’ll help break it down for you.

Bodyweight, like fertility, can be a sensitive and loaded topic. However, it is crucial to discuss the BMI requirements for surrogacy. They are medically mandated and exist to protect everyone involved: surrogates, intended families and babies conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

All surrogates must adhere to several requirements for this position and will undergo extensive screening to confirm eligibility. BMI statistics are one of these requirements, as it is a necessary step into becoming a surrogate, helping to ensure the safety of everybody involved.

What Are the BMI Requirements for Surrogacy?

In most parts of the world, there are medical BMI requirements for surrogacy. In the US, it varies slightly. The generally accepted BMI range is between 20-30. However, there are exceptions: experienced and successful surrogates with BMIs up to 35 may also be considered.

In Canada, the regulations are slightly more flexible. The cutoff surrogate BMI range tops out at 35, regardless of previous experience.

Why is There a Required Surrogate BMI Range?

Surrogate BMI regulations exist to keep everybody safe and healthy. While lots of women with out-of-range BMIs have perfectly healthy and straightforward pregnancies, being overweight or underweight can bring the risk of complications.

Women with high BMIs may have a harder time conceiving, suffer more during labor and have a larger risk of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia during their pregnancy.

I Don’t Have the BMI to Be a Surrogate. Is it Still Possible?

Yes! Applicants who don’t meet the surrogate BMI requirements will be eligible once they fall into the accepted range. This eligibility is only valid if they meet the other requirements.

In the US, all gestational surrogates must:

  • Be between the ages of 21-39 or 42 if you’ve been a surrogate before
  • Have given birth at least once before
  • Not smoke or use any recreational drugs
  • Be financially stable
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of either the US or Canada
  • Have a clean criminal record—this also goes for your spouse
  • Not be on any medications for any mental health problems
  • Not have any diagnosis or history of mental illness
  • Not be on an IUD or using birth control shots

Tips for Getting the Required BMI for Surrogacy

Looking to become a surrogate? We have a few tips and ideas to help hopeful surrogates looking to bring their BMI within the eligible range. We understand that these lifestyle changes can be very intense, and we are so grateful for our surrogates and their dedication to helping families.

1. Join a Friend
Know any wellness experts? Whether you have a friend who loves to cook healthy, a coworker who hikes every weekend or a sibling who lives at the gym, join them while they engage in their hobby. You can learn new ways to treat your body well, experience their passion and enjoy a fun bonding experience.

2. Cook Something New
Cooking healthy new foods can be really enjoyable! Get onto your favorite app and explore some new recipes. Search hashtags like #cleaneating for inspiration. You’ll learn some new skills AND eat well. Win-win.

3. Enjoy Nature
Find the gym stifling? Don’t go to the gym. There are many other enjoyable ways to move your body—find what works for your needs. Walking, jogging, riding your bike, bringing the dog along for a hike or playing outside with your kids are all great ways to get your blood pumping in a way that’s fun.

4. Ask for Help
Professional nutritionists and fitness coaches are a great resource! They will be able to assess your unique needs and circumstances to help you find the best health plan for you. By working with them to help achieve the BMI requirements for surrogacy, you’ll be one step closer to becoming a surrogate and helping another family.

Understanding the Significance of a Surrogate’s BMI

Whatever questions you may have, we’re here to answer. We are behind you every step of the way as you navigate this experience, whether you are a surrogate or an Intended Parent.

Our team has helped complete hundreds of families and supported countless surrogates across the entirety of the US. We have the lived experience and passion our surrogates and Intended Families need to feel heard, supported and confident as they embark on this exciting journey. We’re ready to help make your dreams become a reality.

Thank you for including us in your journey—it is an honor.