The subject of weight can be a tricky one to discuss. Like the topic of fertility, bodyweight is a very personal health aspect, and for some, the dialogue surrounding them can be intense or painful. However, in order to grow a family through surrogacy, discussing BMI is a necessary conversation.

The BMI isn’t the only aspect of a woman’s health that is carefully screened and monitored before taking steps into becoming a surrogate: there are many requirements and regulations to ensure the safety of everybody involved. Though these requirements may add time to your process, it will all be worth it when a healthy baby has arrived. 

What is the Range of BMI for Surrogacy?

It is important to know that there is a required BMI for surrogacy. If you are in the USA, the woman carrying your baby will need to have a body mass index of 30 or lower. In some cases, particularly if she’s already been a successful surrogate in the past, a BMI of 32 is accepted. In Canada, the regulations are slightly more flexible regarding body size: there, 35 is the highest possible BMI for surrogacy.

Why is Maintaining a Lower BMI for Surrogacy Important?

BMI regulations exist in surrogacy to create a safe environment for all involved, including surrogates, intended parents, and babies. 

When it comes to conception, being overweight or obese can add complications. Women with high BMIs often have a harder time conceiving, suffer more during labor, and have a larger risk of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia during their pregnancy. 

I Want to be a Surrogate, but I am Overweight! What Can I Do?

BMI for SurrogacyGreat news: once your BMI has dropped into the eligible range, then you are back in the running to become a surrogate. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that you fulfill all other requirements, too.

In North America, all 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 diagnosed or history of mental illness
  • Not be on an IUD or using birth control shots

If you’re hoping to shed a few pounds in order to apply to be a surrogate, we’re already impressed that you’re going the extra mile to help another family. Well done! 

Weight loss is such a different process for each person, and we trust that if you are taking these steps to be a surrogate, you may have a strategy or weight loss plan in mind! However, we wanted to throw in a few easy tips just in case you didn’t know where to start.

Join a Friend

If you have a pal who loves to make creative salads, a coworker who hikes every weekend, or a sibling who lives at the gym, ask them if you could join them while they engage in their hobby. Their passion will likely transfer over to you as well!

Cook Something New

Eating healthy can feel overwhelming in a restaurant, but at home, it’s fun and allows for creative control. Some time exploring #cleaneating and #salads on Instagram will change your entire perspective. You’ll learn some new skills AND eat well. Win-win. 

Enjoy Nature

Find the gym stifling? Don’t go. 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. 

Ask for Help 

It never hurts to see a nutritionist or fitness coach, especially in a case like this. By talking to a professional about your goals of hitting a certain BMI for surrogacy, you’ll be given tools for making your dreams— and a family’s— a reality.


Whether you’re hoping to build your family through surrogacy or want to give that gift to intended parents, Extraordinary Conceptions is here to help you navigate the process. 

Located in both the US and Canada, our team has helped complete hundreds of families, and we’re ready to help you welcome new life into yours. To get started, send us an email— Erica will make sure that all your questions are answered.