What disqualifies you from being a surrogate? Understand the requirements and disqualifying factors from the experts at Extraordinary Conceptions.

Thinking of becoming a surrogate?

There are several important requirements and rules for surrogates in the United States. If you’re an applicant yourself, you may wonder what can disqualify you from being a surrogate. While some eligibility rules have some flexibility, most are fairly concrete. For this reason, we advise all prospective candidates to familiarize themselves with surrogate disqualifications and requirements before submitting an application. To help you navigate this, we’ve created a basic guide to common disqualifications for surrogacy applicants.

The Foundation of Surrogacy Eligibility

So many kind and generous people want to become gestational surrogates, and that’s beautiful to see. We wish we could accept every single candidate to become a surrogate—but unfortunately, that isn’t possible. There is a substantial list of requirements and disqualifications for surrogacy in the United States.

While we understand it’s disappointing to find that you don’t meet US surrogate guidelines, these rules are in place for a reason. Surrogacy disqualifications and requirements were instilled to protect everybody involved in these agreements: the surrogate herself, the intended parents, and, of course, the coming baby.

Surrogacy Disqualifications: Which Factors Matter?

There are several different types of surrogate disqualifications outlined below:

Health and Medical Disqualifications

  • Age: Any applicant younger than 21 or older than 45 is ineligible to be a surrogate.
  • BMI: Applicants with a BMI above 36 are not eligible to become surrogates.
  • Birthing Experience: Applicants who have never given birth or have given birth over eight times are not eligible to be surrogates.
  • C-Section History: Applicants who have had over five cesareans cannot become surrogates.
  • Mental Health: Candidates with a history of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, or bipolar disorder, are not eligible to become surrogates.
  • Medications: Some medications are unsafe for pregnancy, including several intended for people with mental illness. If applicants are unable to safely wean off these medications, they will not be eligible to become surrogates.

Lifestyle and Behavioral Disqualifications

  • Family Status: An applicant who does not currently live with her child will not be eligible to become a surrogate.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Any history of recreational drug use or alcohol dependency will render applicants ineligible.
  • Smoking: Smoking of any kind is a disqualifier for surrogacy. However, candidates who are able to quit long-term may be successful in the future.
  • Financial Circumstances: Successful candidates must be financially stable; applicants receiving 8/HUD or welfare are disqualified.
  • Immigration Status: Only American citizens and permanent residents will be accepted to this role.
  • Criminal History: Convicted felons cannot become surrogates, nor can anybody else in their household.

It’s essential to be 100% honest about these factors when you apply to become a surrogate, even if the truth may disqualify you. All surrogates undergo a comprehensive screening process after matching with a family. If these tests show that you have been dishonest about certain qualifications, you will not be cleared to proceed with your surrogacy agreement.

Navigating the Surrogacy Journey with Informed Choices

Surrogacy is a rewarding experience that many people cherish for decades to come. However, it is not the right choice for everybody, even if they meet all of the requirements. Becoming a surrogate is a big decision that should be made with careful consideration and reflection. This means taking lots of time to do research: this might mean reading up on other surrogates’ lived experiences or even chatting with an experienced surrogate in real life.

This is where a reputable surrogacy agency comes in handy. They’ll help you navigate the surrogacy application journey and facilitate peer conversations and advice. Once you officially apply and begin, your agency will be there to provide guidance and support every step of the surrogacy process.

Extraordinary Conceptions has supported surrogates, egg donors, and families around the world for nearly two decades. In that time, we’ve seen countless families grow, babies become adults, and surrogates enrich their lives by helping others. Now, we’re ready to welcome you.

Contact our team today for any questions about your own eligibility and what surrogacy might look like for you. Thank you for making us a part of your story.