Before you can become a surrogate in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to meet certain surrogacy requirements. These requirements are in place to protect all involved in the surrogacy process, especially intended parents and you as a prospective surrogate.
With many professionals, including Bierly & Rabuck, gestational surrogate mother requirements exist to make sure that any prospective surrogate is fully prepared for the physical, mental and emotional challenges of the surrogacy process. By requiring that a woman meet certain surrogacy requirements, professionals can better make sure that the process is a positive one for her from the beginning.
The professionals at Bierly & Rabuck will always work closely with you to make sure you meet all necessary requirements to be a surrogate and ensure a happy, successful surrogacy process moving forward. We encourage all prospective surrogates to contact us today to learn whether they can work with our surrogacy program.
Our Gestational Surrogate Requirements in PA
Who can be a gestational carrier with our surrogacy program?
At Bierly & Rabuck, our surrogacy requirements are based on the guidelines of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine — the national assisted reproductive technology organization that sets standards for all professionals within this field. Therefore, our gestational surrogate requirements are the same as many other surrogacy professionals.
Our surrogate mother requirements include:
- Being between the ages of 21-45
- At least one successful pregnancy
- No more than five previous deliveries or three deliveries via cesarean section
- A healthy BMI, usually between 19-30
- No ongoing mental health issues and no use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicine for a substantial time
- No smoking or using illicit drugs, or being a former smoker or drug user
- At least one year’s time from the last pregnancy
- Passing a medical screening for certain health conditions and sexually transmitted infections
These are the general medical requirements for surrogacy in our program, although surrogates may need to meet more requirements to be a surrogate mother based on the fertility clinic involved in the surrogacy process. In many cases, this also includes psychological and mental health screening and testing. This testing makes sure a woman understands the demands of the surrogacy process and is fully prepared to tackle them in a positive manner. It’s usually completed before a match is solidified with intended parents.
In addition, women who want to become surrogates should be prepared to undergo criminal and background clearances before they can be matched with any intended parents. They should also be financially stable and have the support of their spouse before moving forward with the surrogacy process. A woman’s spouse is an important part of her surrogacy journey; he or she must be supportive of the decision and sign the surrogacy legal contract, as well.
If you want to learn more about our program’s requirements for being a surrogate, please contact our offices today at 814-237-7900. Exceptions may apply on a case-by-case basis, and our professionals can discuss your individual situation with you in more detail.
Frequently Asked Questions About PA Surrogacy Requirements
As mentioned, many of these surrogacy requirements will be determined by the fertility clinic that you and your intended parents choose to work with. Many of these fertility professionals have specific requirements for their programs that may go beyond the requirements of our own program.
As you’re considering becoming a surrogate in Pennsylvania, you may have specific questions about how your own circumstances may impact your ability to be a surrogate. While our surrogacy professionals and a surrogacy clinic will work together to determine whether you meet the requirements for surrogacy in Pennsylvania, we’ve also answered some more common questions here.
As always, please contact a professional to learn more about meeting gestational surrogate requirements.
1. Why are there requirements for becoming a surrogate mother in the first place?
Sometimes, women who do not meet Pennsylvania surrogacy requirements try to become a gestational carrier anyway. They may have intended parents in mind in an identified surrogacy, or they are willing to accept the risks of moving forward with surrogacy without meeting all the necessary criteria.
We admire these women’s dedication but, unfortunately, Pennsylvania gestational surrogate mother requirements exist to protect more than just a prospective gestational carrier. Remember that intended parents have often waited months and years to have a child; they will not wish to chance their last opportunities on a woman who does not meet the safety requirements to carry their child. Even if they are comfortable with these risks, surrogacy professionals (including Bierly & Rabuck) often will not proceed with this kind of situation due to safety and legal risks.
If you wish to help intended parents but you cannot meet the necessary requirements for surrogate mothers, you may need to wait until you meet all of those qualifications, or choose another path, such as egg donation.
2. Why are there age restrictions for surrogacy?
Surrogacy and pregnancy are both monumental decisions to make, which is why many surrogacy professionals require a woman to be 21 years old before she enters this process. These age requirements for surrogacy are set based on ASRM and clinic recommendations; the older a woman is, the more likely she is to experience complications with any pregnancy, including a surrogate pregnancy — which is why national guidelines prevent any woman over 45 from being a surrogate.
To learn more about age restrictions on surrogacy, please contact our surrogacy professionals.
3. Why are there pregnancy requirements for surrogacy?
One of the most important qualities of being a surrogate is the ability to carry a pregnancy to term safely and successfully. If you were to pursue surrogacy without having previously been pregnant, it would be difficult for your doctor and your surrogacy professional to determine whether surrogacy would be a safe option for you. The majority of surrogacy agencies, including our own program, will not allow you to become a surrogate without having had children. Pregnancy is a huge commitment, so it’s important that surrogates have experience in the process before they decide to become pregnant for someone else.
These are just a few of the questions we commonly hear regarding requirements to be a surrogate mother, and we know you likely have plenty more. We encourage you to speak with your personal physician and our surrogacy professionals to learn more about whether you meet the requirements for surrogacy in Pennsylvania before moving forward. You can also read more about health requirements for surrogate mothers here.
To learn more about our surrogacy program today, please call our offices at 814-237-7900.