Why are There Certain Qualifications to Be a Surrogate in PA?

If you’re considering becoming a gestational carrier in Pennsylvania, you are about to embark on an incredible journey helping someone else bring a beautiful child into their family. Maybe you’ve wanted to become a surrogate for a very long time. Maybe it’s a fairly new dream inspired by something you saw or read. Either way, following these dreams is certainly possible with Bierly & Rabuck.

But, as you begin your surrogacy journey, you may be surprised to learn there are certain surrogate mother qualifications in Pennsylvania you must meet first. Not everyone can be a gestational carrier, and professionals such as those at Bierly & Rabuck set certain guidelines to be a surrogate mother for all women who apply.

Many women wonder: If I want to be a gestational carrier and understand the process and risks, why can’t I just proceed with the journey — whether or not I meet all of the criteria?

We admire your dedication to this process and your personal desires. However, surrogacy is about more than “simply” carrying a baby for someone else. It’s a complex legal, ethical and emotional journey unlike anything you’ve been through before. To keep all parties to the family-building process safe, qualifications for being a surrogate must always be met.

To learn more about how to qualify to be a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania with our program, please call 814-237-7900. In the meantime, learn more about the criteria to be a surrogate below.

What are the Qualifications to Be a Surrogate Mother?

Before you can understand why there are criteria for becoming a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania, you must first understand exactly what those surrogate mother qualifications are.

At Bierly & Rabuck, our professionals base our program’s gestational carrier qualifications on those recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. In order to become a gestational carrier through our program, women must:

  • Be between the ages of 21 and 45
  • Have had at least one successful pregnancy
  • Have had no more than five previous deliveries or three deliveries via cesarean section
  • Have a healthy BMI (usually between 19 and 30)
  • Have no ongoing mental health issues and have not used antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicine for at least 12 months
  • Not smoke or use illicit drugs, or be a former smoker or drug user
  • Have let at least one year’s time pass from their last pregnancy
  • Pass a medical screening conducted by a fertility clinic

Those wishing to become gestational carriers must also meet other criteria to be a surrogate in Pennsylvania, including passing criminal and background clearances and undergoing psychological and mental health screening and testing.

For more information on how to qualify to be a surrogate mother with our surrogacy program, please contact our professionals.

Why are there Criteria to Be a Surrogate in PA?

For many people new to the surrogacy process, these gestational carrier qualifications can seem extensive. Why can’t any woman who wants to become a gestational carrier pursue this path, especially if the intended parents she is working with are comfortable with their partnership?

It all comes down to the safety and best-interest of all involved:

1. For the gestational carrier:

The biggest reason why a woman must meet certain qualifications to be a surrogate mother is to protect her health along the way. Surrogacy can be a difficult physical and emotional process. Setting these requirements for surrogates helps ensure the women who enter into this process are physically and emotionally ready for the potential challenges ahead.

For example, if a woman has never been pregnant before, she cannot be cleared to become a gestational carrier — even if intended parents want to work with her. Pregnancy can be dangerous, and entering into a surrogacy agreement without knowledge of how her body will react (not to mention the emotions she’ll feel) can be incredibly compromising for a woman. Even if she never wants children of her own and is comfortable with that risk, medical professionals will disqualify her from the process because of the risks to her safety.

This same premise applies to the other guidelines to be a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania — being of a healthy weight, being within a certain age range, etc.

2. For the intended parents

On the other hand, ensuring a gestational carrier meets qualifications to be a surrogate is also important for intended parents. Many intended parents have struggled for years to have children, and surrogacy may be their last chance at a biological child. Therefore, they want the best chance of success possible — which means working with a gestational carrier who is medically and emotionally ready for the challenges of surrogacy.

When an intended parent’s gestational carrier meets the necessary criteria to be a surrogate, there is a better chance of success in the medical process and a lower chance of risk and potential failure for the parent.

3. For the surrogacy professional

Finally, surrogacy professionals like Bierly & Rabuck have a vested interest in ensuring that surrogate criteria are met in every surrogacy journey. As mentioned, surrogacy can be complicated, and surrogacy professionals want to make the process as risk-free as possible for all parties. If a surrogacy professional admits a woman who is not physically or emotionally ready for surrogacy, that surrogacy professional will ultimately be responsible if she cannot get pregnant, carry a child for intended parents or otherwise have her and her intended parents’ surrogacy journeys be affected.

If a surrogacy professional advertises that they can help a woman qualify who may not otherwise meet surrogacy qualifications, it is a huge red flag. Instead, work with a professional such as Bierly & Rabuck, who put the safety and interest of their clients at the forefront of every surrogacy journey.

Am I Eligible to Be a Surrogate Mother in PA?

As you learn more about gestational carrier qualifications as a prospective surrogate, you may read about situations where exemptions may apply. If you don’t meet all of the necessary qualifications for surrogate mothers, you may ask, “Can I be a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania?”

The answer to this question will always depend upon your surrogacy and medical professionals. Only they can evaluate your personal situation and determine whether surrogacy is safe for you — and, by extension, the intended parents who you will eventually work with.

To learn more about who can become a surrogate in your kind of situation and whether you will be approved for the surrogacy process, please call our professionals at 814-237-7900.