What are the age restrictions for surrogacy, and why are there even age requirements for becoming a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania?
Here at Bierly & Rabuck, we often receive questions like these from prospective gestational carriers about surrogate mother age requirements. For many women, the desire to become a gestational carrier is not an overnight decision; in fact, many women know they wish to become surrogates in Pennsylvania from a very young age. So, it makes sense that they wish to start as soon as possible — but age restrictions for surrogacy can make this impossible.
Our professionals completely understand the frustration you may feel if you don’t meet certain surrogacy requirements — but still desperately want to help someone else reach their dreams of parenthood. But, you should know that there are important reasons why certain surrogacy requirements are set, including those regarding the proper age for surrogacy.
Above all else, know this: To work with our surrogacy program, you must be between the ages of 21 and 45.
To help demystify this topic, we’ve answered your most common questions below. Remember, if you ever have any questions about surrogacy requirements or the Pennsylvania surrogacy process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our professionals at 814-237-7900 or online today.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Be a Surrogate Mother in PA?
One of the first questions prospective surrogates often ask is, “How old do I have to be to be a surrogate mother?”
As mentioned above, many prospective gestational carriers have been harboring a dream of becoming a surrogate for many years. Some even know they want to carry a child for someone else as early as childhood! Because they want to make that dream happen as soon as possible, they often wonder what the minimum age is to be a surrogate mother in their situation.
When it comes to surrogate age requirements, the minimum age requirement for every woman is the same: 21 years old. This is not just a generic requirement; it’s one based on research and recommendations from professionals like the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
To become a surrogate, you must have reached certain milestones in your life, including financial independence, a previous successful pregnancy, a regular menstrual cycle and more. Most women cannot meet these requirements until they are in their 20s, which is why the majority of gestational carriers are in their 20s and 30s. By setting a minimum age limit on surrogacy at 21 years old, professionals increase the likelihood that prospective carriers are physically and mentally ready for the challenges and potential risks of the process ahead of them.
Why is Teen Surrogacy Prohibited?
Sometimes, women wonder why 21 is the “magic number” for surrogacy. They may ask, “Can I be a surrogate at 18 if I meet all the other requirements?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no. While we admire your dedication to becoming a gestational carrier, there are certain risks that occur with teen surrogacy that do not occur when a woman starts this journey a few years later.
First off, many teenagers have not yet had a child by the time they turn 18. This is a critical requirement of surrogacy; a woman must have the proven ability to carry a child to term successfully before she can be trusted with an intended parents’ embryo and eventual pregnancy. The risks of becoming a surrogate at 18 (or any other age) without a previous pregnancy are too great to all involved.
But, even if you have had a successful pregnancy in your teens, you will not be eligible to become a surrogate until you reach 21 years old. Surrogacy is a big commitment that could potentially impact your future health and ability to bear children. Scientifically speaking, a teenager’s brain is not fully developed enough to comprehend this decision. Because teenagers are prone to impulsive decisions, surrogacy professionals set these minimum surrogacy age requirements to protect young women from the potential risks of the process before they are ready.
If you wish to become a surrogate mother at 19 (or any other age younger than 21), be patient. As long as you meet the requirements in a few years, you can apply with a surrogacy program like Bierly & Rabuck to help make your surrogacy dreams a reality.
What is the Age Limit to Be a Surrogate Mother in PA?
On the other end of the spectrum, older women also wonder if they can be a gestational carrier. They may have heard stories about grandmothers carrying their own grandchildren as surrogates. So, they ask, “Is there an age limit to being a surrogate?”
The surrogate mother age limit is a bit more flexible than the minimum age requirement. The biggest factor in how old a surrogate can be in Pennsylvania is her reproductive health — can she still carry a child to term safely and successfully at her age? This determination will usually be made by her fertility clinic. In general, a medical professional will prefer that a woman is still menstruating if she wishes to become a gestational carrier, but exceptions can sometimes be made on a case-by-case basis.
If you’re asking, “How old can you be to be a surrogate in Pennsylvania?” with the goal of becoming a gestational carrier over the age of 45, we encourage you to reach out to a local fertility clinic for more information. At Bierly & Rabuck, gestational surrogates 45 years of age and younger can apply with our surrogacy program, with final medical approval reserved for the appropriate medical professional.
For any more information about the requirements to be a gestational carrier with Bierly & Rabuck’s surrogacy program, please contact our professionals today.