Requirements for surrogacy: Answering top 5 FAQs about becoming a Surrogate 

What are the qualifications to become a surrogate with NewGen Families?  

Throughout this article we will use the terms gestational surrogate and gestational carrier interchangeably as they refer to the same role within a surrogacy journey. You will find the term gestational carrier more commonly used by IVF clinics and attorneys. We also commonly use the term surrogate but when we do it is always in the context of gestational surrogacy. 

Becoming a gestational surrogate can be an incredibly rewarding journey. At NewGen Families, we have a commitment to the well-being of both our surrogates and our intended parents, who entrust us with their journeys and growing their families. 

Only a small percentage of women hold all the unique attributes and circumstances to become a surrogate and today we will explore what some of those requirements for surrogacy are. We will dive deeper in the surrogacy process and answer questions such as ‘Can you be a Surrogate with PCOS?’, ‘What are the Qualifications to Become a Surrogate?’, and ‘Can you be a Surrogate if you have had an abortion?

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NewGen Families’ Requirements for Surrogacy

At NewGen Families, we adhere to the guidelines set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Ethics and Egg Donation (SEEDS) to ensure safe, supportive and ethical surrogacy journeys.

Whether you decide to partner with an agency or act independently, these qualifications for surrogacy are essential to consider. Some of the requirements for surrogacy at NewGen Families include:

  • Be between the ages of 21 – 42
  • Be financially secure and not receiving government assistance.
  • Live in a Surrogate-friendly state.
  • Have experienced at least one successful full-term pregnancy and delivery.
  • Have experienced uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries.
  • Have not experienced more than three previous births by cesarean section.
  • Be free of all sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Be a non-smoker and unexposed to second-hand smoke at home and work.
  • Be willing to refrain from consuming alcohol throughout the entire pregnancy.

In addition to the basic requirements for surrogacy above, our gestational carriers must demonstrate a genuine motivation to help others beyond financial compensation and love being pregnant. They should also have a flexible schedule and support system in place.Are you interested in being a surrogate for a family in need? Take our 5 minute questionnaire to see if you are eligible.

Can you be a surrogate with Herpes?

Now that we have covered the basic qualifications for surrogacy, it is time to dive into some specific concerns prospective gestational carriers may share. 

Herpes (HSV-2) is a common sexually transmitted infection affecting 491 million people (World Health Organisation, 2023). However, the answer to whether you can be a surrogate with herpes is contested. The truth is that a Herpes diagnosis does not necessarily mean you cannot be a surrogate. 

Since HSV-2 is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact (Ibid.), a surrogate may need to undergo a C-Section to protect the baby during an outbreak. However, to avoid difficulties finding a match, all surrogates applying to NewGen Families must be free of all STIs. Some clinics may support your decision to become a surrogate if you manage your condition. In addition to the strong possibility of a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy with herpes, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that the risk that a sexual partner with genital herpes passes on the infection, even when there are no signs or symptoms, is “very small” (2023).

Is there a cut-off age for surrogacy?

Another recurring question about the qualifications to be a surrogate is about the cut-off age for surrogacy, specifically whether or not it is possible after menopause. Unfortunately, the answer is no. This is because the body stops building up the uterus lining necessary to support a healthy pregnancy after menopause. As a result, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends agencies and clinics set a maximum age of 45 (2022).At NewGen Families, the cut-off age for a gestational carrier within our surrogacy program is 42, however there are many factors that we take into account along with age, such as recency of birth and medical history.

Can you become a surrogate more than once?

The answer to this question is yes. In fact, previous experience of a successful pregnancy is actually a requirement for surrogacy and many surrogates in our community chose to do multiple journeys.

You may also wonder: how many times can you be a surrogate? NewGen Families is proud to be endorsed by the top IVF clinics in the US which is a testament to our unwavering commitment to upholding the most rigorous criteria for surrogacy. Therefore, our gestational carriers should not have experienced over five previous deliveries or three deliveries via cesarean section, as recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). There are some rarer instances where we can accept candidates with six previous births if all other factors are healthy and the surrogate meets the requirements of the designated IVF clinic.

Can you be a surrogate with PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that impacts an estimated 8–13% of women of reproductive age (World Health Organization, 2023). Surprisingly, the World Health Organization reports that 70% of women worldwide remain undiagnosed (Ibid.).

As the name implies, PCOS involves the development of small fluid-filled collections, or cysts, on the ovaries. These follicles contain eggs that fail to mature as they should.

In a typical menstrual cycle, the ovaries release a single mature egg. For those affected by PCOS, however, multiple immature follicles are released, resulting in a disrupted menstrual cycle and the occurrence of heavy periods. This condition gives rise to a spectrum of symptoms, including fertility challenges. Given that a healthy reproductive history stands as a fundamental requirement for Surrogacy, the response to the question ‘Can you be a Surrogate with PCOS?’ is unfortunately no. This is due to the increased likelihood of pregnancy-related complications associated with PCOS.

Can you be a Surrogate if you have had an abortion?

The answer to this question is yes. Having had an abortion does not inherently disqualify someone from embarking on the surrogacy journey.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that, in being a surrogate for a family outside your own, each intended parent will have different preferences when deciding to work with a surrogate, some of which transcend the basic requirements for surrogacy outlined earlier. Specifically, factors such as the context surrounding the abortion, whether the surrogate has had a birth since the abortion, and the surrogate’s overall emotional well-being play a pivotal role in determining the compatibility with a specific family.Due to the nuance surrounding this topic, we welcome prospective surrogates with abortion experiences to reach out to our team to discuss.

Learn More About the Questions to Ask a Surrogate Agency with NewGen Families

While the qualifications to be a surrogate might initially seem restrictive, we consider the safety and wellbeing of our surrogates, and the babies they lovingly carry, to be the highest priority. It is for that reason we adhere to the guidelines set by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy (SEEDS).

We extend a warm welcome to any special women who are considering this rewarding path. If you think this path might be right for you and your family, we invite you to complete our 5-minute questionnaire to see if you are eligible.

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