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What Can Disqualify You From Becoming A Surrogate in the US

What Can Disqualify You From Becoming A Surrogate in the US

Not every woman qualifies as a surrogate. Why? Basically, because as a gestational surrogate you will be carrying the child of a couple or a person who will invest a great deal of emotions, time and money into this journey, so it’s important to give them the best chance at becoming parents.

In addition, it’s also crucial to make sure that the surrogate isn’t risking her physical or mental health and that all parties involved in the process, and especially the gestational surrogate, are protected.  

Although there are several factors that can automatically disqualify women from becoming surrogates, each agency and clinic has its own requirements. 

In this article, we answer all your questions about what can disqualify you from becoming a surrogate. 

I chose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Will that be an issue?

Most agencies and clinics require that gestational carriers get the COVID-19 vaccine before they provide medical clearance and approve a match with an IP. This means that unvaccinated surrogacy candidates will not be able to work with an increasing number of the clinics and agencies across the country.

Please note that “CDC encourages all pregnant people or people who are thinking about becoming pregnant and those breastfeeding to get vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19”. Click here for more information. 

I’m 42 years old, do I qualify as a surrogate? 

Most clinics and agencies work with surrogates who are between the ages of 21-45 and although some might consider you even if you’re older than 45, most of them won’t and if they do it would be under the condition that you are in exceptionally good health. 

I'm not a US citizen but I have a green card. Is that a problem? 

As long as you are in the country legally it’s not an issue, but you have to be a resident and not a tourist. You must be eligible for enrolling in health insurance, and your legal status in the US is critical for legal reasons to do with parentage over the future baby.

My partner smokes marijuana regularly and I used to smoke tobacco, but quit a couple of years ago. Can I still qualify as a surrogate?

Many people use medical marijuana plus, recreational use is also legal in several states. Most clinics and agencies won’t disqualify a candidate from being a surrogate if their partner smokes marijuana. But, your partner will have to agree not to smoke near or around you during the pregnancy. 

If you used to smoke tobacco but quit or if you smoke very rarely and not regularly, most agencies and clinics will not disqualify you but obviously, you will not be able to smoke at all during the pregnancy and you will have to show negative nicotine blood work in order to be medically cleared.

I used recreational drugs as a teenager, do I qualify?

As long as you’re not currently using recreational drugs, most clinics and agencies will not consider this a disqualifying factor. 

I don’t have a driver's license, will I have a hard time qualifying as a surrogate?

Transportation is important because you will need to be able to make all your doctor’s appointments on time. That’s why most clinics and agencies require that surrogates have a driver’s license and access to reliable transportation. If you don’t have a license and you meet all the other requirements, you can get your license or arrange for reliable transportation and then apply again.

It is not uncommon for a surrogate to not have a driver’s license and rely on someone to drive her to appointments, such as a spouse, friend or family member. So long as it can be relied on, it’s fine.

I gained weight recently and my BMI is currently 35. Will that disqualify me as a surrogate?

Most clinics and agencies will measure your BMI, which determines whether your weight is healthy for your height. The required BMI varies but is usually between 19 and 32. Still, if your BMI falls within the range of 33-35 and you meet all other requirements, some agencies and clinics may qualify you, but likely you will be asked to lower your BMI prior to transfer.

I suffered from postpartum depression after I gave birth to my first child. Does that mean I can’t become a surrogate? 

Generally speaking, previous postpartum depression is not a disqualifying factor, but that is something the psychologist who evaluates you will need to determine. 

Many surrogates who have a tendency for depression are not disqualified, so long as they’re not currently medicated. This matter is delicate and usually looked at on a case by case basis. The psychological evaluation will be the final deciding factor. So long as you are currently stable, fine and unmedicated, this is usually enough.

During my second pregnancy I had gestational diabetes, can I still become a surrogate?

If your gestational diabetes was under control during the pregnancy, most agencies and clinics will not consider this a disqualifying factor.

I had a gastric reduction operation 3 years ago. Is that a disqualifying factor?

If your BMI is within the required range, most clinics and agencies will not disqualify you for having a gastric reduction operation in the past. 

Can I qualify as a surrogate if I had one miscarriage in the past? 

Most clinics and agencies will qualify surrogates who already had children and no more than 2 miscarriages. And yet, if you had more than 2 miscarriages some providers may still consider you. That will depend mainly on all the other factors taken into consideration during the screening process. 

I had one C-section, can I still become a surrogate?

Most clinics and agencies will qualify surrogates who had no more than 2 cesarean deliveries, but some providers may still consider you even if you had more than 2. That will depend mainly on all the other factors taken into consideration during the screening process. 

I gave birth to six healthy and beautiful babies. Will that increase my chances of qualifying as a surrogate?

Most clinics and agencies may not qualify surrogate candidates who’ve had more than 5 prior pregnancies, which means that surrogacy should be their 6th and final pregnancy. So, if you’ve already had 6 deliveries it's most likely you will not qualify as a surrogate. 

I've been diagnosed with preeclampsia. Can I still qualify as a surrogate?

Unfortunately, preeclampsia is a condition that could be dangerous to you and the baby you carry and if you developed preeclampsia once, you are likely to develop it in future pregnancies as well. For this reason, most clinics and agencies will not qualify surrogates with a history of preeclampsia.

Can I become a surrogate if I’ve been diagnosed with an incompetent cervix?

An incompetent cervix could lead to serious complications during the pregnancy, including miscarriage and premature labor. This is why most clinics and agencies will not be able to work with surrogates who have been diagnosed with this condition.

I’ve had heart surgery in the past, but I am currently in good health. Will I be accepted?

Having had certain surgeries makes you ineligible to be a surrogate, because it can pose a serious risk to your health. Unfortunately, a history of heart surgery is one of them. Remember - the surrogate’s health always comes first and agencies and clinics will never jeopardize it. 


Feel like you could qualify as a surrogate?

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