What Can Stop Me From Being a Surrogate?

By: Bree

Becoming a surrogate can be a such a rewarding where you can help wonderful people build their family. Unfortunately, you can’t just wake up one morning and decide to become one and there are a number of necessary steps that need to take place for your benefit and the future family you may be carrying for. It may seem like a long process to get approved but it’s there for good reason. Below are some good examples of what can disqualify you from becoming a surrogate and why.

No Previous Pregnancies: Yes, having had a child is a requirement to become a surrogate. Additionally, it needs to have been a healthy pregnancy. Every mother knows how tough it is to carry a baby. You can be the healthiest person in the world and end up having a horrible pregnancy. There are many things that can happen during pregnancy that are completely out of your control. Some women can develop complications like gestational diabetes which if not taken seriously can affect the baby. Hyperemesis is another example of a complication; it is truly debilitating and can even require hospital stay. Even with a good pregnancy there is still a physical and emotional toll to your body. Having a baby means that you know what to expect and that you are ready for the upcoming challenges. Someone with no experience can’t know firsthand the complications of carrying and delivering a baby until they go through it themselves. Every pregnancy is different but a history of good pregnancies instills trust and confidence in the process, works to ensure the safety of the surrogates themselves, and gives the intended parents peace of mind.

No More Than 3 Deliveries Via C-Section: Having a C-Section does not disqualify you from being a surrogate, but when you have had multiple C-Sections you have a greater risk of heavy bleeding. This risk can lead to blood transfusions and infection. One might also be concerned with the danger associated with placenta accreta (when the placenta plants itself along the C-Section scar) or might raise your chance of developing placenta previa (when the placents covers the opening of the cervix making it so there is no option for vaginal delivery). While it is true that there are many women out there wanting to be a surrogate after having multiple C-Sections, the risk that associated is not something that can be justified.

BMI Less Than 34: Being over or underweight poses many threats to you and the baby. A high BMI can lead to gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, and C-Sections. Gestational diabetes can lead to future diabetes in both the surrogate and the child, can cause excessive weight gain in the baby, and preterm delivery. Pre-eclampsia is especially scary as it puts stress on your organs (particularly your liver) and can affect the blood supply going to the placenta. Staying active before and during the pregnancy is good for the baby and for you, and is especially important when it comes time to deliver. You want to make sure you are providing the best home for this baby and your healthy choice provides the baby with a wonderful jumpstart.

Smoke, Alcohol, And Drug Abuse: This should be a given. Under no circumstance should a woman be abusing drugs, alcohol, or smoking before or during the pregnancy. Doing any of the above could cause brain, lung, heart damage, growth problems, mental disability, birth defects, and miscarriage. As a surrogate, it is your job to take care of the unborn baby and you can’t do that while abusing substances.

Emotional Support: A happy and healthy environment is a must for your emotional wellbeing during your journey. You need to make sure that you have a very strong support system. During the screening process, you will have a meeting with a social worker and where a conversation will be had with all of the adults residing in your home. This process is just to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that they understand the gravity of the situation when it comes to surrogacy. In some cases, where there is a chance of bed rest during the journey, having that support for yourself and your own kids is especially important. To be clear, support does not negate single parenthood. You can absolutely be a single mother and be a surrogate, but if something happens to you, you need to have somebody you can count on to keep your household going.

Mental Health: Unfortunately, if you are on anti-depressants you cannot be a surrogate. You have to have had at least 6 months off of that medication before you can be considered. In general, pregnancy is difficult for most people and the decision to carry for another person serious, special, and incredible personal. The gravity and complexity of this decision ensures that mental health must be taken seriously during the screening process. During this time, you will either meet with a social worker or have your psych evaluation done at the fertility clinic. Those results will either make or break your surrogacy journey. Additionally, you must consider how and if you will handle the emotions of having life inside of you and then giving that baby to its parents. During my first journey, I knew I was done having kids of my own so being pregnant for someone else was completely fine for me. I had no wants or yearning for a baby. That is very important. Emotions run high during pregnancy so making sure you have the mental capacity to take on surrogacy is imperative.

When you become a surrogate you are the vessel that will change the lives of the family you are going to carry for. This is no small task, but in my own experience it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Surrogacy is one of the most selfless acts a person can provide for someone else, but the seriousness of the practice requires careful consideration, relfection, and safety measures. For me, surrogacy has opened doors that I never could have imagined. It’s helped me do things for my family that I have always dreamed of doing, but I had to make sure I was meeting all of the necessary requirements to do it. In the end, you owe it to yourself to be the best you can be in this beautiful journey of surrogacy for your own safety and for the intended parents looking to build their families.