Requirements to be a surrogate
As a luxury fertility and surrogacy agency, we aim to find you the best parent or parents who need your help. Wait times for a match may be two to three months. All women accepted into IMA ART Fertility’s luxury surrogacy program meet the following critical pre-screening requirements and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines to help ensure a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy.
There are physical, psychological and demographic requirements to be a surrogate
Physical Health Requirements
The Fertility Clinic and your OB/GYN will be asked to conduct a medical screening to ensure you meet the physical requirements to be a surrogate. This screening process is for your safety and the safety of the child.
The physical health of the surrogate mother is of utmost importance in determining the pregnancy outcome. The following are general guidelines and requirements for becoming a surrogate. However, the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) clinic where embryo transfer and implantation happens will make the final decision based on several factors and your medical history.
Here are some of the health and medical requirements you will need to meet:
Be within the 21-37 age range when you apply.
However, IMA ART Fertility adheres to ASRM guidelines that may allow a surrogate to be older during implantation.
No history of reproductive problems or STDs.
Have had at least one previous healthy pregnancy and delivery. No more than five prior pregnancies.
This is a general rule. However, the Fertility Clinic will make the final decision on a case-by-case basis. They will also take into account the number of cesarean sections a potential surrogate has had. If you’ve had more than three C-sections, you will be outside the surrogate qualifications set by the ASRM.
All prior pregnancies were full-term and free of complications.
To be a surrogate, you must have no history of delivering earlier than 35 weeks and no delivery of a multiple pregnancy earlier than 32 weeks. Generally speaking, your prior pregnancies are good predictors of the outcome of your future surrogate pregnancy.
Normal height/weight ratio BMI (Body Mass Index BMI of 30 or less) .
A high or low BMI significantly increases the risk of pregnancy complications, such as preterm delivery, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
No previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the past but were able to manage it solely with dietary restrictions, you might meet IMA ART surrogate mother requirements. However, if medications were prescribed to manage your diabetes, you do not meet our surrogate requirements.
No history of hypertension, IUGR or preeclampsia in previous pregnancies.
Having a history of hypertension, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) or preterm labor disqualifies you from being a gestational carrier. This is because of the increased risk of having preeclampsia as a surrogate mother, which comes with risks to you and the baby.
No previous diagnosis of psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder, major depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, or some anxiety disorders. In addition, a surrogate applicant must not be currently using or dependent on any psychiatric medications, including all antidepressants.
A surrogate candidate must not have been taking antidepressants for at least 3 to 6 months before medical and psychological screening (this varies depending on the IVF clinic). The prescriber must have approved discontinuation of any antidepressants.
Stable healthy lifestyle. No previous drug or alcohol abuse.
A history of drugs or alcohol disqualifies you from being a candidate for both traditional and gestational surrogacy. These substances can have adverse outcomes and can result in pregnancy complications.
Willing to be immunized if requested by physician or Intended Parents.
IVF Clinic may require vaccination for surrogate candidates against diseases (such as COVID-19 and other diseases per CDC, ACOG and ASRM) and Intended Parents may include the requirement of the vaccination of surrogate in their contracts.
In the event that one embryo splits into two, the applicant must agree to carry a twin pregnancy.
While it’s standard to transfer only one embryo, it’s possible that the embryo could divide in the womb and result in multiple babies. In the event this happens, the surrogacy candidate must agree to carry both babies to term.
Willing to terminate the pregnancy if medical professionals detect a condition that would eliminate a chance for the desired quality of life.
The intended mother or father may have preferences regarding terminating a pregnancy in case of a prenatal diagnosis of certain fetal anomalies. This may include a Down syndrome or similar diagnosis.
We prioritize matches with parents who feel similarly on these sensitive topics as you do. Our legal contract specifies that intended parents will get to make the final decision in the case of a prenatal diagnosis of a congenital disability. We do our best to match surrogates and parents who’ll understand each other’s decisions.
Psychological Health Requirements
One of the criteria of becoming a surrogate is to be psychologically healthy. A psychologic evaluation and implication counseling by our Clinical Psychologist PhD experienced in surrogate evaluations is required.
As you know, multiple doctor visits, hormonal changes and emotional imbalances are often associated with pregnancy. In addition to carrying on with your own life and raising your child, you may also develop a personal and intimate relationship with the intended parents of the baby you are carrying.
Because of how demanding the surrogacy process can be, we provide all our surrogates with regular mental health support. During the pregnancy (also before embryo implantation), our clinical psychologist will check in with you monthly to see how you’re doing. The details you share will be confidential. We prioritize the mental health of our surrogate mothers through a thorough psychological evaluation.
It takes a courageous woman with an incredible spirit and generous heart to choose to carry a baby for someone else — we want to ensure you have a great support system and feel fulfilled on your surrogacy journey.
While we consider medical records and screenings by mental health professionals in our surrogate selection process, we also include social factors in our surrogacy requirements.
Here are some of the social factors our surrogacy professionals assess when considering a surrogate application:
U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder
Financial stability and credit check
Surrogates who are receiving food stamps or are on Medicaid health insurance will not be accepted into our surrogacy program. Surrogates carrying large debts or outstanding loans will also not be accepted into the program.
Surrogate candidates are not required to have their own health insurance policy. Many existing health insurance policies exclude maternity care for a traditional or gestational surrogate.
Reside in a surrogacy-friendly state
Surrogates living in a state where surrogate compensation, including commercial surrogacy, is prohibited will not be accepted into our surrogacy program. Also, surrogates should be US citizens or legal permanent residents. Visit our US Surrogacy Map for details about your state.
Have no criminal record
Surrogacy laws in California prohibit individuals with a criminal record or felony from being surrogates. One of our top priorities is ensuring we have the perfect candidates for surrogate pregnancy.