What are the rules for being a surrogate?

You’ve likely come across an overwhelming amount of information as you look into the possibility of becoming a gestational carrier. If you’re like most people, that’s left you with a lot of questions.

  • How does the process actually work?
  • What will it really feel like to be a surrogate?
  • How can I understand (and minimize) the risks of surrogacy?

We’ve created guides to each of these topics to help you, because we believe that a well-informed surrogacy decision is always the best one. That’s also why we’ve created this guide to answer a question that nearly all women considering surrogacy have:

Why are there so many rules for being a surrogate mother?

Surrogate Rules

If you’ve looked at several surrogacy programs’ websites, then you’ve probably come across pages like this one. The initial reaction most women have to reading a list of surrogate rules and qualifications is fear, apprehension and even a little anger.

You’re interested in doing this incredible, courageous thing for intended parents, and then you come across the list of rules about being a surrogate that seems restrictive or, even, exclusionary. Why? What’s the point?

While we understand that frustration, we want to explain how the rules for being a surrogate mother exist to protect and support everyone involved in the process — the intended parents, the gestational carrier, and the surrogacy program.

Rules for Being a Surrogate Mother vs. Gestational Carrier

Throughout this article, you may notice that we use multiple terms to refer to the same thing. “Gestational carrier” and “surrogate” are the best terms for this process. However, “surrogate mother” is arguably the most common.

While “surrogate mother” is misleading — the gestational carrier is never the “mother” — it is how most people refer to the process. In an effort to be accessible to everyone, we may use all three terms here.

Coming Up with the Guidelines to be a Surrogate Mother

Age requirements, background checks, medical screenings, BMI targets — you might be wondering who comes up with all of these rules about being a surrogate, and whether or not they are really fair.

We want to assure you that requirements for surrogacy are never intended to be exclusionary. In fact, they exist to protect you.

The surrogacy process can be challenging, and it’s important that we do everything possible to ensure that you are truly ready for those challenges before beginning the process. That’s why the rules for being a surrogate exist, and why you will find very similar requirements across the board with multiple surrogacy programs.

Each program comes up with its own surrogate rules. However, they are developed based on a common understanding of medical data and experience with the surrogacy process.

Southern Surrogacy’s requirements were created based on these two factors, but they were also developed by people with a deep sense of empathy for your experience as a potential gestational carrier. While reading the rules for being a surrogate mother may feel cold or detached, the process of creating them was anything but.

Our surrogacy professionals take a personal approach to the process, and that extends to coming up with our qualifications and rules for being a surrogate.

How Surrogate Rules Benefit Everyone

Surrogacy requirements protect and benefit everyone involved in this process. That’s the reason rules for becoming a surrogate are so important (even if they are also a bit frustrating).

Setting reliable surrogate rules allows everyone to move forward with confidence in the process. It’s one of the many ways we work to minimize risks. As you’ll see below, the benefits to this are distinct and important for each party involved in the process:

How Surrogate Rules Benefit Gestational Carriers

The rules for becoming a surrogate mother exist to protect you. That’s our top priority when you decide to work with Southern Surrogacy as your surrogacy program.

Becoming a gestational carrier has all of the same risks of any other pregnancy, as well as some additional risks associated with the embryo transfer process. When you are thinking about becoming a surrogate, it’s important to make sure you meeting all of the rules for becoming a surrogate to ensure you can safely complete the process.

The medical requirements for surrogates, for example, were developed based on years of observing successful embryo transfers and pregnancies. Based on that data, we know what type of qualifications ensure the best chances for a complication-free pregnancy.

Similarly, the psychological evaluation is intended to prepare you and your family for the ups and downs of the process. It will help you understand the responsibilities of the process and identify potential triggers for stress.

For these reasons, the rules for becoming a surrogate benefit you, protect you and prepare you for success.

How Surrogate Rules Benefit Intended Parents

Intended parents often come to this process after a long, painful and expensive struggle with infertility. They stake not only their future dreams, but also a significant amount of their finances in the surrogacy process. Intended parents are wonderful people who want nothing more than to become parents, and they deserve to feel secure in their journey.

This is why rules for becoming a surrogate are so important. These requirements for gestational carriers ensure that intended parents have the best opportunity to experience a successful process in what could be their last, best chance at starting a family.

Medical screening gives intended parents more confidence in a successful embryo transfer, and the psychological evaluation helps put their minds at ease about accepting a match.

Of course, intended parents have their own screening requirements, too. Before accepting any intended parents into our program, they must meet their own surrogacy rules and requirements so that you, as a gestational carrier, can be confident in the intended parents’ ability to uphold their end of the contract.

How Surrogate Rules Benefit Surrogacy Programs

Southern Surrogacy is committed to offering a different kind of surrogacy program — one that takes a personal approach, is regionally based, provides second-to-none legal services and always inspires confidence in our clients. We can only do this because of our rules for becoming a surrogate.

With the confidence that our surrogate rules will set you up for success as a gestational carrier, we are able to avoid surprising legal or emotional challenges, follow the surrogacy laws in your state, provide the exact type of surrogacy services you need and help you complete a successful surrogacy process.

Our Rules for Being a Surrogate

Are you interested in learning more about our surrogacy program? The first step is to take a look at our requirements and rules for becoming a surrogate.

In order to be a gestational carrier with our program, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a previous healthy pregnancy
  • Be raising your own child in your home
  • Be smoke- and drug-free
  • Have a healthy BMI
  • Be able to travel for surrogacy appointments
  • Live in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee or Alabama

If you check all the boxes on this initial list of surrogate rules, then you will also complete a medical background check and psychological evaluation. This will entail:

  • Submitting medical and insurance documents
  • Meeting with one of our professionals in person
  • Undergoing an online background check
  • Completing an in-home visit

Your surrogacy professional will ensure you understand these steps before they are taken, and he or she will be there to answer any questions you have along the way.

If you feel confident in your ability to meet these rules for becoming a surrogate, then the beginning of your journey is only a few clicks away.

Contact Us Today

You can start by taking a few minutes to fill out our Information Request Form. This will give our team a clear understanding of whether or not our program is best suited to meet your needs.