One of the biggest questions that prospective gestational surrogates ask is, “What are the age requirements for becoming a surrogate mother?” If you’re also asking this question, you’ve come to the right place.

Not every woman can become a surrogate, and there’s a reason for that. Surrogacy can be a complicated process that comes with certain risks, so it’s important that a prospective carrier is prepared for the challenges and rewards ahead of her. Some of these aspects are heavily influenced by her personal characteristics, including her age. Therefore, surrogacy professionals set certain age restrictions for surrogacy — to protect the health of the surrogate and the interests of her intended parents.

At Southern Surrogacy, our professionals are dedicated to ensuring your safety and well-being during the surrogacy process. To do so, we also set surrogate mother age requirements for women interested in our surrogacy program.

In order to become a surrogate with Southern Surrogacy, you must be at least 21 years old.

To learn more about our program’s surrogacy age requirements and other medical requirements, we encourage you to contact our professionals at 855-787-2229. In the meantime, you can read more about surrogate mother age requirements (and why they’re necessary) below.

How Old Do You Have To Be to Be a Surrogate Mother?

Many people ask, “What is the minimum age to be a surrogate mother?” They may be surprised to learn that, even though a woman is technically an adult at age 18, she is not eligible to become a surrogate until she turns 21.

This is a standard that many surrogacy professionals hold. In fact, it’s a recommendation from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. There are a few reasons a woman must be 21 years old before becoming a surrogate, but most of them have to do with physical and emotional maturity.

First, a prospective surrogate must be medically able to carry a pregnancy to term safely. Therefore, surrogates must have already successfully given birth to one child and adjusted to that change in their life prior to starting the surrogacy journey. Waiting until the age of 21 allows a woman to let her body mature and let her brain develop more fully before making a decision that will impact the rest of her life (as well as gives her a chance to have a child and complete her family).

Surrogacy is a big commitment to make, and it’s important that a prospective surrogate have the capacity to understand the potential risks and complications of the process ahead of her. In many cases, young adults are still impulsive, so surrogacy professionals restrict a person’s ability to consent to these risks in a similar way that the United States prohibits those under the age of 21 from drinking alcohol (and assuming the inherent risks).

Keep in mind: Certain state laws across the U.S. mimic the ASRM guidelines, requiring gestational surrogates to meet this minimum surrogate mother age before moving forward. In these cases, the legal age to be a surrogate mother is 21 — no exceptions.

If you’re asking, “How old do I have to be to become a surrogate?” remember that 21 is the magic number — but the decision should be based more on your emotional preparedness than anything else. The specialists at Southern Surrogacy are always here to help when it comes to this important decision.

Why Is Teen Surrogacy Prohibited?

It’s not uncommon for younger women to ask, “Can I be a teen surrogate?” or “Can I be a surrogate at 18?”

Southern Surrogacy and other surrogacy professionals recognize that a young woman is legally an adult at this age, capable of making her own decisions. But, for the reasons mentioned above, you cannot be a surrogate at 18, 19, 20 or any younger age.

First, you must have successfully given birth to (and be raising) a child of your own before you can become a surrogate. It’s also recommended that you have completed your family, because, while it’s extremely rare, being a surrogate carries the risk of losing your reproductive abilities. Many young women considering a teen surrogacy in the South do not meet these requirements. To protect these young women, surrogacy professionals set age restrictions for surrogacy prohibiting teenagers from serving as carriers.

If you’re thinking, “I’m 18 and I want to be a surrogate,” you’re on the first step to your surrogacy journey. You can certainly still become a gestational carrier — only later in your life. There’s no rush; Southern Surrogacy will be there to help you when you meet all necessary surrogacy requirements.

What is the Age Limit to Be a Surrogate Mother?

On the other end of the spectrum, older women who have already completed their families and wish to help other parents often ask us, “How old can you be to be a surrogate mother?” They may have seen stories about grandmothers carrying for their daughters or sons, and they might wish to do the same as an older woman.

There’s no easy answer to how old a surrogate can be. In many cases, it will depend upon the prospective surrogate’s health and her ability to carry a pregnancy to term successfully. While there have been circumstances in which older, postmenopausal women have carried children for intended parents, it is not an ideal situation.

Many surrogacy professionals abide by the recommendations from the ASRM, which state that a gestational surrogate should be no older than 45 years. These recommendations do note that while a surrogate older than 45 may be used in certain situations, “all parties involved must be informed about the potential risks of pregnancy with advancing maternal age.”

If you’re wondering about age limits for surrogate parents in the South, it’s best that you contact our surrogacy program for more information. Our professionals will talk with you at length about your personal situation and your medical history to help you and your medical professional determine whether the surrogate age limit applies to you. To learn more today, please call 855-785-2229.