Being a surrogate is a vital and life-changing decision because this is a commitment you not only give it to the intended parents but also yourself that you will deliver a healthy child for an infertile couple. The surrogacy journey has lots of physical and mental challenges. Therefore, strong determination, mental and physical well being, healthy lifestyle, and many more aspects are considered before selecting any surrogate. If any female wants to be a surrogate then she should pass the screening test according to the medical and legal requirement for surrogacy.
Requirements for being a surrogate
It is always advisable to consult with a surrogacy professional to know the detailed requirement to become a surrogate. A surrogacy professional helps to guide you the initial requirement for a prospective surrogate mother. Surrogacy agency has a particular requirement of qualification and also screening requirements. However, the requirement of different surrogacy agency varies which is premeditated, based on some fundamentals. Following are some basic requirements for every surrogate:
• Usually, the age range considered for surrogacy lies in between 21- 45 years. However, some agency strictly considers younger surrogates, while some prefer older aged females.
• The ideal BMI to become a surrogate should have a BMI less than or equal to 30. An obese female cannot be a surrogate.
• No smoking or drug addiction history
• No governmental association
• Previous successful delivery history
• Not more than 3 cesarean deliveries or five vaginal births history
• Current status and age of child or children at surrogate’s home
• No previous history of pregnancy-related major complication
• No crime history
• No sexual transmitting disease history for at least one year time period.
• No previous record of postpartum depression
• No antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications history for at least one year time period
• At least one year gap should be present between last tattoo or piercing and beginning of surrogacy
• If required agree to travel for appointments
• Have a steady lifestyle and support system
Before one should be started medical and legal activities in the surrogacy process, the interested candidate must fill up the application form of a specific surrogacy agency. Then surrogacy professionals cross-examine all the details by direct interviewing her. The initial physical examination is also conducted for safety reasons, then medical screening and legal activities will start.
During the medical screening, physical and mental health check-up is conducted, as the overall health of a surrogate is the utmost requirement in the surrogacy process. Series of blood tests and some medical imaging tests are done to confirm the physical capability of a surrogate to continue for the surrogacy process. In addition to medical screening, the opportunistic candidate also requires to perform a psychological screening test, as the emotional and psychological status of a surrogate is also a considerable requirement in surrogacy. Both, physical and mental well-being can only support to accept the body all fertility treatment, embryo transfer, carrying the off-spring for the whole gestational period, deliver a child after completion of full term and gifted to intended parents.
Surrogacy planning is very critical and surrogacy professional helps to outline the objective and requirements for individual surrogacy planning. Surrogacy plan will guide and become the necessary requirements of surrogacy. Then, the matching process starts with prospective intended parents. After perfect matching, the legal process and fertility treatment will start.
The legal requirement is another important requirement of surrogacy and before pursuing surrogacy, the surrogate should accomplish all the legal requirements. The legal agreement made between surrogate and intended parents depends upon the relationship present between them and the type of surrogacy opted. All obligation and rights of the surrogate are clearly mentioned in the surrogacy process. The included legal aspects are as follows:
• The responsibility of a surrogate
• Possible risks related to surrogacy
• Relinquishment of the child
• Anything specific depending upon the particular circumstances
The surrogacy law differs from country to country, and state to state. Surrogate should contact experienced legal professionals to take care of all the rights of the surrogate.
After completion of all the preliminary requirements, surrogate need to decide the type of surrogacy (traditional/ gestational) she prefers, taking support from the surrogacy agency, who can help to provide a detailed understanding of surrogacy and help in right decision making.
Ravi Sharma is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). And a successful pharmacist and a marketer. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate (B. Pharm) and M.B.A (marketing).