Surrogacy Requirements

If you’ve had a feeling that you want to help a couple become parents through surrogacy, your first questions might be, “Who can be a surrogate in Maryland/Virginia/D.C.? What are the requirements to become a surrogate mother?”

The requirements for surrogacy will vary depending on the type of surrogacy that you choose to pursue and the surrogacy professionals that you choose to work with. So, while the criteria to be a surrogate listed below tend to be the standard, it’s not wholly-encompassing of every professional’s requirements for potential surrogates.

Contact us if you have questions about surrogacy requirements or if you think that you meet the qualifications to be a surrogate in the District of Columbia, Virginia or Maryland and you’d like us to represent you in your surrogacy journey.

Basic Requirements

To become a surrogate, you will need to provide certain information about yourself, your medical and personal history including past pregnancies, insurance information and more.

Your surrogacy professional or fertility clinic can typically determine whether or not you meet the requirements to become a surrogate mother in VA, MD or D.C. from this initial information. While the specifics may vary somewhat based on the professional you work with, gestational carriers must usually meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 21 and 42 years of age
  • Have had at least one child of her own
  • Be financially stable: no food stamps or similar assistance
  • Have support from her family and others close to her for the decision to be a gestational surrogate
  • Enjoy being pregnant and have had healthy, normal pregnancies and deliveries in the past
  • Have no serious medical problems
  • Have had no pre-term deliveries before 36 weeks, unless she delivered multiples
  • Be a non-smoker
  • Not use illegal substances
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 35 (may need to be lower in particular IVF centers) (learn your BMI)
  • Be a resident of a surrogacy-friendly state 
  • Have reliable transportation and be willing to travel, if necessary, for screening, matching with intended parents, and medical testing
  • Be willing to undergo medical and psychological evaluations, and any spouse/significant other should be willing to undergo the same
  • Have no criminal history
  • Have a desire to help others create a family

Surrogate Screening Process

If you meet those requirements, then you may be a good candidate for surrogacy. You’ll next be required to complete:

  • State and federal criminal background checks
  • Financial screenings to ensure that you can support yourself without relying on potential surrogacy compensation
  • Psychosocial evaluations to make sure that you and your partner (if applicable) are mentally and emotionally prepared for the surrogacy process
  • Health evaluations to make sure that you’re physically well enough to handle fertility treatments and pregnancy

Most surrogacy programs will coordinate with the appropriate medical professionals to complete the health screening components and complete the rest of the screening process themselves. Some parts of the screening process might take place before you’re matched with intended parents, while other parts might take place after. This can vary depending on the surrogacy professional that you work with.

If you’re seeking intended parents independently without the use of a program or matching professional, you will likely work with the intended parents to complete the screening process once you’ve found each other.

Have questions about the requirements for surrogate mothers in MD, D.C. and VA? Call us now.

Why Surrogates Are Screened

It may seem like what is required to be a surrogate mother is fairly strict, and the surrogacy requirements in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland can seem difficult to meet. But this is to protect everyone involved, including you.

For example, the age restrictions for surrogacy exist to ensure that a woman is within an age range best-suited to physically support a healthy pregnancy. Surrogates are also required to have previously had successful healthy pregnancies and deliveries; this is to limit the likelihood of medical problems for both the surrogate and the baby she carries, and it also prepares you physically, mentally and emotionally for the process of pregnancy and birth. BMI requirements for surrogates exist to ensure that there is less strain placed on your reproductive and vital organs while you undergo the fertility treatments and surrogacy process.

All of these requirements for surrogates exist for very important reasons — most importantly, to protect you. These requirements also protect everyone involved, physically, financially and legally, and are designed to minimize any potential for risk to the surrogate, the intended parents or the baby.

Potential surrogates need to be prepared for a mentally, physically and emotionally difficult, albeit rewarding, process that lasts about a year. The gestational surrogate mother requirements are set in place to ensure that your body, heart and mind are ready for that process.

Intended parents are also carefully screened and must meet a number of requirements to make sure they’re prepared for the surrogacy process and ready to raise a child.

When searching for one another, prospective surrogates and intended parents both want to be sure that the other is as committed to the surrogacy process as they are, and that they can rely on each other throughout their shared surrogacy journey.

“Can I Be a Surrogate Mother in Maryland/Virginia/the District of Columbia?”

For many women, the desire to carry a baby for someone else and offer that family a priceless gift has been a long-term goal. To find out if you meet the requirements for surrogacy in Washington D.C., Virginia or Maryland, contact us now.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax