Reproductive History Requirements for Gestational Surrogates
Gestational surrogacy is a selfless act, enabling the health-challenged or those in the LGBTQ+ community to realize their family goals. It’s also an increasingly popular option for would-be parents – between 1999 and 2013, about 18,400 infants were born in the United States via a gestational surrogate. But the process of becoming a surrogate is strict, and your reproductive history is key to your eligibility.
For example, having carried and delivered a successful pregnancy is an essential, and typically, legal requirement. Your emotional health during and after pregnancy also plays an important role. These guidelines exist for the safety and well-being of all participating parties.
Why Are There Reproductive History Requirements for Surrogacy Eligibility?
With gestational surrogacy, a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or individual, also known as the intended parents. However, she does not have any biological connection to the child. This option is much more common than traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate is biologically related to the baby she’s carrying.
Many intended parents have already devoted a great deal of time and resources to their growing family efforts before considering surrogacy. While nothing is certain, they’ve turned to this process to increase their chance of a successful pregnancy and birth. The likelihood of having a safe experience is significantly higher for women who have successfully carried and delivered children without complications than for someone who has never experienced them. Therefore, having access to your reproductive health history allows intended parents and agencies to better identify any potential health problems for you or the baby.
What Reproductive Health Requirements Should Potential Surrogates Consider?
According to health experts, an ideal gestational carrier is a healthy person who has met the following reproductive health requirements:
- You have had at least one, but no more than five pregnancies and full-term deliveries without pregnancy complications.
- You may not qualify if you’ve experienced complications, as they may occur again, potentially endangering you and your baby’s health and safety.
- You haven’t had more than three C-Section deliveries.
It’s also important that you have raised a child that you’ve given birth to. This shows that you can provide a safe, stable family environment with adequate emotional support to help with the added stress of a surrogate pregnancy.
Emotional Health Is Vital During Pregnancy
Another important aspect of your reproductive history is what your emotional state was like during and after your past pregnancies. All types of pregnancy can cause a wide range of challenging emotions, and surrogacy is no different. Plus, there can also be additional stresses associated with carrying a child for someone else. But women who have previously carried and given birth to their own child(ren) are more familiar with any emotional ups and downs and are far more likely to be able to handle them better. In most cases, they’re also less likely to experience attachment issues with the baby.
Women who have previously carried and delivered a baby may also better navigate hormonal changes and other emotional challenges. While not all women enjoy being pregnant, the agency and intended parents will want to know if you experienced any postpartum depression or related issues, and if so, how you dealt with them.
Learn More About Gestational Surrogacy
If you want to pursue the path of gestational surrogacy and aren’t sure about your eligibility, we encourage you to contact us at Fertility Source Companies with any questions or concerns you have.