Why Surrogate Mother Prerequisites Are Enforced
So you're thinking of becoming a surrogate mother? We applaud your commitment to helping others realize their dreams of adding to their families. It's a rewarding experience, and many of our surrogate mothers choose to be surrogates time and time again.
However, at the Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc., or CSP, we have a list of prerequisites that we strictly enforce for the protection of our surrogate mothers, our intended parents, and their babies.
In this post, we'll outline some of our prerequisites for becoming a surrogate mother with CSP as well as some of the reasons we adhere to these rules.
CSP requires our surrogate mothers to be between the ages of 21 and 42 years of age. Many surrogacy agencies, including CSP, require a minimum age of 21 because becoming a surrogate requires a certain level of mental maturity. That's not to say that women under the age of 21 aren't mature, but the minimum age limit helps ensure the surrogate is prepared for some of the mental challenges. The upper end of the age range ensures that our surrogates are of childbearing age.
It takes a very special woman to give a child she carries to another family. This is one reason we ask that our surrogates already have at least one child of their own that they are raising. We want our surrogates to recognize the amazing gift they're giving someone else and to fully understand what they're getting into.
For the health of our surrogate mothers and for the health of the babies they carry, CSP has a few health requirements for surrogate mothers. First, we ask that our surrogates be non-smokers and anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication-free for at least a year, under the guidance of a doctor. Finally, we ask that our surrogates maintain a healthy body weight prior to pregnancy. That's a BMI of 31 or less.
CSP carefully screens our surrogate mothers as well as our intended parents. Surrogates receive a thorough medical screening before being accepted. The first step of this process requires your prenatal and delivery records from all of your pregnancies. We'll also ask you to begin keeping careful records of your menstrual cycle. You and your partner will be tested for a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and we'll conduct a drug screening. Our surrogates also will need a basic PAP test, several other blood tests, and a uterine screening.
Our surrogates can rest easy in the knowledge that we also screen intended parents for health considerations. If you'll be carrying a donor egg, the donor is carefully screened to ensure the health of all parties involved.
It's critical that surrogate mothers offer their services for the right reasons. This is one reason CSP requires our surrogates to be financially stable and not receiving any government assistance. While surrogate mothers are financially compensated, CSP's surrogate mothers are providing a labor of love.
CSP's surrogate mothers have a built-in support system through the services CSP provides. They have counselors and professional assistance at every step along the way—from the initial application, to selecting intended parents to partner with, throughout gestation to the day our mothers deliver their gift to new parents. As soon as potential surrogates submit an application to CSP, they are paired with a counselor who helps guide them through the process. Joining a surrogate support group is also a requirement of CSP's process. However, we ask that our surrogate mothers have the support of their families as they embark on this process. Your husband or partner should be on board with your decision to become a surrogate, and it's also important that your own children understand that you're helping another family have a baby.
Our surrogate mothers aren't the only ones with prerequisites. Our surrogates choose the families they'll assist. Once you're approved to act as a surrogate through CSP, our staff will present you with intended families to consider. Your screening process of intended parents is just as critical to the process as our screening of you. We recognize that you're giving our intended parents an incredible gift. Once you've narrowed down your choices, you'll meet with intended parents via Skype or in person to make certain it's a match! Finally, our surrogates work with an independent attorney to ensure the legal contracts account for our surrogates' needs.
At CSP, we delight in helping create families, and we can't do it without the help of compassionate surrogate mothers. Our careful screening and matching process is in place to ensure the health and happiness of everyone involved.