Typical Surrogate Mother Profile
Throughout history, motherhood has played a significant role in the world, but that role is constantly changing and evolving. The lines that once defined the steps to becoming a parent have blurred. Today, a healthy woman whose body supports pregnancy and childbirth can help others-an infertile couple, a single person, or a same sex couple
-experience the joys of having a child who shares the DNA of at least one of their parents.
The ability to conceive and deliver a healthy baby is not possible for all individuals. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 1 million married women in the U.S. are unable to get pregnant after 12 months of trying, without using any type of birth control. Couples spend thousands and thousands of dollars to conceive a child, but are still unable to either become pregnant or carry a child to term. Additionally, there are more and more same sex couples and single people seeking ways to start and build their families as well. Surrogacy has proven to be a successful and life-changing option for any individual or couple who wish to experience parenthood.
There are many surrogate mother requirements a woman should possess in addition to being willing, healthy, and able-bodied. We've successfully helped bring surrogate mothers and intended parents together for 36 years, and we are experienced in determining if a potential surrogate is physically and psychologically able to handle the emotional and physical demands the process requires.
Here are some of the traits we've found in the surrogate mothers who have worked with us through the years:
- Between the ages of 24 and 40 years of age
- 80% are married
- 80% work outside of the home
- 2-3 children of their own
- 20% have been a surrogate before
- Psychologically healthy, with no history of mental illness or disorders
- Good fertility and pregnancy history
- A nurturing, patient, resilient, thoughtful, empathetic generous personality
- Family oriented
- Want to make a difference and do something important and special
- Good mothers
- All-American typical working families
Based on our years of experience, we have identified the three basic surrogate mother requirements which must be met before a candidate can begin the screening phase of our program:
- Must be between the ages of 21-42 years old. A surrogate mother younger than 21 years of age may not have the maturity to deal with and understand the intricacies of surrogate parenting and the effect her decision may have on her own children. The upper age limit is based solely on medical considerations, and the link between age and high risk pregnancies.
- Must have a child of her own. Only someone who has gone through a pregnancy, felt a child move, and given birth can understand "bonding" and know if she can become a surrogate mother and relinquish the child to the intended parents. In addition to having given birth, we require that she must be actively raising her child. We believe that only a woman who has experience in parenting a child, understands what it takes to be a parent, and can be a surrogate mother. She understands that just as she does not want someone involved in raising her child, her couple needs to be left alone to raise their child. A woman who gave her child up for adoption, and has not been active in raising a child, may not understand the dynamics of parenting.
- Must be financially secure. Since money should not be a major motivating factor in deciding to become a surrogate mother, anyone on welfare or receiving state assistance, is excluded from our program. (On occasion a surrogate mother who goes back to college for further education and receives state assistance, will be considered for participation in our program.)
For those who might be considering the role of a surrogate mother, support from your immediate family is a crucial part of the surrogate mother requirements that we seek. For a woman who is married and has her own children, your decision to become a surrogate mother should be a decision shared with family members. Your children should understand that your pregnancy is to help another family have a child, and the baby you are carrying is not their brother or sister. If you have a partner or husband, they, too, must be a willing participant in the surrogacy, able to understand the importance of your commitment, and be prepared to help you through the process.
At the Center for Surrogate Parenting, we understand that you will have questions along the way, and we are a part of the surrogacy arrangement. We offer guidance from the beginning, helping you to choose the intended parents you feel you would like to work with, and supporting you from the initial screening process, through the gestational period, to the day you deliver your gift to the intended parents. Counselors are with you every step of the way.
Although there is financial compensation for surrogates, it should never be the reason behind a potential surrogacy arrangement. Legitimate surrogacy agencies like CSP ask, as part of our surrogate mother requirements, that the women who wish to become surrogate mothers be employed, or that their partner or husband be employed, and that they are not receiving some type of financial government assistance. Women whose income is below poverty level will not be accepted as surrogates.
Children should never be a commodity, and ethical surrogacy is our goal. The decision to carry another family's child through a pregnancy and birth is a decision of the heart, not the wallet. All financial arrangements are in writing and clearly understood by the surrogate mother and the intended parents, and overseen by independent legal counsel associated with CSP.
It is important to remember that surrogacy is a process, one that seeks to protect everyone involved. As a potential surrogate mother, you will undergo a variety of evaluations-psychological, medical, and legal. The process can sometimes seem lengthy and intense, but it is necessary, not only for the future of the child, but for the intended parents, the surrogate, and her family as well. Feeling comfortable in a pregnancy that is not entirely your own and openly sharing the experience with the intended parents is also an expected part of the relationship. There is a level of trust and confidentiality that must be met by all parties, and a potential surrogate should have no apprehension in sharing personal details about her life and health with the intended parents and with our agency, CSP.
If you have decided to take the next step toward becoming a surrogate mother, we applaud you. It is a rewarding and uplifting experience that will change your life, and enrich the lives of others.Choosing the Right Couple for Surrogacy - A Surrogate's View