According to a National Survey of Family Growth conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 12 percent of the population suffers from infertility. Many people turn to surrogate mothers to help them and their partners have a child. Women interested in becoming surrogates must meet the specific qualifications required by surrogacy agencies. These qualifications range from the woman’s medical background to her previous experiences with pregnancy to her personal life and habits.
Women who are applying to become surrogate mothers must be between the ages of 20 and 40 and have no history of significant medical problems or conditions in themselves or their immediate family members, including mental disorders. They must be in good physical condition and able to maintain a healthy weight. The surrogacy agency will require the woman to undergo a series of examinations to confirm the overall state of her health and to make certain she is not suffering from undiagnosed sexually transmitted diseases that could complicate a surrogate pregnancy.
To become a surrogate, nearly all surrogacy agencies require that the woman must have given birth to at least one live child in an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. Any children that she already has must be healthy and have no inherited genetic diseases.
Surrogacy agencies require that their surrogate mothers have no past or present drug or alcohol abuse problems and do not smoke. They also cannot have a history of criminal convictions or repeated run-ins with the law. Many surrogacy agencies have prospective surrogates undergo psychological evaluations to make certain they are mentally mature and dependable enough to stay committed to the surrogate pregnancy process. They also prefer surrogate mothers who have a supportive partner and a stable family life.
To qualify as a surrogate mother, the woman must also have reliable health insurance that specifically includes maternity coverage.