These Are The Requirements You Need To Meet If You Want To Use A Surrogate

The bare bones definition of surrogacy is "a process in which a woman carries and delivers a child for a couple or individual," Yale Medicine notes. But while the definition may be simple, the act of surrogacy — and more so becoming a surrogate — is actually quite complicated. Being a surrogate to a couple in need can change someone's life. There are many reasons a couple or individual may seek surrogacy to have a baby, including women who may not have a uterus or other complications that prevent them from getting pregnant or carrying a healthy baby, and same-sex couples.

Surrogacy has become a mainstream topic in part due to celebrities. According to People, a number of high profile people have used surrogates and been open about doing so, including Khloé Kardashian, Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Kristen Wiig, and Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wayne, who chose surrogacy after years of infertility and loss. But even while it may seem more normal to opt for surrogacy, there are still a lot of factors before becoming one or using one. If you are hoping to use a surrogate to grow your family, you will need to meet these requirements before moving forward.

Make sure you meet these requirements before opting for surrogacy

When searching for ways to grow your family, you may have landed on surrogacy as the ideal option. When you opt to use a surrogate, you are referred to as the "intended parent or parents." Intended parents "are individuals or couples who cannot conceive on their own — for any reason — and choose surrogacy to build their family," per Adoption Choices. The reasons for becoming an intended parent vary, but regardless of your reason — whether it be medical issues like infertility or history of multiple miscarriages, genetic reasons where parents don't want to pass on specific genes to their children, or sexual reasons in the case of same-sex couples who want a genetic link to their child — there are still requirements all intended parents must meet.

According to Golden Surrogacy, the first requirement is age. If you are a single person choosing surrogacy, they do not allow anyone over the age of 54. Couples choosing surrogacy together must not have a combined age over 110. In addition, all intended parents must be financially stable and have a living environment conducive to children. No criminal history is also a requirement. In addition to what's on paper, intended parents must also meet the physiological requirements, including having the ability to be open and honest, having the support of other friends and family, and showing respect towards the surrogate and the entire process. Most surrogacy companies will require a psychological assessment before moving forward.

Other things to know about using a surrogate

Surrogacy is a wonderful option for those hoping to have a baby but who are unable to have one on their own for a variety of reasons. But according to The New York Times, the entire surrogacy process is a lot more intense than many people may realize. Before you even begin the "surrogacy journey," you'll need to do your research. While it is not a requirement, The New York Times recommends using a surrogacy agency to ensure everything is done correctly. You will also want to learn the lingo — familiarize yourself with the process from start to finish so you are not blindsided by any mishap or complication. You will also want to research the specific laws in your state and consider hiring a lawyer.

Surrogacy does not come cheap — there is a reason why a big requirement of intended parents is to be financially secure. According to West Coast Surrogacy, intended parents can expect to spend about $90,000 to $130,000 during their surrogacy journey. So before you jump in, take the time to truly learn what it means to be an intended parent.