An important requirement for gestational carrier candidates is excellent health. In our health reviews, we look for a healthy BMI, an active lifestyle, and a history of healthy pregnancy and delivery. These points make it more likely for future pregnancies to be uncomplicated. We require our surrogates* to have experienced pregnancy and delivery because this gives her an idea of what to expect, even if every pregnancy is different. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are unique experiences that carry much responsibility, sacrifice, and risk. If she has undergone at least one pregnancy, a woman will know what she is selflessly agreeing to for the sake of fulfilling someone else’s dream. Having delivered a baby also prepares a woman for the surge of hormones and emotions that occur postpartum. We also require that our surrogates be parenting at least one child so that she can appreciate what an immense gift she will be giving.

In surrogacy, the responsibilities of carrying a pregnancy begin before a positive test. The surrogate must be prepared to undergo in vitro fertilization, which requires hormone supplements (including daily shots) and invasive procedures. During the pregnancy, the surrogate must be watchful of diet, exercise, and rest. She must attend medical visits as prescribed by her provider, and undergo testing and screening as outlined in her legal agreement with the intended parent(s).

We include a psychological evaluation of surrogate candidates in our health review. A mental health professional will assess overall mental health and readiness to carry a child for someone else. While a history of some mental health disorders may not disqualify a woman as a surrogate, the provider will need to determine if it is indeed overcome or under proper management. Heartland Surrogacy requires a psychological interview, but some fertility clinics will also require specific tests.

*We use “gestational carrier” and “surrogate” interchangeably.