When selecting a woman to be a gestational carrier, there are many considerations. These are exceptional women who are willing to make this commitment, and they must pass a number of screening criteria.
Some of the selection criteria are subjective. They depend on an evaluation by the experts at the agency and the medical staff. Other criteria include the following:
1. The proposed carrier has delivered at least one healthy child, that they are either raising or have raised for several years.
2. Prior pregnancy complications must be minor. Ideally, they have had no more than one or two cesarean sections. They must be involved in a stable, healthy marriage or partnership with a partner who is willing to engage in this commitment actively. The couple must be committed to the intended parents after personal introductions and form a warm relationship. The couple must have a stable financial base and not have any government assistance.
3. She must be a nonsmoker, pass a drug screen by history and testing.
4. She must be between the age of 21 and 40.
5. She must be a US citizen or have permanent residency status.
6. She must pass criminal background checks.
Physical requirements include normal weight within certain guidelines. Mild-to-moderate overweight conditions can be acceptable. The potential gestational carrier must be willing to provide medical records and undergo and pass a rather extensive psychological evaluation including a personality profile. A part of the assessment is a home assessment which will evaluate the home environment. She must be free of active sexually transmitted diseases, and have no active medical illnesses.
Gestational carriers understand that this is a very large commitment in terms of time. They are taking considerable physical risk as well, and this is made quite clear.
If you have your own known gestational carrier, some of the requirements might be waived.
At Pathways Fertility, we provide low-cost IVF services. We use no short cuts and have excellent success rates. This critical part of any surrogacy arrangement is coordinated by our office in Atlanta. We provide these services to the LGBT community and solo parenting situations as well.
Click here for a Fact Sheet about gestational carriers and surrogacy from the Patient Education Website of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).