Surrogate Requirements: How to be in the 1%

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Growing Generations is very proud of our extensive surrogate screening process. Lasting potentially several months, the process examines potential surrogates on a variety of levels. When it comes down to it, only about 1% of surrogate applicants are accepted into our program. That’s 1 out of every 100 applicants.

The screening process is exhaustive. It includes:

  • An extensive online application
  • Telephone interview
  • In-person interview
  • Psychological testing
  • Psychological evaluations
  • A medical examination by an IVF specialist including a pelvic exam
  • Blood screening to check for drug, nicotine and infectious diseases
  • A criminal background check
  • A personal finance review to ensure fiscal stability
  • A check of insurance options

Because of this lengthy and thorough screening process, only about 1% of applicants become Growing Generations surrogates. This is also the reason as to why we have such a high success rate. Here’s why those 1% make it through, and the other 99% may not.

Age

Growing Generations surrogates are typically between 20 and 39 years old.

Delivery History

All surrogates have an established pregnancy and delivery history of at least one live birth and are parenting their child or children. We do not accept surrogate applicants who have not given birth at least once. This is a staunch rule for us and there are no exceptions.

Pregnancy History

Past occurrence of serious pregnancy complications may cause us to deny your application to be a surrogate. The fertility experts that Growing Generations works with do not accept surrogates with a history of diabetes outside of pregnancy. Surrogates who developed gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies may still be eligible.

Other medical conditions that could exclude surrogates are toxemia, pre-eclampsia, and pregnancy-induced hypertension. These are very serious complications that can reoccur in future pregnancies. The health and safety of our surrogates and the babies they carry is very important to us, so we do not accept surrogates with a history of these complications.

Cervical Condition

Our physicians will conduct a thorough obstetrics history on all applicants. An Incompetent Cervix can cause very serious complications for pregnancy, including preterm labor and miscarriage. For this reason, we are unable to work with surrogates who have received this diagnosis.

BMI

Growing Generations’ physicians have determined that surrogate with a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 33.9 are most successful. As our doctors will not work with applicants with a higher BMI, we are unable to accept them into our program. However, applicants who are able to lose weight are invited to reapply.

Tobacco Use

Because tobacco users are at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and anesthesia, and can affect the health of the developing baby, our doctors do not accept surrogates who smoke. They must be tobacco-free for a minimum of 6 months before applying to the program.

State of Residency

Surrogacy is not legal in all states. If you reside in a state where surrogacy is risky or not legal, Growing Generations will not be able to accept your application. Those states are: Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and New York.  In addition, if you live out of the country and are not a United States citizen, you must have a valid Green Card/Visa that is valid for the next three years.

Criminal Activity

Growing Generations does not accept surrogates who have been convicted of a felony or whose partner has been convicted of a felony.

This list is meant to serve as an insight into some of our most common reasons for application denial. All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Because Growing Generations invests such a large amount of time and resources in our application and screening process, we are proud to boast quicker match to transfer timelines and an impressive record of success stories.

If you have additional questions about the screening process, please feel free to address them directly with your Admissions Specialist.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.