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Wednesday, 27 September 2023 01:06

Age limits for surrogacy

Surrogacy is undoubtedly complex, demanding meticulous attention to detail for safeguarding the well-being of all involved parties. Key to a successful surrogacy journey is selecting a surrogate mother who is not only appropriate but also healthy.

In this light, age becomes an indispensable factor from both medical and legal standpoints in determining a woman’s eligibility for surrogacy. Hence, surrogacy agencies typically establish specific age limits and restrictions to guarantee that surrogate candidates are optimally fit for the process.

Delving into the Lower Age Limit for Surrogacy

Defining the Lower Threshold: The esteemed American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) advises that surrogate or gestational carriers should be at a minimum, 21 years of age. This lower age limit ensures that the applicants possess the requisite physical and emotional maturity to navigate the complex process while fully comprehending its associated risks.

Financial Independence & Previous Pregnancy: Additionally, surrogacy prerequisites include financial independence and a history of at least one successful pregnancy for potential surrogates. A previous successful pregnancy serves as tangible proof of the candidate’s fertility and ability to carry and deliver a child. Furthermore, economic stability and a secure living environment are crucial for a stress-free surrogacy journey. These stringent criteria inherently eliminate women under 21, with the majority of surrogates being in their thirties.

Analyzing the Upper Age Limit in Surrogacy: A Woman-Centric, Professional Perspective

Professional surrogacy agencies often showcase a flexible approach towards the upper age limit imposed on surrogates participating in gestational surrogacy. This flexibility primarily stems from the critical role the quality of the egg (provided either by the intended mother or an egg donor) plays in ensuring the success of the pregnancy, thereby minimizing the impact of the surrogate’s age. The woman's age in these scenarios is often secondary to the medical aspects involving the quality of the egg in the comparative analysis of success rates.

However, the landscape shifts in cases of traditional surrogacy where the woman acting as the surrogate also contributes her genetic material. Here, the surrogate's age ascends to paramount importance, closely aligning with legality and medical aspects, and warranting meticulous professional scrutiny and analysis.

Divergence in Age Caps & Considerations on Fertility 

Different surrogacy programs exhibit variability in implementing age caps for potential surrogate candidates; while some firmly establish it at 35, others extend accessibility to older individuals. Although there is a recognized decline in fertility among women post the age of 35—attributed to diminished oocyte quality—this does not drastically hinder their capacity to carry a pregnancy to term successfully. Through professional medical treatments designed to stimulate the endometrium before embryo transfer, even postmenopausal women can achieve successful pregnancies, underscoring the accessibility and inclusivity of surrogacy.

Understanding Risks with Older Surrogates: A Professional Viewpoint 

It’s imperative to acknowledge and understand that the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth amplify with the increase in the age of the woman serving as a surrogate. Women at an advanced age may encounter elevated risks of medical complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature delivery, or delivering infants with low birth weights. Other medical aspects to consider include potential complications like placental abruption and placenta previa, which often necessitate a cesarean section due to the elevated risks associated with vaginal delivery.

Through a comparative analysis encompassing legality, professional standards, and medical aspects, it is evident that while agencies might demonstrate flexibility, it is crucial to navigate the surrogacy terrain with an informed understanding and consideration of the upper age limits and associated health risks. The lens of analysis should inherently involve a woman-centric perspective, ensuring that the process is accessible, legal, and medically sound for all parties involved.

Age and Its Impact on Pregnancy and Delivery

Pregnancies are inherently demanding, with younger women typically finding it easier to cope with the physical challenges and recovery post-childbirth. Surrogacy agencies, in adhering to the guidelines laid out by fertility centers and the ASRM, endeavor to select candidates who are not only healthy but also apt for the surrogacy process.

Surrogate Health Requirements

Essential Health Screenings

Health screenings are compulsory and crucial for all surrogate candidates, ensuring they are physically and psychologically capable of undertaking the surrogacy journey. These evaluations are comprehensive, aiming to identify potential health risks that might complicate the pregnancy or affect the baby’s health. Surrogates must undergo various medical tests, including blood tests, to check for diseases and conditions that could be detrimental to the surrogacy process.

In addition to physical health assessments, surrogate candidates are also subjected to psychological evaluations. The psychological screening process is imperative, as it helps determine the candidate's mental and emotional readiness for surrogacy. Being a surrogate can be emotionally taxing, and these screenings ensure that the surrogate is prepared for the challenges ahead, minimizing adverse psychological effects.

Importance of Health

The optimal health of the surrogate is paramount, not only for her well-being but also for the safety and health of the child. A healthy surrogate is less likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth, which, in turn, reduces risks to the baby. The surrogate's health also affects her ability to recover post-partum, making it a vital aspect of consideration during the selection process.

Beyond physical and psychological health, a surrogate’s lifestyle choices are also scrutinized. Factors like substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco, and drugs), diet, exercise habits, and general living environment are considered as they play a significant role in the surrogate’s overall health and the success of the surrogacy process. Living a healthy lifestyle not only decreases the risk of pregnancy complications but also promotes the well-being of the child.

Economic Factors

Embarking on a surrogacy journey requires substantial financial planning and understanding from both surrogate mothers and intended parents. Economic factors are pivotal, as the surrogacy process often involves significant expenses. These expenses cover medical costs, legal fees, agency fees, and compensation for the surrogate, among other expenditures. The financial burden necessitates all parties to be economically prepared and aware of the financial responsibilities entailed in the surrogacy process.

Rules for Becoming a Surrogate in Delivering Dreams

Adherence to strict rules is non-negotiable for prospective surrogates considering collaboration with Delivering Dreams. The meticulous rules in place ensure a seamless, lawful surrogacy process while fostering a supportive environment for surrogates. This environment reassures intended parents that there will be a high standard of care and responsibility throughout the pregnancy.

The surrogate selection process at Delivering Dreams is notably rigorous. The agency seeks candidates who are not only young and healthy but also well-educated. With Ukraine having the fourth-highest education rate worldwide, most surrogates in collaboration with Delivering Dreams hold university degrees, with many possessing advanced qualifications.

Before a surrogate's profile reaches the intended parents, a meticulous vetting process occurs. Each potential surrogate, aged between 21 and 35, must have had a successful, healthy, and uncomplicated pregnancy in the past. Despite meeting these criteria, only about one in twelve applicants are accepted into Delivering Dreams’ surrogacy programs, emphasizing the agency's commitment to working exclusively with the best candidates.

Mandatory Requirements

Prospective surrogates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Have at least one healthy child born naturally.
  • Be aged between 21 and 35 years.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Lack of a family history of severe health issues, diseases, or disorders.
  • Lead a lifestyle free from smoking, drinking, or drug use.
  • Avoid exposure to hazardous chemicals or environments.

These requirements are non-negotiable and are in place to ensure that every surrogate can provide a safe and healthy environment for the child they will carry.

Comprehensive Screening Process

This rigorous screening process ensures that the surrogates are mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared for the surrogacy journey, providing reassurance to the intended parents.

  • Extensive Interviews: These are conducted to gauge the surrogate’s motivation and readiness for the surrogacy journey.
  • Medical Screening: This is to ascertain the surrogate’s physical health and capability to bear a child.
  • Psychological Screening: Evaluations ensure emotional stability and readiness.
  • Criminal Background Check: This ensures the surrogate has no criminal history.
  • Home Visit: Delivering Dreams verifies through home visits that every surrogate has a stable, safe, and healthy living environment.
  • Health History Review: A medical professional reviews the surrogate's pregnancy and family health history meticulously.

Every step of the screening process is crucial in ensuring that the surrogate is a perfect match for the intended parents. This careful approach to selection guarantees a journey that is emotionally and physically healthy for both the surrogate and future parent.

Ensuring a Healthy Lifestyle

Delivering Dreams emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy. It is not only about having stringent screenings but also ensuring that surrogates have consistently led healthy lifestyles, including good nutrition, safe living and working conditions, and having support from loved ones. This commitment to health and well-being guarantees that every surrogate can navigate through pregnancy under optimal conditions, mirroring Delivering Dreams’ unwavering commitment to excellence and care in every surrogacy process.

Final Thoughts on Surrogacy Age Limits

Understanding and respecting the age limitations and restrictions in place for surrogacy is fundamental for ensuring a safe and successful surrogacy journey for all parties involved. These guidelines are meticulously designed to protect the health and well-being of the surrogate, the baby, and the intended parents, providing a framework for informed and responsible decision-making in the realm of surrogacy. With the principal focus on health and safety, these age-related guidelines serve as beacons guiding individuals and couples through the intricate and sensitive process of surrogacy.

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Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.


Under Ukrainian law, surrogacy is a legal affordable option for traditionally married couples to have children using their own embryos, or with either an egg or sperm donor. There must be a medical reason you can’t carry a child. You are also able to participate if you have had 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts.