The magic question that is asked all the time, but it is difficult to answer. The reason that it is so challenging to answer is because the right answer is different for each intended parent. What makes a good surrogate for A does not automatically make a good surrogate for B. Obviously there are traits and characteristics that are important for each potential surrogate to possess, but the finer differences of each person are just as important to factor into the big picture.
So there are a few items that are automatically needed to be considered...
- You must be between 21 and 40 years old
- You must have given birth previously (no more then 3 previous C-sections)
- You must have no prior pregnancy complications or early deliveries (prior to 36 weeks, with the exception of multiples)
- You must not abuse alcohol or drugs, including certain prescription medications
- You must be a non-smoker and reside in a smoke free home
- You must not be on public assistance, including medical benefits
- You must have reliable transportation and childcare
- You must have access to all your previous medical records (including labor and delivery)
- You will have to undergo medical and psychological screening (if you are married, your spouse will need to undergo screening as well)
- You will have to pass a criminal background checkHave medical health insurance that covers pregnancy and delivery costs and that does not have a surrogacy exclusion (you will have to provide a copy of your policy and exclusions)
So outside of these requirements there are traits that I look for...a love of pregnancy, a sense of compassion, a maturity about life and a realistic outlook about surrogacy and the commitment it requires. Any experienced surrogate will testify that surrogacy is a serious commitment of time and effort. The commitment is not only required of the surrogate, but of her spouse and family. The responsibility is not one to be taken lightly. IPs invest so much in their surrogate, financially and emotionally. I can not forget to mention that an open mind and a sense of humor are undoubtedly a necessity!