As you’ve done your research on gestational surrogacy, you’ve probably come across a few articles detailing what it is that intended parents can expect during their gestational journey. There are many. But what can you expect if you’re looking to become a carrier? Perhaps you have a couple of friends who have been struggling to conceive, and are wanting to help them. Maybe you’ve had your kids and want to help other families grow. Whatever the case may be, you’re likely wondering what qualifications you need to be aware of in order to become a gestational carrier. Adoption Choices of Nevada has you covered!
Who is a Gestational Carrier?
In the strictest definition, a gestational carrier is a woman who has a fertilized egg from another woman implanted into her womb. She has no biological connection to the child she is carrying, as the egg and sperm are provided by the intended parent(s).
The women who choose to become gestational carriers do not do it for money. Rather, they choose to carry the intended parent(s)’ child for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s because they truly enjoy being pregnant. But, more than that, gestational carriers are women who have a heart and passion for making others’ dreams come true. Especially those of intended parents who couldn’t otherwise have a baby.
If this sounds like you – you’re in the right place!
Gestational Carrier Qualifications
Depending on where you live, state laws may vary on what qualifies you to become a gestational carrier. Individual agencies may as well, so it’s important to do as much research as you can beforehand.
At the most basic level, however, gestational carriers must pass a series of tests, including, but not limited to: a full physical screening, background check and psychological evaluation. These steps are necessary to show whether or not you are a good candidate for both the process and agency you choose to work with.
1) Physical Screening
Because the intended parent(s) want your complete medical and health history, you will need to complete a physical examination with your primary care provider (PCP). He or she will check to see that you don’t have anything that would complicate or make pregnancy dangerous. This includes a full screening of any sexually-transmitted diseases, such as: HIV, hepatitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and others.
Standard blood tests will also be run during your physical exam. You cannot be matched or considered a good candidate until your doctor has given you a clean bill of health.
2) Background Check
Before you can be matched with intended parent(s), you must undergo a background check. This will look at your medical history to see if you’ve had any previous pregnancies, and if there are any red flags in your past.
Automatic disqualifiers would be felony charges, criminal activity of any kind or a history of abuse. Physical, verbal, sexual, emotional or substance abuse – it doesn’t matter. Any concerns of this nature would immediately terminate your dreams of being a gestational carrier.
3) Psychological Evaluation
The psych eval is performed by an agency psychologist and seeks to learn if you are of sound mind and aware of the full scope of your commitment. That you weren’t, in any way, forced or pressured into becoming a gestational carrier. It’s important that the decision to carry the intended parent(s)’ baby is completely your decision.
During the evaluation, the psychologist may also ask you what kind of support system you have. If you have trusted friends and family members who will be there for you during the hard times. To give you a hand when you need it.
General Gestational Carrier Requirements
Amidst the qualifications of being a gestational carrier, there are a few general requirements to keep in mind. Again, these may vary depending on your state and the agency you work with. These are specific to Nevada and those that Adoption Choices of Nevada adhere to:
If you’re looking to become a gestational carrier, you…
- Must be between 21-39 years of age
- Will need to have carried at least one previous successful pregnancy with no major complications.
- Must be a non-smoker.
- Need to have a healthy BMI for your height and weight.
- Must have no history of depression or postpartum depression or be using any antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.
- Cannot be on Medicaid or on government subsidy of any kind
Gestational Carrier 101
As you well know, becoming a part of a gestational journey is not a small decision to make, and you’re bound to have plenty of questions that may not have been answered in this post. If that’s the case, please leave us a comment, or get in contact with us! We’re always happy to provide more information for you!
Adoption Choices of Nevada
Adoption Choices, Inc. is a private, non-profit adoption agency licensed by the state and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive parents since 2002. Our staff has a genuine commitment to providing an empathetic, empowering, and progressive experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Mallorey English is an aspiring proofreader and editor. She’s completed a couple of online courses through Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and has used her education to help edit her mother’s inspirational book, Monday Motivation: 52 Weeks of Inspiration to Keep Moving in 2018 and running blog Life Up and Running. She hopes to one day become a full time freelance editor. As a Surrogacy Intern with Adoption Choices, Mallorey looks forward to learning more about how surrogacy affects intended parents and gestational carriers.
When she isn’t working, Mallorey can be found on a yoga mat, crafting a new project, or watching her favorite movies. She currently resides in northern Nevada with her husband and hopes to add on to their family in the near future.
Specialists, Worldwide Surrogacy. “What Does the Psychological Evaluation and Background Check Entail for Surrogates?” What Does the Psychological Evaluation and Background Check Entail for Surrogates?, info.worldwidesurrogacy.org/blog/what-psychological-evaluation-background-check-entails-surrogates.