What are the Age Requirements for Surrogacy? [Why There’s a Surrogate Age Limit]

Because it’s still a fairly new practice, there is a lot that the general public still doesn’t understand about the surrogacy process. One such point of confusion: Why are there age requirements for surrogacy? The answer: For the safety of the surrogate, the baby, and the intended parents.

One of the most common misconceptions is that anyone can be a surrogate regardless of age.  While there are rare cases of women in their menopausal years carrying a child for someone else, these stories don’t speak to the true nature of age requirements for surrogacy.

While every surrogacy professional’s requirements may differ, every agency does usually has a surrogate age limit. If you have questions about the age limit for surrogacy, reach out to a surrogacy professional today, or continue reading below to learn more about surrogate age requirements.

The Surrogate Mother Age Limit

Age is one of the many factors included in the requirements to become a surrogate. Your age can greatly affect your body’s ability to safely sustain a pregnancy to term. To ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for the surrogate and the baby, many agencies have surrogacy age requirements in place.

While surrogacy agencies may enforce age limits, they do so based on reliable information from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  How old is too old to be a surrogate mother? The ASRM states that the preferable surrogate age is between the ages of 21-45, and in special cases, can be older than 45 years old. In this case, all involved in the process must be thoroughly educated on the risks that can accompany pregnancy past 40.

Because of this, surrogacy agencies cap their age limit at 40 or 45, but there are many that do so at 35 or 38 to minimize the risk of any complications. Pregnancy over the age of 45 is very high risk and can be dangerous for you and the baby.

If you are a year or two over the age limit, there’s a chance that your surrogacy professional may be able to work with you depending on your circumstance. To get the most accurate information on age limits with surrogacy, talk to a surrogacy professional to learn more.

How Old is Too Old to Be a Surrogate Mother?

”Am I too old to be a surrogate mother?” This is a question we get a lot from women closer to the maximum age limit or a couple of years past. There are special circumstances where you may be able to become a surrogate even if you are slightly over the age limit. One way you can do this is by pursuing independent  surrogacy. Since most surrogacy agencies will adhere to their age limit to mitigate risks, independent surrogacy could be the answer for you.

Even if you are able to become a surrogate at an older age through independent surrogacy, there are additional health requirements you will need to meet before you can officially become a gestational carrier. You will need to go through a medical screening at the intended parents’ chosen fertility clinic. A reproductive endocrinologist will run some tests and an exam to verify that you can safely sustain a pregnancy.

If you have been approved by the fertility clinic, you will be able to move forward in the surrogacy process. This is the only instance in which a woman over the age limit can become a surrogate. It is incredibly important that you are medically approved so that your safety and the safety of the baby can be guaranteed. In this instance, you are only “too old” if a doctor determines surrogacy would put your wellbeing at risk.

Why is There an Age Limit to Being a Surrogate?

You might be wondering why there is an age limit to be a surrogate. If you’re healthy and eager, what difference does it make? When it comes down to it, age is a big factor when it comes to safely carry a pregnancy to term. Older surrogates are fairly rare. Most women at that age aren’t at a point in their lives where they want to pregnant. More importantly, pregnancy over the age of 40 can be dangerous for you and the baby. Complications that can result from pregnancy over the age of 40-45 are:

  • Difficulty becoming pregnant
  • Premature birth
  • Low birthweight
  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia

Many couples pursue surrogacy because they are not able to conceive a child themselves. They are relying on a surrogate to safely carry their baby to term so that they can have a child of their own. Due to the cost of IVF, an intended parent may only have one chance at having a child via surrogacy.

Because of the increased risks that accompany pregnancy at an older age, many intended parents prefer a surrogate that falls within the age limits of their surrogacy professional. The age requirements for surrogacy not only protect you physically, but also protects the intended parents’ opportunity to have a child.

Surrogate age limits may vary depending on the surrogacy professional you work with, and some may even allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis if you are not too far over the maximum age limit. If you have more questions about the age limit to be a surrogate, contact a surrogacy professional today to get the answers you need.