The experience of becoming a surrogate in Delaware is something that few women have the compassion and heart to do for someone else. But for hopeful parents who have been waiting for a child, you can make all the difference. If you’ve ever considered becoming a surrogate, your next step will be finding out if you meet the surrogate mother requirements. Delaware surrogacy laws require several things of potential surrogates, and surrogacy professionals will also have additional requirements that you may need to meet.
The following guide will help you learn more about the typical requirements for surrogates in Delaware, so you can find out if you meet those requirements for surrogacy in DE yourself before beginning your own surrogacy journey. Some of the most common questions about Delaware surrogacy requirements include:
“Is There an Age Limit to Being a Surrogate in DE?”
Yes. There are age restrictions for surrogacy in Delaware and throughout the United States.
Women of all ages may have a desire to help families have children, so one of the most frequently asked questions about the surrogacy requirements in Delaware is, “How old do you have to be to be a surrogate mother in Delaware?”
Every state and every surrogacy professional has an age requirement for surrogates. In Delaware, the law states that surrogates must be “at least 21 years of age.” Surrogacy professionals also place an upper age limit on the surrogates (usually about 40 years old) that they will work with in order to protect surrogates and the baby. There is always a certain amount of physical risk associated with pregnancy, plus the medical processes involved with surrogacy. So by working with surrogates between 21 and 40 years old, whose bodies are able to most easily adapt to the extreme changes of pregnancy, the potential health and legal risks for everyone involved can be kept to a minimum.
“What are the Health Requirements to Be a Surrogate Mother in DE?”
A common concern for women who are considering becoming surrogates is that a specific health issue may prevent them from meeting the surrogate health requirements in DE, so they’ll ask, “Is surrogacy after tubal ligation an option?” “Is there a weight requirement to be a surrogate in Delaware?” “If I’ve had pregnancy complications before, can I still become a surrogate?” “Is surrogacy without previous pregnancy possible?” “Can I be a surrogate if I have an STI or STD?”
Every state has surrogate health requirements. In Delaware, the law states that surrogates must have:
- “given birth to at least one child”
- “completed a medical evaluation”
Surrogacy professionals will have additional surrogate health requirements that you’ll need to meet. These are in place for your health and safety as well as the baby’s, and also for the legal safety of the intended parents. Other health requirements that surrogates will usually need to meet include:
- A maximum number of births both vaginally and by cesarean
- No prior complications with your pregnancies or births
- Being smoke- and drug- free, and having no exposure to second-hand smoke
- Having a BMI within about 19-33 (calculate your BMI here)
If you meet those health criteria to be a surrogate in Delaware, you’ll complete a medical screening process that typically involves a series of tests designed to make sure that you’re physically healthy enough for the medical processes of surrogacy. Those processes include fertility treatments, medications, embryo transfers and more, so it’s important to verify your health before beginning.
Learn more about the other health requirements to be a surrogate mother in Delaware, and if your health issue may affect your ability to become a surrogate, here.
“What are the Mental and Emotional Requirements to Be a Surrogate Mother in DE?”
The mental and emotional criteria for surrogacy in Delaware leave some women uncertain if they’re prepared to be a surrogate mother. They ask, “Can anyone be a surrogate mother in Delaware? Would I make a good surrogate? How will I know if I’m ready?”
As you probably know, pregnancy often takes a mental and emotional toll in addition to the physical strain. The surrogacy process can add to the heightened emotions of pregnancy, which is why preparing for the emotions of surrogacy is one of the preferred qualifications for being a surrogate in Delaware. Delaware surrogacy law states that surrogates must have “completed a mental health evaluation,” which is also required by surrogacy professionals. Like the physical evaluation, this is done to ensure that you’re mentally ready for surrogacy. This often involves talking through potential scenarios and how you might feel at different stages in your surrogacy journey.
An important requirement for surrogacy in Delaware is that you have an emotional support system at home. An ideal surrogate has a partner or spouse to encourage her and emotionally support her (though this is not always required as long as you have a strong support system), and also has at least one child that she is currently raising.
“Are There Other Requirements for Surrogacy in Delaware?”
Yes. Some of the additional requirements for surrogates in Delaware are mandated by state law and others by your individual surrogacy professional. Women often have questions about the surrogacy requirements in DE that may affect them, such as, “Who can be a surrogate? Will I need a car?” “If I’m receiving state welfare, am I eligible to be a surrogate mother in Delaware?”
Some of the additional requirements for surrogates within DE surrogacy law state that surrogates must:
- Be “represented by independent legal counsel regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier arrangement”
- Have or obtain “prior to the embryo transfer a health insurance policy that covers major medical treatments and hospitalization and the health insurance policy has a term that extends throughout the duration of the expected pregnancy and for 8 weeks after the birth of the child; provided, however, that the policy may be procured by the intended parent(s) on behalf of the gestational carrier pursuant to the gestational carrier agreement”
Your surrogacy professional can help you to obtain the legal counsel and health insurance necessary to meet these requirements.
In addition to the additional requirements of Delaware law, the surrogate qualifications that each surrogacy professional may require for potential surrogates can vary, but will usually require:
- Fluency in English
- Permanent residency in the U.S.
- Submission to background checks
- No acceptance of government financial aid
- Committing to traveling to and attending all surrogacy- and pregnancy-related appointments for up to one year
- The commitment of your spouse (if applicable) to your surrogacy process for legal reasons
The ability to attend all of the necessary appointments for what will be about a year-long process, the support and excitement of your family, the lack of a criminal record and the ability to financially support yourself without the help of surrogate compensation makes you a good prospective surrogate mother.
If you meet these surrogate qualifications, Delaware families can benefit from your compassionate heart and your willingness to help others. Giving someone the gift of a child is something that can never be repaid, and it’s an experience that is unrivaled. Want to find out if you meet the qualifications for being a surrogate in DE? Want to learn how to become a surrogate in Delaware? Contact a surrogacy professional now to learn more.