As you research becoming a surrogate, you’ll find that there is a great deal of surrogacy requirements you must meet before you can move forward. Each of these requirements plays an important purpose in protecting a gestational carrier and her intended parents from some of the risks of the surrogacy process.
BMI requirements for surrogacy do the same.
You may or may not know how crucial a role a woman’s weight can play in her ability to carry a pregnancy safely to term. Because of this, surrogacy professionals set strict surrogate mother weight requirements. While BMI is only one indicator of a woman’s health, it is an important one.
You should know that different surrogacy professionals tend to set different requirements when it comes to a surrogate’s BMI. The best way to determine whether you can be a gestational carrier is by talking to a surrogacy professional or fertility clinic. They will evaluate your complete personal and medical history before qualifying you for the surrogacy process.
In the meantime, you can learn a little bit more about surrogate mother weight requirements below.
What are the BMI Requirements for Surrogacy?
Every prospective surrogate must have a healthy BMI in order to carry a child for intended parents. While weight isn’t the only indicator of good health, it is an important factor in a successful pregnancy.
That said, surrogate BMI requirements are often subjective. Different fertility specialists have different opinions on what is a disqualifying surrogate mother weight and what will allow a woman to move forward with this journey. While the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends certain general requirements for gestational carriers, its guidelines do not touch on the recommended weight of a surrogate. It’s left up to surrogacy professionals to set a weight range that they believe is most conducive to a healthy pregnancy.
Generally, many surrogacy professionals will set BMI requirements for surrogacy between 19 and 32. This range excludes most women who are medically underweight or obese — both dangerous situations in which to carry a child.
Prospective surrogates should always research potential surrogacy professionals and talk to a specialist to learn more about their specific surrogate mother weight and BMI requirements.
What are the Risks of Becoming a Surrogate While Overweight?
The desire to become a gestational carrier is a strong one, and many women wonder whether they can move forward with this path even if they don’t meet all the surrogacy requirements. Some women who are in this situation ask, “Why is there a weight requirement to be a surrogate in the first place?
As mentioned above, a woman’s weight can play a big role in the success of her pregnancy. When you’re serving as a gestational carrier, the intended parents you carry for want to have the best chance at success possible. After all, they’ve likely waited through months or years of heartbreak before choosing the surrogacy journey. They want a gestational carrier who has proven her ability to successfully and safely give birth to a child.
A woman’s weight can be a contributing factor in her ability to do this. Women who are overweight are more likely to have these pregnancy complications:
- Difficulties getting pregnant
- High blood pressure, preeclampsia, and blood clotting problems
- Gestational diabetes
- Being pregnant past your due date
- Difficulties during labor and birth, including a longer hospital postpartum stay
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- Infections during pregnancy
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- And more
A woman can reduce these risks by having a healthy weight, which is why surrogacy professionals can be fairly strict when it comes to surrogate BMI. Intended parents want a healthy woman to carry their child; if you are overweight or obese, it will be harder for you to find intended parents who are willing to match with you.
If you still wish to become a surrogate with a higher BMI than required, you (and your intended parents) will need to accept these risks and what they may mean for the success of your independent surrogacy journey.
How Do I Become a Surrogate with a High BMI?
If you don’t meet the BMI requirements for surrogacy but still wish to pursue this process, we admire your dedication and selflessness. However, the fact is, if you have a high BMI, you will not be able to become a gestational carrier. The risks of carrying a child while overweight are too much for a process in which you will carry someone else’s child.
However, if you are slightly over the required surrogate mother weight requirement, it’s a good idea to speak with a surrogacy professional. Before any woman can become a gestational carrier, she must undergo medical screening at the intended parents’ fertility clinic. A reproductive endocrinologist will screen her personal and medical backgrounds and complete blood and urine tests to determine whether she can successfully carry a child to term.
Sometimes, during these screenings, women who may not meet every requirement to be a surrogate are approved for the surrogacy process. So, if your BMI is slightly higher than the surrogate mother weight requirement, you may still be approved by a fertility clinic and allowed to continue with your journey.
A surrogacy professional’s policy on waiving BMI requirements for surrogacy will always vary — but it never hurts to ask. If you are interested in becoming a gestational carrier, please contact a surrogacy professional today.