If you’ve come to this article, you may find yourself in a unique situation. You likely thought that your pregnancy days were long behind you after building your family decades ago. But, a loved one has brought a new idea to you: What if you were to serve as their gestational surrogate?
You may be feeling all kinds of things at this time: honored at their request, confused about why they would choose you, or worried that you won’t be able to be the 60-something surrogate they want you to be. But, as you do your research, you may have found several stories about 61-year-old surrogate mothers and women who are even older carrying children for loved ones. So, what’s the truth about this situation?
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about older gestational carriers, and Surrogate.com is here to set the record straight. Below, learn whether a 60-year-old can be a surrogate if she’s in a situation like you.
Can a 60-Year-Old Woman Be a Surrogate?
Women who have read stories about grandmothers carrying and giving birth to their own grandchildren often come to surrogacy professionals with a few burning questions:
Can a 60-year-old be a surrogate?
Can a 65-year-old woman be a surrogate mother?
What are the pros and cons of being a gestational carrier in your 60s?
Whatever your age and whatever your situation that is making you consider surrogacy in your seventh decade of life, know this: You cannot be a surrogate in your 60s.
Surrogacy professionals will always admire your desire to take this generous and selfless path, but surrogacy is not right for everyone — especially older women. It’s a journey that requires a great deal of time and energy, as well as a healthy body that can handle the trials of pregnancy and childbirth. In many cases, a woman in her 60s cannot meet these qualifications.
Why Can’t a 60-Year-Old Be a Surrogate?
As mentioned above, not everyone can be a surrogate. Even women who meet all of the basic requirements of surrogacy aren’t always approved for this process. Being a gestational carrier is about more than just carrying a pregnancy for someone else; it’s a close emotional partnership between intended parents and their gestational carrier. And, it’s a partnership that can last for a year or more, with many ups and downs along the way.
Intended parents often go through a lot before they get to surrogacy. Many of them spend months or years and thousands of dollars on other infertility treatments before they end up at gestational surrogacy. Therefore, they want a gestational carrier who can give them the best chance of a successful, healthy baby as quickly as possible. Statistically speaking, a woman over the age of 60 (or even over the age of 40) cannot give them that guarantee.
While you may be able to get pregnant through IVF after menopause, there are some big medical risks to yourself and the child you will carry. They include increased chances of:
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Cesarean-section and premature birth
- Placental complications
- Low-birth-weight babies
- Difficult labor
And that’s even if you get pregnant in the first place, which is much less likely at 60 years old than earlier in your reproductive prime.
Surrogacy professionals’ goals are to have as many successful surrogacy journeys as possible, and that means partnering with gestational carriers who can provide intended parents the best chance of success. For this reason, surrogacy professionals set strict age requirements. If you are in your 60s, you will unfortunately be denied from surrogacy with a surrogacy agency or other matching program.
But, How Can a 60-Year-Old Be a Surrogate for a Friend or Loved One?
Even knowing all this, you and your intended parents may be dedicated to working together to bring their child into the world. If others have been able to serve as gestational carriers into their 60s, why can’t you?
Being a surrogate in your 60s is extremely rare — but the only way this may be possible is if you are approved by a fertility clinic in an independent surrogacy.
Like surrogacy agencies, surrogacy clinics have requirements for who can become gestational carriers. These requirements may be looser, however — relying on medical evidence obtained in the clinic. There is a possibility that you can be medically approved to be a gestational carrier, despite your age, as long as you pass the medical screening that a clinic requires. And, if you and your intended parents legally accept the risks of working together, that reproductive endocrinologist may be willing to oversee your embryo transfer process.
If you are considering an independent surrogacy such as this, you should be in contact with a local surrogacy attorney and surrogacy clinic as early as possible. They can guide you through the steps ahead and ensure that you and your intended parents follow proper medical and legal protocol from start to finish. Closely following the surrogacy process is a must in every gestational surrogacy — but especially so when you are older than the recommended age for this journey.
To learn more about the process of surrogacy, including how your age will impact your experience, please contact a surrogacy professional today.