Screening Surrogates

Screening Surrogates

As a physician-directed surrogacy program, CACRM uses recommendations from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Practice Committee guidelines. These guidelines incorporate optimal screening and testing including psychological assessment criteria for choosing exceptionally qualified surrogate mothers. Our goal is to recruit, screen, and select surrogate mothers who may successfully conceive with in vitro fertilization (IVF) as well as have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Screening Criteria to Become an Exclusive CACRM Surrogate

Age

ASRM recommends that clinics recruit surrogates who are between 21 and 44. This age range is best for a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated childbirth. CACRM requires medical clearance for any surrogate over 44 years old.

Obstetrics history

All candidates must have delivered at least one full-term successful pregnancy and raised a child in her home. We will only consider women who have done both.

Preferably applicants will have no history of pregnancy complications and experienced no more than five previous deliveries in total. At most, three of these deliveries should have been via cesarean section.

A candidate who has had more than three cesarean sections will require a pregnancy clearance from her obstetrician/gynecologist.

Time from last pregnancy

A surrogate mother’s most recent delivery should be more than one year from last delivery.

If it was less than one year, she will need clearance from her delivering doctor. She should not be breastfeeding or be ready to wean her baby when she starts the evaluation process. 

Black pregnant woman in mint-green shirt holding her belly.

Social habits

Prospective surrogate mothers must not smoke, drink alcohol excessively, routinely take non-prescribed drugs, or use illegal substances. We strongly suggest they consume less than 200 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of one to two cups. They should not drink alcohol after starting the evaluation and treatment process and during pregnancy.

We screen for medication usage during the medical history and the surrogate will undergo a urine toxicology screen prior to signing legal contracts and starting IVF. It determines if any of the drugs, a surrogate mother is taking would be detrimental to IVF or pregnancy.

Infectious diseases

Women or their partners should not have traveled to Zika virus-infected regions where they could have been exposed to this virus. Zika has been shown to have a dire impact on the health of the fetus and baby. We will test for sexually transmitted and other types of infectious diseases in both the surrogate mother and her partner.

We require the surrogate candidate to complete a medical history form. The carrier should not have any risk history for sexually transmitted diseases.

COVID-19 and pregnacy

Body Mass Index (BMI)

We consider a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) an important factor in the success of a surrogate pregnancy. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

Extremes on either end of the weight spectrum can be associated with unhealthy pregnancy consequences. Obesity in pregnancy can be problematic for both the carrier and the baby and can result in diabetes and hypertension. Also, severe obesity can be an issue during the embryo transfer during IVF.

Vaccinations

Gestational carriers need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations with current immunization records or testing to verify immunization status.

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