Selection Criteria for Surrogates

Selection Criteria for Surrogate Mothers

As a physician-directed surrogacy program, CACRM has established strict criteria for choosing exceptionally qualified surrogate mothers. Our goal is to ensure our surrogate mothers can successfully conceive with in vitro fertilization (IVF) as well as have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Selection Criteria


We have found the ideal age for surrogates is between 21 and 42. This age range is best for a healthy pregnancy and uncomplicated childbirth.

Obstetrics history

All candidates must have delivered at least one full-term successful pregnancy with a vaginal delivery 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.

Time from last pregnancy

A future surrogate mother’s most recent delivery should be between 12-18 months ago. She should not be breastfeeding or be ready to wean her baby when she starts the evaluation process.

Social habits

Prospective surrogate mothers must not smoke, drink alcohol excessively, routinely take nonprescribed 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 consume alcohol after starting the evaluation and treatment process and during pregnancy.

We screen for medication usage to determine if any of the drugs a surrogate mother, including herbal supplements, 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 also test for sexually transmitted and other types of infectious diseases.


Gestational carriers need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Pre-existing medical conditions

Certain pre-existing medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, mood disorders, and thrombophilias, can have negative pregnancy outcomes. Women with these diseases might need to take daily medications, which could further impair a pregnancy. To protect their health, we do not advise they pursue surrogacy.

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, obesity can be an issue during the embryo transfer. Research has demonstrated deleterious effects on the live birth rate after IVF for obese women, even when donated eggs were used.

We also will assess for the surrogate’s nutritional and exercise routine to ensure she has a healthy lifestyle as well as for exposure to occupational and environmental hazards.


Surrogate Mothers: WebMD


Schedule an Appointment