Intended Parent Requirements
March 15, 2023 by Frank Golden
This is a PSA for anyone hoping to become a parent through gestational surrogacy. Being a parent is hard work. Becoming a parent is also hard work. And for parents looking to create a family through gestational surrogacy, it is even more work. But family is something everyone deserves, and at the end of the day it is worth every penny, every phone call, every fertility clinic visit, every obstacle, hoop, and roadblock. Family is worth it all. However, these obstacles, hoops, and roadblocks are not things every person or couple is capable of taking on.
Just like there are requirements to becoming a Surrogate, there are requirements to becoming Intended Parents. This is so we ensure that the individuals or couples pursuing a gestational surrogacy journey are prepared for every possibility. Surrogacy is unlike any journey you have been on before and we find these requirements ensure the best possible outcome for Intended Parents, their baby, and the Surrogate. So, let’s jump in and discuss the six requirements to becoming an Intended Parent, why they are in place, and how they are beneficial to your surrogacy journey.
#1: Age range
If you are a couple, the requirement is a combined age of 110. If you are an individual parent, the max age is 54. There is room for flexibility depending on the fertility center you are working with, but this is the general age requirement imposed. You may be wondering why there is an age limit on surrogacy. The reason you will find that surrogacy agencies impose age limits on Intended Parents is to ensure the child is going to be properly cared for. Like age restrictions on becoming a Surrogate, these are in place solely to protect the safety and wellbeing of the child.
#2: Financial security
The average surrogacy journey can cost between $150,000-$250,000 and beyond. If you are not prepared for all anticipated and unanticipated incidentals, you need to wait until you are in a better financial position. I recommend all Intended Parents put a budget together before starting their journey. With a budget and the right surrogacy agency on your side, you will be able to properly fund all aspects of your journey and hopefully have enough money to spoil your little one once they arrive.
#3: Support from loved ones
Having the support of your spouse/partner or close friends and family is a very important requirement and one that any surrogacy agency will consider when accepting Intended Parents. Becoming a parent is not a decision to take lightly and all parties who plan on raising the child need to be in absolute agreement on the decision. Additionally, support beyond a spouse/partner is required. How do your parents feel about this decision? Your siblings? Your other children? Having their support is an essential element that you will benefit from before, during, and after your surrogacy journey is complete. To lean on in difficult times, to celebrate milestones with, and change a diaper or two once the baby is born, a support system is a blessing.
#4: No criminal history
As an additional means to protect the safety and well-being of all parties involved, Intended Parents must be able to pass a criminal background check as part of agency onboarding. Should you be worried about that traffic ticket from 2007 when you made that illegal left turn that totally should be legal considering you have made that turn every day for the past 5 years and the cop must have been having a bad day because it really was not that bad of a traffic violation considering no one was even around? No. These background checks are looking for more than your speeding tickets and traffic violations. These background checks are looking for criminal charges, felonies, and jail time. If you are concerned about your ability to pass a criminal background check, talk to your agency. Like age requirements, there is flexibility.
#5: Be willing to undergo a psychological assessment
All Intended Parents must undergo a counseling session to assess your preparedness entering this journey. This is administered through your fertility center.
“Frank, all these requirements AND you expect me to speak with a counselor?”
Trust me, I get it. I was an Intended Parent myself. The reason surrogacy agencies and fertility centers will require Intended Parents to undergo a psychological assessment is to assess and make sure you are prepared for the entire surrogacy experience. If you are starting from scratch, there are nuances to discuss. For example, what type of egg donation arrangement would you prefer (open, semi-open, anonymous)? What do you want your relationship with your Surrogate to look like? What would a family-building journey with a third-party entail? This is all to prepare you and ensure you have the best journey possible.
#6: Be excited and enthusiastic!
This is an experience unlike anything you have embarked on before. Even if you have completed a surrogacy journey before, no two surrogacy journeys are the same, and being open to all possibilities will be the difference between counting down the days until your journey is over and, well, counting down the days until your journey is over. Surrogacy journeys involve working with other humans. And humans, by nature, are not perfect. There will be times when the unexpected happens, someone fails to meet your expectations, you become disappointed. However, roadblocks do not mean your journey is over. We encourage you to dialogue with your Surrogate and be involved in your journey. Be open to the possibilities and have an open mind. We find that Intended Parents who hold this mindset get the most from their journeys.
And there we have it! Those are six requirements to becoming an Intended Parent as well as the reasons they are required and the ways they benefit you on your journey. Here at Golden, we believe Everyone Deserves a Family and should have the opportunity to become a parent of their own biological child regardless of gender, race, religion, infertility, marital status, or sexual orientation. We also believe that embarking on a surrogacy journey on a path to becoming parents is a decision that involves a variety of factors. From finances to familial support, to your overall attitude towards the process, surrogacy agencies will impose requirements to ensure the best possible outcome from all parties involved. If you are interested in learning more about becoming an Intended Parent with Golden, visit our website and reach out to us today! We would be more than happy to discuss what your surrogacy journey would look like.