Maximum age for surrogate mother
The surrogacy process is a big deal. It involves the union of a surrogate mother and intended parents for the purpose of fulfilling dreams. The biggest dreams belong to the intended parents who want a child to love and raise. The dreams of the surrogate mother are also fulfilled because she gets the opportunity of giving a great gift to some very deserving people.
With so much a stake, the rules surrounding surrogacy have to be strict. Everyone involved is investing time, effort, and money to make sure things happen the right way. One of the most important rules related to the process is the rule regarding the maximum age for surrogate mother services.
If you are over 35 and contemplating giving of your heart and womb as a surrogate, you need to be aware of the maximum age rules in your area. In the following information, we will discuss maximum ages limits and why they exist.
The Actual Maximum Age for Surrogate Mother
Before we define maximum age limits, we want to stress these are rules that have been put in place for the protection of all vested parties. That includes surrogate mothers, intended parents, and the special children who come from the process.
How old can a surrogate be? The maximum age for surrogate mother services varies from state to state and fertility clinic to fertility clinic. The variations serve to form a general age range that goes from about 40 years old to 45 years old. In our clinic, we come in at the lower end of this range.
In case you are wondering how old is the oldest surrogate mother, there are plenty of cases where women in their 50s and early 60s were able to provide surrogate services. However, those cases need to be labeled as extraordinary. Those women were likely approved for surrogacy because they were extraordinarily physically and emotionally healthy at the time. In some cases, it might have been at the request of the intended parents for specific reasons.
While surrogacy at an advanced age is possible but rare, we still believe 40 years old is an appropriate limit based on science.
Who Sets the Standards?
For the most part, very few if any states have actual laws that dictate age limits for surrogacy. They prefer to leave the setting of rules in the hands of fertility professionals who truly understand the risks that come with the surrogacy process.
The decision-making usually falls in the lap of the medical professionals who are working at the fertility clinics. These are the doctors who need to be comfortable working with the women through the entire surrogate process. If a particular clinic sets the limit at 40 years old, they are doing that because their medical professionals believe that is the standard they should uphold based on science and experience.
Reasons Why There Needs to Be a Maximum Surrogate Age
If by chance you exceed the age limits we have stated for surrogacy, you have the right to know why. You have the right to know simply because you have a heart and soul that wants to give.
As a woman gets older, her ability to safely carry a baby to term diminishes if ever so slightly with each passing year. It doesn’t mean there are always risks, it just means there are more risks, especially health risks. When it comes to the surrogacy process, no level of risk is acceptable.
From the gestational mother’s perspective, no one wants to see the mother’s health put at risk if she is carrying a child for someone else. Her health and welfare are major concerns from the pre surrogacy examination throughout the entire pregnancy. The simple truth is women over the age of 40 years old are at a higher risk for issues like:
- Difficulting conceiving (can lead to health and emotional problems)
- High blood pressure issue before and during the pregnancy
- Preexisting and gestational diabetes
- Miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature births with underdeveloped infants
- The need for emergency Cesarean-section
- Health conditions like Preeclampsia
If a woman were to encounter any of these issues during the surrogacy process, the long-term health effects could be significant.
From the perspective of the intended parents, the risk of an unsuccessful surrogate pregnancy can be devastating. After investing time, money, and a great deal of emotion into the process, they have a right to expect the best possible results, Yes, nature will play its tricks, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. It’s the responsibility of fertility clinics and their medical professionals to maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome. Doing that starts with making sure all surrogate mothers are physically and mentally up to the task.
From the perspective of the infant, they have every right to be developmentally sound and healthy at birth. It ensures they will be able to enjoy all of the benefits associated with having parents that would be willing to do so much to give them life and love.
Are there exceptions to the rules? Sometimes, exceptions can be made at our clinic. However, it’s a rare occurrence because we believe our maximum age limit exists for the benefit of everyone involved in the surrogacy process.
We want to be very clear about a couple of things. First, you are to be commended for having such a good heart and spirit that would lead you to consider being a gestational surrogate. It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s still a grand gesture.
Second, you are within your rights to inquire about surrogacy no matter what age you might be. We provided this information to keep you from getting your hopes up too high before finding out that being over 40 likely eliminates your chances of being a surrogate.
If you have any other questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.