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Have you felt a bigger calling in your life, but you aren’t sure how to act on it? Surrogacy may be what you’ve been waiting for. The gift of life is arguably the greatest gift you can give, especially to a well-deserving couple who can’t have children themselves. This decision is, of course, a monumental one to make. You’ll first need to determine if you would be a suitable candidate to become a surrogate. Here are some requirements and qualifications to consider.

You are in great health

Before embarking on this journey, you’ll need to make sure that you are in good health and have no red flags in your medical history. The end result is ultimately a healthy pregnancy and child, and good health will help to ensure this outcome. Typically, you will need to have a Body Mass Index of under 35, be free of any mental incapacity, and have no history of alcoholism or heavy smoking. You also need to be able to pass psychological and medical tests as well.

You are the right age

Surrogates only qualify if they are between 21 and 38 years of age. The lower age limit is determined based on emotional maturity while the upper limit helps ensure that there are no complications with your reproductive ability. Those who are over 38 can often develop conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which can jeopardize a pregnancy, so being younger than 39 is ideal. Overall, it’s crucial that you are as physically prepared as possible to complete the entire process.

You are a mother

Having given birth before is another requirement of surrogacy. Some people believe that this rules them out, but in many states, it is actually the law that requires you to have given birth before. This way, you’ll be better prepared for any associated challenges, and you’ll know what to expect from a pregnancy.

You are a great communicator

You need to be proactive and good at communication, especially when it comes to talking with your medical team and the intended parents. You have to remain committed to keeping your doctor appointments, and you should always respond to any messages promptly. All of this will help to facilitate a strong and healthy relationship between you and the intended parents.

You are financially stable

To ensure that you can make it through this journey, a surrogate must be independent and stable from a financial point of view.

You are committed

Furthermore, while there will be support from various people along the way—medical professionals, family and friends, the intended parents and your agency—you should remember that this is a journey that you’re ultimately making on your own. Keep in mind that it’s a big commitment not just to the child but to the family you are carrying the child for.

You are being supported by friends and family

A good support system is necessary because, although this journey is ultimately yours and the decision to be a surrogate is yours, having the support of those closest to you will help you get by day to day. By all means, talk with family and friends to see where they stand on this issue. Perhaps they will fully understand and respect your wishes, and if they stand behind you and your decision, the process will be so much easier for you.

You are an upstanding citizen

Surrogates need to be upstanding citizens within the community, and usually only individuals who have a perfectly clean criminal record are accepted. If you are unsure about any previous run-ins with the law, you will need to check first to see if you qualify. Misdemeanors are acceptable.

You want to help

Finally, ask yourself about your motivation. Why do you want to be a surrogate? If the answer to this question is that you want to help another couple achieve their dream of starting a family, then you could be the perfect candidate for becoming a surrogate mother!