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Becoming a Surrogate in Iowa

Gestational Surrogacy in IA:

A Guide for Prospective Surrogates

Becoming a surrogate is a noble and rewarding decision, allowing you to help others achieve their dream of parenthood. If you're considering becoming a surrogate in Iowa, this guide will walk you through the process, requirements, and important considerations to help you make an informed decision.

For Iowans considering becoming a surrogate — often referred to by the more traditional term, surrogate mother — there are a few important things to know about the process. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the steps involved in becoming a gestational surrogate in the Hawkeye State and offer tips on how to navigate the process smoothly.


Understanding Surrogacy in Iowa:
What Is Gestational Surrogacy?


 Gestational surrogacy is a specialized form of surrogacy where a woman carries an embryo that is not biologically related to her. This embryo is created through in vitro fertilization (IVF), utilizing either the intended parents' sperm and egg or donor sperm and/or eggs. The surrogate has no genetic connection to the child she carries.  


Navigating the Gestational Surrogacy Process in Iowa  


Meet Eligibility Criteria: To become a gestational surrogate in Iowa, residency in the state is required. Additionally, meeting specific medical and lifestyle prerequisites is crucial. Eligible candidates are typically between 21 and 45 years old, have had at least one successful pregnancy, and maintain good physical and mental health. A supportive partner and a stable living situation are also essential factors.  

Engage with a Surrogacy Agency: Collaborating with a reputable surrogacy agency can streamline the process and ensure compliance with all legal and medical requirements. These agencies facilitate connections with intended parents, coordinate medical appointments, and provide invaluable emotional support.  


Complete Medical Screenings: Prior to being matched with intended parents, you will undergo comprehensive medical assessments to determine your suitability for surrogacy. This evaluation includes a physical examination, review of your medical history, and various laboratory tests.  


Match with Intended Parents: Upon clearance for surrogacy, your chosen surrogacy agency will assist in locating intended parents seeking a gestational surrogate. You'll have the opportunity to meet them, discuss expectations, and determine if you both wish to proceed with the surrogacy journey.  

Sign a Surrogacy Agreement: Once both parties agree to collaborate, you will enter into a surrogacy agreement delineating the terms and conditions of the arrangement. This legally binding document should be reviewed by legal counsel and obtain judicial approval.  


Commence Medical Treatment: Following the signing of the surrogacy agreement, you will initiate medical treatment to prepare your body for pregnancy. Typically, this involves hormone therapy to ready your uterus for embryo implantation.  


Carry the Pregnancy: After the successful implantation of the embryo, the main event itself — you will carry the pregnancy to full term and deliver the baby for the intended parents.  


Conclude the Legal Process: Post-birth, the intended parents will complete the legal adoption process, establishing them as the child's legal parents. In Iowa, as in neighboring states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri, the birth certificate will reflect the intended parents as the child's legal parents.​

- Surrogate Questionnaire -

What are the Health Qualifications for Surrogacy in Iowa?

  • To become a surrogate in Iowa, you should be in good physical and mental health.

  • Prior Pregnancy: You have successfully given birth to at least one child.

  • No Risky Habits: You do not engage in substance abuse or risky behaviors.

  • If you plan to become a surrogate you will need to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation to ensure you are a suitable candidate. This includes a review of medical history, physical examination, and screening tests for sexually transmitted infections, and other medical conditions.

  • During the pregnancy, Iowan surrogates are expected to maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow the instructions of the medical team to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

  • Support: You have a supportive spouse, partner or support structure to lean on if needed.

What is the Age for Surrogacy in Iowa?

  • You should be between the ages of 21 and 40 and have had at least one successful pregnancy and delivery.

What is the Law on Surrogacy in Iowa?

  • Gestational Surrogacy: Iowa generally allows gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate is not genetically related to the child she carries. This form of surrogacy is more widely accepted and regulated than traditional surrogacy. 

  • Pre-Birth Orders: Iowa allows intended parents to obtain pre-birth orders that recognize them as the legal parents of the child before birth. This is common in gestational surrogacy arrangements to avoid legal complications.  Surrogacy

  • Surrogacy Contracts: Surrogacy contracts are often used to outline the rights, responsibilities, and compensation for both the surrogate mother and intended parents. These contracts are legally enforceable in Iowa.  

  • Post-Birth Legal Process: After the child is born, there may be additional legal steps to ensure the intended parents' names are on the birth certificate and that the surrogate has no legal rights or responsibilities regarding the child.

- Surrogate Questionnaire -

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