“Can I Be a Surrogate if I’ve Never Given Birth?” [Pregnancy Requirements for Surrogates]

While the desire to carry a baby for someone else is admirable, there are important requirements you need to meet if you want to be a surrogate. Many women wanting to be surrogates ask, “Can I be a surrogate with no previous children?” The answer to this is always: No.

Every surrogacy agency you’ll come across today requires that all surrogates must have had at least one prior pregnancy. If you want to be a surrogate mother with no previous children, this might be discouraging news. You might even feel like this qualification is unfair.  To get the answers you need, reach out to a surrogacy professional today or continue reading the article below that breaks down why this requirement exists.

Can You be a Surrogate Without Having Given Birth?

There could be a variety of reasons why you want to become a surrogate mother if you’ve never been pregnant. Maybe you’re determined to help intended parents have a child of their own. Perhaps you have no plans to have your own kids but want to use your physical capabilities to help others. Whatever your reason, becoming a surrogate without a previous pregnancy is not possible.

Having at least one prior pregnancy is one of the most important surrogacy requirements. Regardless of whether you’re working with a surrogacy agency or pursuing an independent surrogacy, you will not be able to be a gestational carrier without at least one previous pregnancy. This is because having had at least one prior pregnancy ensures that you understand the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy and childbirth and are prepared to carry a child for someone else. Meeting this requirement also demonstrates that you are physically capable of safely carrying a baby to term.

When you begin the screening process with your surrogacy professional, you will be asked to provide documentation of any previous pregnancies and deliveries and a letter from your OB/GYN confirming that you are healthy enough to be a surrogate. Even if you are young and healthy overall, it can be difficult for your doctor to determine if surrogacy is a viable option for you if you have never carried a baby to term before.

Wanting to become a surrogate to give someone else the chance to have a family of their own is an admirable choice. However, to protect the best interests of you and the intended parents, you will not be able to be a surrogate without a previous pregnancy.

Why You Can’t be a Surrogate Mother Without a Previous Pregnancy

We understand that not being able to become a surrogate with no previous pregnancy might not be what you wanted to hear. If you’re young, healthy and motivated by the desire to a person or couple the gift of family, why should not having a prior pregnancy stop you?

The surrogacy process has a lot of moving parts and will take at least a year. It’s imperative that both you and the intended parents are prepared to deal with the responsibilities and challenges ahead. If you have never been pregnant before, it’s hard to anticipate how your body will handle this experience. There’s no point of reference to determine with certainty that you will be able to safely carry the baby to term without any major complications. No matter how eager and prepared you feel, pregnancy and childbirth is something you have to experience to be able to fully know if you’re ready to do it for someone else.

For most surrogacy agencies, there are two major reasons why they do not allow women who don’t have at least one prior pregnancy become a surrogate:

1. It Could Put your Physical and Mental Health at Risk

Like many of the surrogacy requirements that professionals have in place, the qualification of having at least one prior pregnancy is there to protect you.  Without a previous pregnancy, there’s no way to know how you will be able to physically and emotionally handle the challenges of embryo transfer, pregnancy and childbirth. Even if your fertility isn’t an issue, there’s no way of knowing if you’re at risk for major complications during pregnancy if you’ve never been pregnant before.

The surrogacy process is just as much an emotional experience as a physical one. If you’ve never been pregnant before, you have no way of knowing what to expect from the emotional challenges of pregnancy. With the pregnancy hormones, the stress of altering your life to accommodate the pregnancy, and the process itself, surrogacy is an emotional journey. If you don’t know what to expect, you might not be properly equipped to cope with the emotional and mental challenges that may arise during your pregnancy. This is the main reason why surrogacy without previous pregnancy is not permitted.

2. It Could Result in a Difficult Situation for the Intended Parents

Not only would becoming a surrogate mother without previous pregnancy be risky for you, but it could also affect the intended parents.  By this point, they may have been trying for a child for months or years and spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. Surrogacy is their last hope to have a child that shares their genetics. Because they may only have one shot at this, intended parents want their surrogacy process to be as free of issues as possible and want to work with a surrogate who can safely carry their baby to term. 

We understand that it can be discouraging to learn that you cannot be a surrogate mother no previous children.  Your desire to give someone else the gift of a child is incredibly beautiful. But, there are other ways you can help, such as becoming an egg donor. This allows you to use your resources to help someone have a child, even if you don’t have one of your own.