Surrogacy 101

You Asked: Can I Be a Surrogate If I've Never Had a Child?

Written by Caroline Shannon

February 22, 2023

Plus, what other pregnancy and healthcare factors will be considered before becoming a surrogate?

It’s no surprise that surrogates choose to help other people build families because they want to make a difference in someone’s life. (Being a surrogate = having a heart of gold.) But while a want to help is noble, becoming a surrogate does come with a list of requirements. One of them? A prior pregnancy of your own.

Keep reading to discover more about why you can’t be a surrogate before having a child of your own, including other healthcare factors that will be included in your surrogate application.

Can I be a surrogate if I’ve never had a child? 

As you’ve already learned, the short answer is no — you absolutely cannot be a surrogate without first giving birth to a child of your own. The reason for this precondition is not obscure. Instead, surrogacy professionals and healthcare providers have decided to require a prior, uncomplicated pregnancy and birth to protect gestational carriers, intended parents, and a future baby. 

Related: What to Expect from the Surrogacy Intake and Screening Process

What other factors are considered for prior pregnancies?

So, now that you know carrying at least one child of your own is a requirement to become a surrogate, you might be wondering what other factors are considered in terms of prior pregnancies and parenting.

To be considered for surrogacy, you have to meet the following criteria:

- You must have carried at least one pregnancy successfully (read: uncomplicated) to term.

- You must be parenting at least one of the children you gave birth to.

- You must be done building your own family.

On a practical level, these requirements are in place because they indicate you can successfully carry children and have psychological readiness. More importantly, however, potential surrogates who do not meet these requirements are disqualified to protect their safety. 

Pregnancy is an incredibly physical and emotional process, and a surrogate’s first experience with it should be a personal one in which they can create a process that works best for them. First-hand knowledge about pregnancy and birth helps do that!

Related: Does a Prior Miscarriage Disqualify You as a Surrogate?

The bottom line: Surrogacy without a prior pregnancy of your own is a nope! But that doesn’t disqualify you forever. If, after having your own children, you’re still interested in becoming a surrogate, you can always circle back to the application process.

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