For some women, becoming a gestational surrogate is a dream they’ve had for years. It’s not uncommon for prospective surrogates to have thought about this journey since they were young girls. Eager to help someone else become a parent and create a family, they want to become a gestational carrier as soon as they possibly can — often when they are still fairly young and healthy. Some of them haven’t even started families of their own, yet, but want to help others reach that goal — an admirable quest!
But, in looking at the requirements to become a gestational carrier, these women may be surprised at what they see. In fact, they may ask: Why can’t you be a surrogate if you’ve never given birth?
If a woman is looking to become a surrogate without a previous pregnancy, she may not understand exactly why this path is difficult. After all, if a woman is willing to carry a baby for someone else and is healthy enough to do so, why should she have to have a child of her own before starting?
The reality of the situation is a bit more complicated than it may seem. We’ve broken the details of this situation down for you below.
Can I Be a Surrogate If I’ve Never Been Pregnant?
There are many reasons why women want to become a surrogate without a prior pregnancy. As mentioned above, it may have been a dream they’ve had for years and are finally ready to achieve. They may have no desire to raise children themselves and wish to put their healthy reproductive system to good use. They may have been approached by a family member or friend to carry a baby in an identified surrogacy and are excited to help someone they know.
Regardless of your situation, if you are wondering how to become a surrogate mother without having a child, there is one important thing you need to know: It’s impossible.
Whether you are looking to work with an agency or complete an independent surrogacy, you cannot pursue surrogacy without a previous pregnancy. One of the most important requirements of surrogacy is to have at least one successful prior pregnancy and be currently raising your child(ren). This is because you need to fully understand all of the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy and labor before carrying a baby for someone else — something you cannot comprehend without having gone through the pregnancy journey before.
As part of your initial medical screening, your fertility clinic will review your previous birth records to ensure you are healthy enough for surrogacy. If a gestational carrier has never been pregnant, it will be difficult for her doctor to determine whether surrogacy is a safe option for her.
If you want to become a surrogate mother but have never been pregnant, the vast majority of surrogacy and fertility clinics will not approve you for the surrogacy process because of the risk involved — for you, the intended parents and your surrogacy professional. American Surrogacy holds the same standards.
Why is Becoming a Surrogate Without a Previous Pregnancy Impossible?
It may not be automatically clear why surrogacy without a previous pregnancy is not an option. After all, if a woman is young and healthy and genuinely wants to help someone else become a parent, why does she need to have a child of her own before doing so?
The process of surrogacy can be a long and complicated one, so it’s important that both parties are 100 percent prepared for what to expect before starting. But, if you want to become a surrogate mother with no children and no previous pregnancy experience, there is no way you can possibly know what to expect from your upcoming surrogate pregnancy. As optimistic and careful as you might be about preparing yourself, there will be certain physical and emotional risks you open yourself up to for the very first time.
When you contact a surrogacy professional about being a surrogate mother but never having a baby before, there are a few reasons you will be disqualified from the surrogacy process:
- Physically unsafe for the carrier
If you become a surrogate without a prior pregnancy, you have no idea how your body will react to the trials and demands of the embryo transfer and pregnancy processes. Even if your fertility tests seem normal, there are many other complex factors that go into a woman’s ability to safely become pregnant. You won’t be aware of these, which would make your surrogate pregnancy much riskier. There is also a rare possibility of loss of reproductive organs, which means becoming a surrogate without a previous pregnancy puts you at risk of never having your own biological children.
- Potential for emotional complications for the carrier
On the same note, gestational carriers who have never been pregnant or are not raising a child in their own home will be unprepared for the emotional aspects of pregnancy. Even though the child will not be genetically yours, you will still cope with emotional difficulties due to pregnancy hormones and the stress of the process. If you don’t know what to expect, you may be more strongly impacted by emotional difficulties like pre- and post-partum depression and find yourself experiencing emotions you never thought you would.
- Unnecessary risk for intended parents
Your inexperience with pregnancy won’t just affect your own surrogacy process. Intended parents want the best chance at a successful pregnancy that they can get. They have often spent several years and thousands of dollars on unsuccessful infertility treatments, and surrogacy is the last option for having a biological child. Understandably, intended parents will want to work with a carrier who has a proven ability to carry a pregnancy to term; they won’t wish to gamble their chances of becoming parents on a woman whose first time having a baby is as a surrogate mother.
If you’re wondering how to become a surrogate mother without having a child, know that this is a very risky journey — and that you will be hard-pressed to find a surrogacy professional or medical clinic who will guide you through this process. At American Surrogacy, we understand your desire to be a gestational carrier and help someone become parents but, for the safety of all involved, we do not accept women in your situation into our surrogacy program. However, if you still wish to help intended parents, you may consider an alternative path — such as donating your eggs — until you have carried a pregnancy of your own.
For more information about our agency’s requirements to be a gestational carrier, we encourage you to contact our specialists at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).