Will Herpes disqualify you from becoming a surrogate?

Having been a surrogate mother three times, written extensively about the process, and being a friend to many in the surrogacy community, this question is not new to me. The fact of the matter is that herpes is a common occurrence and having herpes will not mean that you have no chance at pursuing your chance at being a surrogate mother with herpes.


All surrogacy clinics require for gestational surrogacy candidates to undergo both psychological and physical testing before they can be approved for surrogacy. This includes STD testing for both the candidate and her partner (if any).

Although some clinics will disqualify you for a positive STD test, not all will. The issue with Herpes in pregnancy is that it can be transmitted to the baby as it exits the birth canal. However, one easy solution to this problem is to agree to have the child delivered via caesarean section as opposed to having a vaginal birth. Eliminate the vaginal delivery and you eliminate the risk of the child being infected.


The best thing for you to do if you do have Herpes is to be honest and open about it up front. Let the clinic know before they even test you. Also be sure to disclose this information to the intended parent during the matching process. The reason is pretty simple: if you are found to have an STD during the testing process and it is revealed that you knew beforehand, that will give people at the surrogacy agency and other intended parents reason not to trust you. Secondly, if it turns out that your STD status does disqualify you, it is best for that to be discovered sooner rather than later, to prevent time and money from being wasted.  Last, but certainly not least, STDs are not an issue to be skirted over as they can pose a serious health threat to the child. Herpes in pregnancy (if not detected) can result in serious and permanent damage to the child


Herpes is typically the only STD for which exceptions might be made, since Herpes in pregnancy is only a threat to the child during  vaginal births as opposed to other STDs which can be passed on to the baby in vitro. However, do not be surprised or take offense if your Herpes status does disqualify you from the process. Intended parents are typically very cautious when it comes to their journey to parenthood, and so they may be very hesitant about such things as Herpes. However, there are those who understand that the risk to the baby can be eliminated and are willing to proceed by working with a surrogate mother with herpes. Good luck!

Posted in Getting Started.