It’s one of the biggest questions that women considering surrogacy ask: How much do surrogates get paid?
Like many aspects of the surrogacy journey, the answer to this question depends on the personal circumstances of all involved: the surrogate, the intended parents and the surrogacy professional you choose to work with. However, as a surrogate, you will always receive an estimate of your surrogate mother compensation before committing to this life-changing journey.
A surrogacy professional can give you the most accurate average compensation for surrogacy in your situation. In the meantime, you can continue reading this article to learn more about getting paid as a surrogate and the intricacies involved.
Why Do Women Get Paid to Have a Baby for Someone Else?
As you likely know, surrogacy is a complicated and involved process. As a surrogate, you will be giving a great deal of your time, energy and body to selflessly help another person become a parent. While there is a certain amount of altruism in every surrogacy journey, it’s normal to wonder how to become a surrogate and get paid, too.
In states that allow for compensated surrogacy, many surrogacy professionals will advise that a woman get paid to be a surrogate mother for many reasons — mainly, to protect herself during the process. Without adequate pay for surrogacy, a woman can feel emotionally and physically taken advantage of during the process, which will put both her and the intended parents in a difficult position. Proper surrogate compensation, on the other hand, ensures that she feels appreciated for her services and can maintain a positive relationship with the intended parents, even when unforeseen challenges emerge. Your surrogacy professional and your surrogacy attorney will work with you and the intended parents to establish a surrogate mother pay that you are both comfortable with.
However, a word of caution: Just because a woman can receive money for surrogacy does not mean the financial aspect should be her largest motivation for becoming a surrogate. Instead, many women generously and selflessly wish to help other people, and surrogate mother compensation is just an added benefit. Your surrogacy professional will want to speak with you regarding your motivations to become a surrogate to ensure you are the right fit for their program.
When people ask, “How much do surrogate mothers make?” they are usually referring to a surrogate’s base compensation — a lump sum that they are paid throughout their pregnancy for their services. This compensation is to do with as they wish, and many surrogates use this money to reach financial goals — like pay off student loans or put a down payment on a house. While this compensation will vary based on the state where you live and your surrogacy professional, the average compensation for surrogate mothers is around $25,000.
So, what determines exactly how much you get paid for being a surrogate mother? Typically, there are three aspects of base surrogate mother compensation:
- Your Own Experience
How much first-time surrogates make in comparison to experienced surrogates is different — and your level of experience will play a part in how much you can make as a surrogate. Women who have proven their ability to carry a healthy surrogate pregnancy to term can receive more base compensation than those who have never been surrogates before.
Your surrogacy professional will give you more details about how your experience as a surrogate will ultimately impact your traditional or gestational surrogate compensation.
- The Intended Parents’ Budget
Intended parents will often choose a surrogacy program or surrogate based on how well their personal budget fits into the finances of that path. Sometimes, intended parents will have a smaller budget for surrogate mother compensation, or they’ll work with a friend or family member who is comfortable with a smaller compensation as a surrogate. Again, this number will always be determined by a surrogacy attorney to ensure both parties are comfortable.
- The Policies of the Surrogacy Agency You Work With
If you choose to work with a surrogacy agency, they will likely have a set schedule and estimate for surrogate compensation. This can be influenced by:
- Their set compensation for first-time and experienced surrogates
- The surrogacy laws in the states where they operate
- Their fee schedule for intended parents
Often, a surrogacy professional from an agency will discuss the details of your surrogate mother compensation package and answer any questions you may have before you begin working with them.
In addition to these factors, things like whether or not the intended parents live in the U.S., whether or not your insurance covers parts of your pregnancy, and the possibility of carrying multiples can also impact how much you get paid for surrogacy.
Surrogacy- and Pregnancy-Related Expenses
In addition to the payment for being a surrogate that you receive, all of your surrogacy- and pregnancy-related expenses will be covered by your intended parents. This is to ensure that your surrogacy journey is as financially easy as possible for you, because you are already giving your time and energy to being a surrogate for them.
Your surrogacy professional and surrogacy attorney will create a fee schedule to ensure that all of your necessary pregnancy expenses are covered. They’ll also take into account any possible complications or repeat procedures that occur, drafting out any potential additional compensation. The finances for your pregnancy- and surrogacy-related expenses will typically be delivered on a monthly basis and will likely include coverage for expenses like:
- Maternity clothes
- Medical expenses not covered by your or the intended parents’ insurance
- Medications and vitamins
- Travel for the embryo transfer and local doctor’s appointments
- Childcare and housekeeping
- Lost wages for you or your spouse due to bedrest and/or medical leave
- Telephone calls with intended parents
- And more
Your surrogacy professional will discuss your lifestyle with you to determine what additional traditional or gestational surrogacy pay you will need before starting your surrogacy journey. It’s important that you work closely with him or her and your surrogacy lawyer to ensure all aspects of your surrogacy journey are properly addressed in the financial portion of your legal surrogacy contract.
What Will Your Surrogate Mother Compensation Be?
If you’re asking, “How much will I earn if I’m a surrogate mother?” the best thing to do is contact an appropriate surrogacy professional. Every program’s fee schedule will be different, so consider reaching out to these professionals to compare the possibilities for surrogate mother compensation to find one that meets your needs:
- American Surrogacy
- Circle Surrogacy
- Reproductive Possibilities
- West Coast Surrogacy
- Simple Surrogacy
Remember, while getting paid as a surrogate is an important part of a fair surrogacy process, it should not be your only motivation to be a surrogate. Instead, you should also be excited at the opportunity to help create a family where there may not have been one before.
If you’re considering surrogacy for any reason, speak to a surrogacy professional to learn more about the surrogacy process and decide if it’s really the right path for you.