It’s no secret — surrogate compensation can be confusing, especially if this is your first journey into the surrogacy process. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Here, we’ve answered some of the biggest questions we receive from prospective surrogates. We hope you can use this information to make the best choice for you. Becoming a surrogate is not a decision to make lightly, and having all the proper information about compensation is one important part.
We always encourage prospective surrogates to speak with a local surrogacy professional for personalized compensation estimates and information. In the meantime, keep reading below to learn the basics.
1. What is Surrogate Income?
When it comes to learning about surrogacy compensation, you must first understand what the surrogate income “meaning” is. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the money a surrogate gets paid for her services. So, let’s break down the “surrogate money definition” for you:
Surrogate compensation is money that a gestational carrier is directly paid for carrying the intended parents’ child. It is a number decided on by her and the intended parents before the process even starts and is typically paid out in installments as the journey progresses. Surrogate compensation is payment that a woman can do with as she pleases. Many surrogates and their families use these funds to achieve financial goals, such as a down payment on a house or a new car.
2. How Much are Surrogates Paid?
This is often the biggest question that prospective surrogates have. Once they know that surrogate compensation is available, they want to know exactly how much it is.
Unfortunately, there’s no single answer to this question. A surrogate’s compensation rate depends on many things, including her state of residence and experience with the surrogacy process. The only way you can find out your personal compensation rate is by contacting a local surrogacy professional near you.
Keeping all that in mind, the average pay for a surrogate in the U.S. today is $30,000.
During your research, you will find that surrogates in states like California often get paid higher compensation rates. Specific agencies offer different compensation rates, too, although some of these are purposely misleading to attract surrogate candidates. Therefore, it’s important to consider all of your options when choosing a surrogacy professional — and don’t just choose based on where you can get the most compensation.
3. What is Included in Surrogate Compensation?
A surrogate always has the right to receive base payment for her services. Regardless of whether and how much she chooses to be paid, she will always receive additional reimbursement for the expenses incurred during the surrogacy process.
You see, surrogates are never expected to pay for any aspect of the surrogacy journey. Intended parents pay for all of the medical and pregnancy-related expenses along the way. Surrogates already give their time and energy to help these parents build their family; they are not expected to contribute financially, too.
In addition to base compensation, surrogates may receive payment for:
- Medical visits
- Travel expenses
- Maternity clothes
- Lost wages
- Invasive procedures
- And more
With all of these accounted for, you will never have to pay out-of-pocket for any expenses during your surrogacy journey. It’s just one more way that surrogacy professionals make your experience as great as possible.
Your surrogacy attorney will ensure all necessary expenses are covered during the drafting of your surrogacy contract.
4. When Do Surrogate Mothers Get Paid?
Surrogate compensation is paid out in installments after a woman’s pregnancy is confirmed. While all additional expenses — medical and travel costs, etc. — are paid for from the beginning of the process, a surrogate must wait until after the fertility clinic confirms the fetus’ heartbeat to start receiving compensation payments.
From there, how much and how frequently a carrier receives her compensation installments will depend on the policy of her surrogacy professional.
5. How are Surrogates Paid?
Surrogate compensation is not just handed to a surrogate in cash after she gives birth to the intended parents’ baby. How surrogates are paid depends on the surrogacy professionals they use — but it is always a highly professional and secure way of transferring funds.
As mentioned, surrogates are paid in installments through their pregnancy. Typically, a surrogacy professional will set up escrow services to manage these payments. Intended parents will fund the escrow account, and a third party will dole out payments as agreed upon during the nine months of pregnancy. An escrow service may seem like an unnecessary middleman, but these professionals actually help to make the complicated and awkward topic of surrogate payment easier for all involved.
Your chosen surrogacy professional can explain in more detail exactly how surrogates are compensated through its program.
6. Do Surrogates Have to Pay Taxes on their Income?
Surrogacy and taxes can be confusing enough on their own. They’re even more complicated when you combine them.
In many cases, a surrogate will not have to pay taxes on her surrogate compensation. However, this may not be the case in every surrogacy journey. If you want to learn more about paying taxes as a surrogate, the best thing to do is contact the Internal Revenue Service or a local tax attorney.
Remember, you should not take the information in this article as legal or financial advice; only a professional can address your questions and concerns.
7. Can Surrogates Pursue Surrogacy Altruistically?
While surrogates tend to have a lot of questions about what surrogate income is and how it works, some women have another question: Can you choose to waive your right to compensation when you’re a surrogate?
Absolutely! Many surrogates choose an altruistic surrogacy path, especially if they are carrying for a friend or family member. These surrogates will still have all of their surrogacy expenses paid for, but they choose to save their intended parents the cost of additional compensation.
Altruistic surrogacy is a beautiful journey, but it’s something that you should think hard about before you decide it is right for you.
Want more information on surrogate compensation? Contact your local surrogacy professional today.