Do You Get Paid to Be a Surrogate?

Last Updated: July 18, 2022 6 min read
Author: Chelsea L.

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The amount depends on the agency, the intended family’s budget, the state you live in, and other specifics of the journey. For most agencies, the base compensation ranges from $30,000 to $50,000.

Do You Get Paid to Be a Surrogate?

When deciding if you are wanting to be a surrogate and bless another family with a child, you may not be sure how the surrogacy process works and how you’d be impacted financially. Bringing a child into the world includes a lot of extra bills and it’s smart to understand what those will be and who is paying for them. Be assured that all extra expenses incurred during a surrogacy are paid by the intended parents and the surrogate is not responsible for that extra financial load. Surrogates are also offered additional compensation for their time and sacrifice involved in surrogacy.

While there are women who choose an altruistic (uncompensated) surrogacy, many surrogates choose the route of being compensated for the huge sacrifice that they are making for another family. The exact amount differs depending on the agency, the intended family’s budget, the state you live in, and other specifics of the surrogacy journey. For most surrogacy agencies in the United States, the pay given to a surrogate through the intended parents falls into three categories: base compensation, additional stipends, and coverage of all surrogacy-related expenses. The base compensation typically ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. Additional benefits can be given depending on the surrogacy situation and total compensation is typically covered early on in the gestational surrogacy agreement that is made through a surrogacy agency.

Before starting your surrogacy journey, please consult with surrogacy professionals. This will ensure that you are receiving the pay you deserve and that that amount is clear and understood by all parties. You do not want to be put in a situation where the financial compensation is unclear and you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Working with surrogacy attorneys and an agency will help the process move along in the right direction as they will know the appropriate compensation for your situation and how the process should go. This protects you as the surrogate and the legal fees and services are typically covered in the benefits package.

States That Support Surrogacy

The best state to do your surrogacy in is California. They have many surrogacy laws in place that protect the gestational surrogate and usually offer the most compensation as there is high demand for prospective surrogates in the state. However, most states support surrogacy and offer competitive pay. The only state to look out for is Michigan. This state has laws that prohibit paid surrogacy and voids all surrogacy contracts. The only form of surrogacy that is allowed in Michigan is altruistic surrogacy which is surrogacy that is unpaid.

Surrogate-Related Expenses

Surrogate-Related Expenses

In most cases, all of the expenses related to surrogacy are covered by the intended family. This includes screening, medical procedures, insurance co-pays, and legal expenses. Some additional expenses that can be covered are maternity clothing expenses, travel expenses for appointments, childcare for doctor's appointments, and prenatal vitamins.

Experienced Surrogate Pay

A first-time surrogate will receive less pay that an experienced surrogate. If this is not your first time as a surrogate, odds are you will get paid more than your previous time. This is due to your experience and knowledge in the process. Agencies have also already screened you as a surrogate and have a better idea of how your body handles surrogacy. Most agencies will offer additional base pay increases after the first surrogacy.

Do surrogates get paid before or after birth?

Additional Questions

Do Surrogates Get Paid Before or After Birth?

Technically, the surrogate mother pay includes monthly installments both before and after the birth of the child. This is because the payments are broken up and paid throughout the pregnancy and then one final payment at the end. Agencies do not expect their surrogates to front all the medical bills and find that offering payments throughout the pregnancy works best for both parties involved.

Do Surrogates Get Paid If They Miscarry?

Experiencing a miscarriage can be a very tolling thing and a surrogate may wonder if they are left with medical expenses and no compensation if their pregnancy does lead to a miscarriage. A miscarriage or failed transfer is usually written out in a surrogacy contract and the surrogate receives all the compensation to that point in their contract, including all of their expenses being paid.

Since most surrogacy agreements come with a base pay that is paid throughout the pregnancy, a miscarriage for a surrogate would usually mean that they receive all of the payments up to that point in their pregnancy.

Unfortunately, miscarriages are common and do occur in surrogacy. A surrogacy contract usually states that if a miscarriage does occur, there will be another embryo transfer once you are physically and emotionally ready for it.

Do Surrogates Breastfeed The Baby?

This depends on the surrogacy agreement. While a surrogate can most definitely breastfeed the baby, most of them do not. If the intended family finds it really important that their child receives breast milk, they can work out an agreement where they will pay the surrogate for their pumped breastmilk. This usually includes payment for pump supplies and about $150 per week supply of breast milk.

Do Surrogates Make Good Money?

Surrogates can make a good chunk of money for their time and efforts. This compensation package is usually used to achieve certain financial goals that the surrogate mother has. While the amount is typically around $30,000 - $50,000, in some cases, it can be six figures! Many women choose to be surrogates so that they can better provide for their own family. This additional money could go to a down payment on a house, provides college funds for their children, pay for family vacations, and even pay off student loans.

How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid For Twins?

If a surrogate agrees to a double embryo transfer they are offered more for the pregnancy than a single transfer. This is because carrying twins is a higher risk for the surrogate and pregnancy overall. Typically, an agency will offer an additional $5,000 to the base pay and then increase their surrogate-related expense stipends to cover the additional costs that can incur. This includes additional pay for maternity clothes and additional payments for the extra appointments necessary for twin pregnancy.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Deciding to go through a surrogate pregnancy is a huge decision that should not be taken lightly. Your personal surrogacy journey will be unique to your individual situation, but contracts should be made so that there are as few surprises as possible. While the surrogacy compensation can be a large sum of money, there are risks involved that need to be considered. The process of becoming a surrogate involves invasive procedures and takes a lot of physical and emotional strength. Being able to give the gift of parenthood to another family is an amazing experience, but the best way to go about this process is to first consider your personal situation and do research on how this process would fit in your life.