Women who desire to be surrogates, and those who already are gestational carriers, are special people who want to give a gift that will start or grow a family. Although there is monetary reimbursement involved and base compensation for carrying a pregnancy, surrogates aren’t in it for the money.
You may be wondering, “If not for the money then why do they do it?” Believe it or not there are several reasons that women choose to become surrogates:
- She wants to help intended parents, like you, start or grow your family.
- She enjoys being pregnant, but feels that her own family is complete.
- She wants to see you meet your baby for the first time.
Honestly, surrogates just want you to have the family that you deserve!
So, if surrogates aren’t in it for the money, then why do they get reimbursement and compensation? The answer is simple: a surrogate’s body and time deserve to be respected. Just because gestational carriers enjoy being pregnant doesn’t mean that the gestational surrogacy process is easy for them.
As you read this article, keep in mind that reimbursement and compensation are secondary (and likely even tertiary) thoughts for a surrogate. Her desire to give you a healthy baby is her top priority.
Codi, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, explained her thoughts on her responsibility as a surrogate.
“The hardest part for me about being a surrogate was the weight of carrying somebody else’s joy and happiness,” Codi said. “You carry your own, and you love them immensely, and you know that you would do the best things for them, but when you’re carrying somebody else’s you have all of those feelings, but you feel like you have to prove to someone, ‘I promise I’m taking care of him to the best of my ability.’”
To begin your journey as intended parents or as a gestational carrier, call American Surrogacy today at 1-800-875-BABY (2229). If you meet the requirements to become a surrogate and you’re ready to begin, contact us online at any time.
Surrogacy is a conscious choice and effort for a woman to help you have a baby, which brings us to the first myth about reimbursement and compensation — surrogacy is not a job.
“We’re Paying Her to Do a Job.” Here’s Why That’s Not Accurate.
When a woman voluntarily makes the conscious decision to carry your baby, she is doing this out of her desire to see you become a family.
That doesn’t sound like a job at all.
It’s actually a humanitarian effort. Surrogates may enjoy being pregnant, but they’re not choosing surrogacy just to be pregnant. They’re choosing surrogacy because they want to help you create the loving family that you deserve.
Delicia, a surrogate, talks about where her heart truly was when she made the decision to become a surrogate.
“I initially chose to become involved in surrogacy because I watched some very dear friends struggle with infertility. I knew they would be amazing parents and it broke my heart that they may not have the opportunity to have a family of their own”
Does that sound like she wanted to apply for the job position of gestational carrier? No.
If surrogates are looking for a job, they can certainly find a position that is less physically demanding on their bodies, doesn’t involve medications and regular trips to the doctor, and isn’t a 24/7 gig that takes 38 or more weeks of her time. She’s not looking for a job, she just wants you to start or grow your family by helping you have a baby.
Speaking of the physical demands and time constraints of pregnancy, before your surrogate can even become pregnant, she has to go through screenings and medical treatments. She should certainly be reimbursed for her efforts and the significant amount of time that the screening process will take.
What is Surrogacy Reimbursement and What Does it Include?
Prospective surrogates go through a rigorous round of medical evaluations, psychological evaluations, cycle medications, hormone treatments and more to prepare her mind and body for surrogacy.
Here is a list of a few common requirements that your prospective surrogate must complete:
- Previous childbirth records review
- In-home assessment
- Background check
- Emotional maturity evaluation
- Personality test
- Physical exam to include a pap smear
- Blood and urine lab tests
- Saline sonogram to evaluate the uterus
- And more
This all happens before she is even approved for the embryo transfer!
Can you imagine going through this process without some form of reimbursement for the medical costs incurred? Your prospective surrogate isn’t receiving any base compensation during this process, but she is entitled to financial reimbursement for her time and efforts.
You may be wondering, “Does my surrogate still get reimbursed for a failed embryo transfer?” Yes, even though the embryo transfer may be unsuccessful, she will still receive reimbursement for any costs incurred during that process.
On the other hand, when the embryo transfer is successful, and your baby has a confirmed heartbeat, it’s time to move from reimbursement to base compensation. She is now officially your gestational carrier!
What is Base Compensation and How Does it Work?
Surrogates aren’t trying to get rich by helping you have a baby. Often gestational carriers don’t want compensation at all (yes, they’re really that selfless!), but it is important for you to understand that compensation is a very reasonable expectation for her and her family.
Base compensation is the set amount of funds that a surrogate will receive once pregnancy is confirmed. This amount is written into a contract between the surrogate and the intended parents before any attempts are made to move forward with the surrogacy process.
First, you should know that base compensation does not include medical, legal or travel expenses. Those expenses are paid outside of base compensation. The funds for base compensation are to be used by the surrogate in any way that she sees fit, unlike the reimbursements for very specific pregnancy — and surrogacy—related costs. For example, if she and her family want to make a down payment on a new home, she can use her base compensation in that way. She can save the base compensation payments for her child’s future college education, pay off her own student loans, go on vacation, etc.
Next, base compensation amount can increase depending on your surrogate’s level of experience (number of successful surrogate pregnancies), the cost of living in her state, and it even depends on the intended parent’s situation (if you are international intended parents, then your surrogate may earn additional compensation).
Finally, here’s a basic overview of how surrogacy base compensation works:
- Base compensation begins with confirmation of the baby’s heartbeat — around six weeks of pregnancy.
- An escrow account will be created to ensure that base compensation transactions are managed properly and match the agreed contract terms.
- Funds for base compensation are deposited into the escrow account in 10 equal installments throughout the pregnancy.
It is important to note that not all pregnancies are smooth sailing, so additional compensation is set aside for your surrogate in case of emergencies and/or unforeseen circumstances. If the pregnancy does go as planned, resulting in a healthy and happy baby and surrogate, then the use of emergency compensation is not necessary.
Codi, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, explains how she came to realize that compensation for her time and the physical demands of pregnancy was important.
“When I started the process I always thought, ‘I could probably do it without compensation, like I just really want to do this,’” Codi said. “However, I think it’s important now that I’ve gone through it, to say it was very valuable. The compensation made it feel like I was valued in that sense.”
Surrogates are valued beyond measure and, truthfully, their decision to carry your child for you is selfless, loving and priceless.
Alicia, a surrogate through American Surrogacy, talks about how compensation helped her reach her educational goals and created opportunities to spend time with her daughter.
“I did not know what I was going to do with the money ahead of time,” Alicia said. “The first time around I did know that I was going to go to nursing school with the money, which I did get to do that, and that was very helpful. The second time around…I used the money for expenses and also for my daughter. So, trips with her — we went on vacations a lot. I used a lot of the money for her…to show my appreciation for her being so understanding and just a great little helper while I was going through the process.”
Remember, when a prospective surrogate agrees to carry your child, she’s not doing it for the money. But, she certainly deserves the reimbursement and compensation that she receives. Although she truly desires to help you start or grow your family out of the kindness and love in her heart, her time and her body deserve respect. Your surrogate is choosing to help you in a special and intimate way. She receives 10 months of compensation while you receive the priceless gift of a new family member and a lifetime of love.