As a gestational surrogate, you will be dedicating at least a year of your life to produce life’s most precious gift for a person or couple who are unable to have children on their own. Because you commit to them, intended parents commit to you as well with surrogate mother compensation.
Your pay for being a surrogate mother covers not only all of the pregnancy-related expenses you’ll incur during the surrogacy process but also provides a base surrogate compensation (if allowed by your state surrogacy laws) for the time and effort that you put into helping these intended parents bring their child into the world.
Your surrogacy specialist can help you understand exactly how much surrogates get paid, what you may expect in your situation and whether surrogacy is really right for you. Gestational surrogate mother pay varies based on your individual situation, so it’s best to contact us today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) if you’re curious about our compensated surrogacy program.
All that being said, it’s normal to wonder, “Exactly how much do surrogates make?” As mentioned before, how much the compensation is for a surrogate mother will depend on her personal situation, including necessary medical steps, her experience as a surrogate, and other factors.
At American Surrogacy, gestational surrogates are compensated in three different ways.
1. Base Compensation
Gestational carrier compensation is the base amount of money that a surrogate receives from intended parents. This is not money applied to pregnancy expenses; this is a separate compensation that many surrogates use for big financial steps (like down payments on a house, sending a child to college, paying off student loans and more).
You may have heard that how much money you get paid to be a surrogate mother will depend on your level of experience. So, how much do first-time surrogates make?
At American Surrogacy, we set a base compensation number, which can increase depending on the surrogate’s experience and other surrogacy factors:
Base compensation starts at $30,000
- Applicable health insurance for pregnancy and delivery may affect compensation.
- Experienced surrogates typically receive an additional $5,000 per pregnancy.
- Base compensation is paid in 10 equal installments, beginning with confirmation of heartbeat around six weeks gestation.
- Additional $5,000 base compensation if matching with international parents.
2. All Surrogacy Services Covered
In addition to receiving a monthly payment for being a surrogate, any other additional costs during surrogacy will be paid for by the intended parents. You will incur no expenses relating to the surrogacy process, including:
- Medical Expenses – insurance premiums/deductibles, co-pays, vitamins, and more.
- Legal Expenses – your own legal counsel and drafting of contracts.
- Travel Expenses – airfare, lodging, car rental, food, childcare, and more.
3. Additional Surrogate Compensations
|Type of Compensation||Amount||Explanation|
|Transfer Fee||$750||Paid within 5 days after each transfer procedure; covers lost wages and childcare during trip. Intended parents will be responsible for expenses for long-distance trips, including meal allowance, airport parking, shuttles, air travel mileage and hotel expenses.|
|Invasive Procedures||$500 per procedure||Paid within 5 days of undergoing the procedure. Compensates for discomfort associated with procedures such as cervical cerclage, D&C, HSG, ectopic pregnancy, amniocentesis or CVS per fetal sac, blood transfusion or hysteroscopy (not part of the screening process).|
|Termination of Pregnancy||$1,500||Compensation for additional pain and suffering, fetal reduction and added risks|
|Maternity Clothes||$750||Clothing allowance will be paid at the beginning of the second trimester. For a multiple pregnancy an additional $250 will be added for a total of $1,000.|
|Multiples||$5,000 per child||Compensation is intended for the additional inconvenience and risk associated with a multiple pregnancy. Payments paid in equal monthly installments from the fifth month through the ninth month of pregnancy.|
|Unanticipated Cesarean Section||$1,500||Unanticipated physician-required cesarean section, surrogate will be compensated for the increased discomfort and risk. Fee shall be paid inclusive with final disbursement to surrogate.|
|Monthly Allowance||$200 per month||Covers mileage under 100 miles round-trip; local travel expenses including meals, housekeeping, childcare for local appointments, telephone calls, postage, notary charges, prenatal vitamins, co-pays and miscellaneous expenses such as pregnancy test kits and other incidentals related to the surrogacy. Begins the month of execution of the legal contract. This will be paid through six weeks after birth or early termination of the pregnancy.|
|Canceled Cycle Fee||$300||Paid within 5 days of the cycle being canceled through no fault of the surrogate providing that she has already started taking medication other than birth control pills. This is in addition to the Start of Medications Fee.|
|Mock Cycle||$300||Paid within 5 days of starting the mock cycle and will only be paid providing the RE requires the surrogate to undergo a mock cycle. If the physician decides to transfer, the Transfer Fee will apply.|
|Hold Fee||$300||If a cycle does not commence within 4 months from the date the intended parents and surrogate first meet, the surrogate receives a one-time Hold Fee until the start of medications. Also paid if there is a 3 month delay between transfer attempts.|
|Start of Medications Fee||$500||Paid within 5 days of beginning medications to prepare for the embryo transfer. This fee refers to medications such as Lupron, Progesterone, etc. and does not include the start of birth control medication. It will be paid at the start of each cycle if more than one cycle is needed.|
|Pumping Breast Milk||$150 per week||
Paid for pumping 160 ml. or more of breast milk. Must be mutually agreed upon. Intended Parents will provide all supplies (including electric pump) and pay all shipping costs.
|Loss of Organs & Reproductive Abilities||$1,000-$5,000||
|Bed Rest (Childcare & Housekeeping)||$400-$500 per week (varies on contract)||Bed rest related childcare and housekeeping will be paid if the IVF doctor, OB-GYN or treating physician provides written orders instructing surrogate to restrict activity and go on bed rest.|
|Term Life Insurance||
|A portion is paid to the surrogate’s family in the rare event of her passing due to pregnancy or delivery and a portion will also be paid to the intended parents.|
|Paid as needed if the surrogate requires or requests counseling. This is available through the term of the agreement and up to 6 months after birth, miscarriage or other termination of pregnancy. Length of treatment is decided by the mental health professional.|
|Lost Wages||Varies||Based on the surrogate’s net pay as confirmed by pay stubs. Lost wages are reimbursed due to transfer, bed rest, work restriction, etc.|
|Spouse Lost Wages||Varies||For embryo transfer trip, appointments, etc. Spouse will provide most recent pay stub.|
|Type of Compensation||Explanation|
|Mileage||Reimbursed for the use of surrogate's vehicle for any travel farther than 100 miles from her residence or place of employment. It is intended to cover medical and other appointments incurred as a result of pregnancy or IVF procedures. Mileage will be calculated from surrogate's residence or place of employment to the location of the appointment and paid at the current published IRS rate for mileage at the time mileage is incurred.|
|Per Diem||Paid when the surrogate is required to travel farther than 100 miles from her residence for purpose of medical treatment or an overnight stay is required. The per diem will be a flat rate of $50 per day for both the surrogate and her travel companion and is intended to cover food and other miscellaneous expenses, such as airport parking.|
|Airfare and Hotel||If necessary, will be paid for and arranged by either the intended parents or the surrogacy professional. If a rental car is needed, the surrogate will be reimbursed within 5 days of completion of travel. For rental car and other expenses incurred by the surrogate, receipts must be provided to the surrogacy professional/escrow company prior to reimbursement. If possible, mileage, per diem and rental car costs will be provided to the surrogate in advance of travel by either the intended parents or the surrogacy professional and then reimbursed by the intended parents. When time does not allow for prepayment, all cost reimbursements will be paid when requested following completion of travel.|
Process of Determining and Receiving Surrogate Compensation
You and your own family are sacrificing a great deal to help another person realize their ultimate goal of becoming a parent, and you deserve to be rewarded for your dedication. American Surrogacy treats surrogate compensation very seriously, and we ensure that you are paid on time and in full. Along with your lawyer, we will make sure that you receive the correct surrogate mother compensation that you deserve, which involves several different steps.
Here’s how the surrogate compensation process works:
1. Determine Base Compensation – Your surrogacy specialist will work with you to determine the surrogate mother earnings you may receive based on your past experience with surrogacy and your own requirements. Our average surrogate compensation for first-time surrogates starts at $30,000.
2. Find Intended Parents Who Match Your Requests – Your surrogate profile, including the amount of gestational surrogate compensation you are seeking, will be shown to intended parents who meet your other preferences, such as family type (single, couple, LGBT), contact arrangement during and after the surrogacy, and more.
3. Receive Payments During Pregnancy – Your base surrogate compensation and monthly allowance will begin being paid in monthly installments once the baby's heartbeat is heard. Any surrogacy-related expenses you incur during the surrogacy process will also be handled by your surrogacy specialist.
American Surrogacy will set up an escrow account with a third-party company that will handle all of the monthly payments, including your base surrogate compensation and monthly allowance. Remember, your attorney and surrogate specialist will always be available to help oversee these payments.
That being said, if you’re solely interested in getting paid as a surrogate, rather than becoming a surrogate to help create a family, surrogacy may not be right for you. How much surrogates get paid will vary and, while the gestational surrogate compensation can be enough for a large financial goal (like a down payment on a house or financing toward school), it will not dramatically change many surrogate mothers’ personal incomes. But, if you’re one of the women who genuinely wishes to make a difference in another person’s life through surrogacy, and this altruism is the main reason for your decision, surrogacy may just be perfect for you.
If you’re asking, “How much does it pay to be a surrogate mother?” the best thing you can do is talk to one of our surrogacy specialists. They can discuss your individual surrogacy situation and how it might affect the surrogate mother compensation you are eligible for during the surrogacy process. If you’re ready to start the surrogacy process or still have questions, please contact us today to learn more about surrogate compensation.