Gestational Surrogate vs. Traditional Surrogate Compensation [Which Pays More?]

If you’re ready to start your journey as a surrogate, you’ve most likely found a lot of information about gestational surrogacy and gestational surrogacy compensation. Gestational surrogacy is the method in which you carry an embryo created from the sperm and egg of the intended parents and/or a donor. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate, it’s natural to have questions about traditional and gestational surrogacy compensation. What do gestational surrogates get paid? Is it possible to make more in traditional surrogate compensation?

The answer is no. While it’s easy to assume that traditional surrogates get paid more because of their biological connection to the child, this isn’t the case. Gestational surrogates actually get paid more than traditional surrogates. We’ll explain why in this article. To speak with a professional about gestational surrogacy vs. traditional compensation, reach out today to get the information you need.

How Much Does A Gestational Carrier Make?

Gestational surrogate compensation can vary, but generally, you can expect to receive a base compensation of $30,000–$40,000. Your gestational carrier pay will depend on:

  • The agency you work with
  • Your experience with surrogacy
  • The state you live in
  • The unique details of your surrogacy journey
  • And more

You will receive this money in monthly installments when your pregnancy is confirmed, and you will be able to spend this money however you want.  

In addition to your base compensation, you will also receive a monthly allowance that will go towards surrogacy expenses, such as required travel and IVF treatments, and pregnancy costs. 

“As far as my medical bills go, I don’t even have to pay those upfront. I just show them the bill. I send them a picture of the bill, they send me the money and then I pay the medical bill,” said Codi about using her monthly allowance. “That was the same thing for any of our travels. I just used a credit card to pay for gas and pay for food while we were at the clinic, and then I was reimbursed afterwards. The compensation I felt like was fair for the amount of work, time and emotional energy that I spent.”

As a gestational surrogate, you are committing a year of your life or more to the process, as well as your emotional and physical energy. Because of the amazing sacrifice you are willing to make, you will receive gestational carrier compensation in return.

Do Gestational Surrogates Get Paid more than Traditional Surrogates? 

In general, yes. Because traditional surrogacy uses your own egg, you might wonder, “Do traditional surrogates get paid more than gestational surrogates?” It’s easy to assume the answer is yes. After all, you’re using your own genetic material. Surprisingly, this is not the case. 

Traditional surrogacy typically pays less than gestational surrogacy, if at all. This is because being paid for a child that is biologically yours could blur lines of human trafficking laws. Accepting compensation for traditional surrogacy could result in legal consequences for you and the intended parents, depending on your state laws. 

When you’re choosing to become a surrogate, you’re doing more than deciding to carry a baby for someone else; you are giving an individual or couple the chance to have a child that they might not have been able to have otherwise. For them, you are the catalyst to having the family they have always dreamed of.

“When they brought the babies in to meet me, with Lindsey and Shiloh, she handed me one and I started crying and she started crying,” Megan said about the emotional rewards of being a surrogate. “So, that right there, that was our special little moment. And there’s nothing better in the world than to see that.”

While this decision is an altruistic one for most surrogates, there’s no denying that the gestational surrogacy payment that comes with it is alluring.  For many women, the compensation that comes with gestational surrogacy — paired with the legal and emotional risks of traditional surrogacy — make gestational surrogacy the obvious choice.

Is it Legal to Be Paid for Traditional Surrogacy? 

Whether you’re pursuing traditional or gestational surrogacy, you’re likely not doing it solely for the money. But because you’re dedicating so much of your time and energy to carrying a child for someone else, there’s no denying that compensation is extremely helpful.  

If you’re interested in traditional surrogacy, you might be wondering if it’s legal to be paid for your services.

  • Since traditional surrogacy involves using your own egg, it is treated similarly to adoption in most states.
  • This means that since you are genetically linked to the baby, you must formally relinquish your parental rights, just as you would with an adoption.
  • Because you would be considered a biological parent to the child, you will usually not be able to receive compensation. If you were to be compensated, this could be seen as child buying in the eyes of the law. 

While you wouldn’t be able to receive traditional surrogate compensation for carrying a child, the intended parents would likely be able to cover your medical expenses incurred during the surrogacy process and your pregnancy.

While financial gain may not be your main motivation for choosing to be a surrogate, it’s important that you are comfortable with the fact that you will most likely not be able to be compensated for your services as a traditional surrogate. 

Where Can I Find Information about Gestational and Traditional Surrogacy Compensation? 

The best way to learn more about traditional and gestational surrogate compensation is with the help of a licensed surrogacy professional. Many surrogacy agencies do not help facilitate traditional surrogacy efforts due to the legal and emotional risks that could arise if the surrogate becomes too attached to the baby. However, they’ll be able to help you better understand your state’s surrogacy compensation laws, the amount of compensation you can expect to receive as a surrogate, and your options for pursuing gestational or traditional surrogacy.

To get more information on how traditional surrogacy compares to gestational surrogacy, contact a professional today.