Surrogate Compensation FAQ [5 Common Questions]

By choosing to give a person or couple the chance to have a child of their own, you are doing something truly life-changing. For up to a year, you are committing yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically to the twists and turns of the surrogacy journey.  Because of how demanding surrogacy is, not everyone is equipped to carry a child for someone else.

Despite your own research that you have likely already done, you probably have a lot of questions. Some of the biggest questions prospective surrogates have pertained to surrogate compensation.

  • If you’re new to the surrogacy process, you might not have an understanding of how surrogates are compensated. 
  • You might be afraid to ask for fear of appearing as if you are choosing to be a surrogate solely for the money.  
  • Even if your decision is purely altruistic, we understand how important it is to understand the ins and outs of surrogate pay.

Below, we answer five of the most common questions we receive from prospective gestational carriers. If you still have questions after reading this, contact a surrogacy professional today.

1. What is Surrogate Income?

The first step to understanding surrogacy pay is understanding surrogate income and its meaning. Surrogate “income,” or surrogate compensation, consists of base pay that the intended parents will pay you for being a gestational carrier. This base pay is your money to spend however you like. Many surrogates put this money towards financial goals such as:

  • Buying a house
  • Paying off debt
  • Caring for their family
  • And more.

This money will be paid directly to you in monthly installments once your pregnancy has been confirmed.

Some surrogacy agencies will claim to offer their surrogates high base pays when in reality, you will only be able to freely use a portion of that money.

Some less transparent surrogacy professionals will combine other payments and reimbursements with the figure for their surrogate income. This allows them to get away with advertising much higher compensation rates.  This means you won’t be able to use all of the compensation in whatever manner you choose. A good portion of it will be reimbursements for pregnancy and surrogacy expenses such as:

  • Lost wages from doctor’s appointments and maternity leave
  • Medical expenses and screening costs
  • Travel costs
  • And more

So when you feel like the base pay a surrogacy agency is promising is too good to be true, there’s a good chance that it is. Stick with surrogacy agencies that don’t include these costs in their advertised base pay. That means you will be able to use all of your base compensation however you want. Always be sure to read the fine print when comparing surrogacy agencies.

2. When do Surrogate Mothers get Paid?

After learning what surrogate income really is, the next question we get is usually, “When does a surrogate mother get paid?”

When it comes to receiving your base pay, you will begin receiving payments after your pregnancy has been confirmed.  You and your surrogacy professional will be able to sit down and discuss how much and how frequently these payments will occur.  Before choosing a surrogacy professional you may want to thoroughly research their payment schedule.

As a gestational carrier, you will never be expected to spend a dime on surrogacy and pregnancy costs. From the start of the surrogacy process, your surrogacy agency will begin covering your surrogacy expenses through payments and reimbursements in the form of a monthly allowance.

3. How are Surrogates Paid?

Like the question above, how you will receive your surrogate pay will depend on the surrogacy professional you work with.  No matter what, your surrogacy professional will ensure that the transfer of funds is safe and secure.

In most cases, surrogates are paid their base pay in monthly installments. Your surrogacy professional will set up an escrow account to make sure that you are receiving these payments on time.  The intended parents will put money into the escrow account, and you will begin receiving these payments once your pregnancy is confirmed.

4. Can I Receive Surrogate Compensation for Breastmilk?

Yes!  If the intended parents want their child to be breastfed, you are able to provide your own breastmilk. This allows the baby to receive all the benefits and nutrients of breastmilk.  Keep in mind: you are not required to pump if you don’t want to. Pumping breastmilk takes a lot of time and energy. You will also need to figure out how to get the breastmilk to the intended parents.

Because of all these factors, you will be able to be compensated for breastmilk.  The typical compensation for surrogates pumping breastmilk is often $200-$250 a week. Your surrogacy professional will be able to help you make these arrangements.

5. Do Surrogates get Paid if they Miscarry or if F.E.T. does not work?

Yes. You will receive your base compensation payments in monthly installments, or whatever agreed upon the arrangement you decided on with your surrogacy professional, up until an unfortunate event of an unforeseen miscarriage or failed embryo transfer occurs.

In the event that a pregnancy is unsuccessful, you and the intended parents will have already determined whether you want to perform another transfer in your signed surrogacy contract. You will be compensated for all the time dedicated to the surrogacy process up until the miscarriage or failed transfer.

A miscarriage can be devastating for the surrogate and the intended parents. There may be a recovery period before attempting another transfer to give everyone time to recuperate emotionally and physically, in the case of the surrogate.

If your question wasn’t listed here or you want additional information, contact a surrogacy professional today to get the support you deserve.