Are you thinking of becoming a surrogate? Are you wondering how much it pays? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about surrogate compensation and what to expect when it comes to payment.
While gestational surrogacy is certainly noble and selfless, it’s still important to value the woman’s time, work, and effort. Make no mistake: being pregnant is hard work. This means that the surrogate should always be fairly compensated.
Luckily, surrogacy can pay relatively well, although the exact amount will depend on the particular situation. But if you’re willing, and you’ve found the right agency with competitive pay, then it’s a great way to make some serious coin!
How Much Do You Make As A Surrogate?
This depends, but the average surrogate pay can be anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000. However, this is only for the base salary – it does not include the additional forms of compensation. For a detailed breakdown of these forms, make sure you check out the section below.
That’s a pretty wide range in pay. Ultimately, this amount depends on a few key factors, including:
- The rates and benefits package of the surrogacy agency.
- The surrogate’s experience.
- The surrogate’s state of residence.
- The surrogate’s health insurance.
First of all, not all surrogacy agencies offer great compensation. Some may pay you a decent salary but then skimp on the benefits package, while others may have tons of “bonuses” but the base salary is lacking. As a surrogate, you should find one that offers both a competitive base salary and a generous benefits package.
Additionally, just like any other job, average salaries in certain states are better than in others. They’re usually the highest in surrogacy-friendly states like California, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, Washington, and Florida because of the tremendous demand for surrogates in these states.
Finally, the surrogate’s health insurance can also affect the compensation amount. This will depend heavily on her particular policy, but if she has a policy that covers maternity care, she can usually get paid more.
How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid Monthly?
This depends on the total compensation, but surrogates do not get their whole payment in one lump sum. Instead, salary payments will come in either monthly or biweekly installments, once the surrogacy process starts. Being a surrogate is a job, so these monthly payments are like paychecks.
Additionally, your expenses are frequently covered by a monthly allowance. If you incur costs that go above this allowance, then the agency will cover them. They may require that you get pre-approval for any additional expenses, so it’s always a good idea to keep all receipts and documentation.
This means that there are actually two different monthly payments:
- Base salary. This is your standard compensation, in the form of monthly paychecks.
- Monthly allowance. This is used to cover miscellaneous expenses that may come up.
As always, the amounts of these various payments will be established before the surrogacy journey even begins. They’re covered in the surrogacy contract so that each party knows precisely what to expect.
What Is The Breakdown of Surrogate Compensation?
Surrogacy compensation can be broken down into the following basic categories:
This is a flat rate that’s negotiated and explicitly stated in the surrogacy contract, meaning the exact amount has been finalized before the embryo is even transferred to the surrogate.
As we mentioned above, this salary can be anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000. If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, you should always try to find a surrogacy agency that offers you the most competitive base salary.
Some agencies will work with surrogates from all over the country and still offer the best possible salary, regardless of the surrogate’s state of residence. In most cases, they’ll have a representative that can go over all the details with you.
Also known as additional payments or bonuses, these are “extra” forms of compensation that are added on top of the base salary. Every pregnancy is different, and there are lots of variables that can change or make the pregnancy more difficult. In these situations, it’s only fair that the surrogate gets paid more.
This includes cases when:
- The surrogate must be screened to make sure that she meets all the requirements.
- Lost wages must be paid to the spouse or her partner, especially if bed rest is needed.
- The surrogate gets pregnant with twins or triplets, resulting in extra payments.
- Maternity clothes and other assorted expenses are covered.
- Childcare, meals, and/or housekeeping are needed if the surrogate has kids.
- Multiple embryo transfers might be necessary until the surrogate gets pregnant.
- Undergoing each cycle of fertility medication until pregnancy.
- Certain medical procedures – like C-sections – are medically necessary.
- The surrogate pumps her breast milk after the delivery.
These can vary widely from agency to agency, so you should always talk to the agency representative and discuss these scenarios. In most cases, they will already have set amounts that they’re willing to pay if you meet any of these conditions.
Additionally, some agencies expect you to pay for some of these expenses with your monthly allowance – you should always review these details before the surrogacy contract is signed.
Reimbursement for expenses
The surrogate will incur absolutely no expenses during her surrogacy journey. Just like any other job, it’s not fair to pay you a salary and then expect you to pay out of your own pocket to get the job done.
All expenses are covered, including:
- All medical costs, including those not covered by insurance (like co-pays).
- Travel to and from fertility treatments and/or doctor’s visits.
- Medical supplies, including medications and/or prenatal vitamins
- Individual or group counseling to help during the surrogacy journey.
- Any and all legal fees, including drafting the surrogacy contract.
Make sure that this is all covered in your surrogacy contract so that you know the policy for complete compensation. As you can imagine, these additional payments can increase the base compensation considerably.
How can a surrogate calculate her total pay?
There’s a basic formula to calculate a surrogate’s total pay, but you need a full and detailed breakdown of all the intended payment amounts. This means that the surrogacy contract is drafted, finalized, and has ideally been signed by all parties.
If you have all the relevant information, you can use the following basic formula:
Total surrogate pay = Salary + allowance + paid expenses + paid lost wages + paid childcare costs + surrogate’s health insurance
Again, this final sum will vary from state to state and surrogate to surrogate, but the average salary is anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000.
However, once you add all the expenses and bonuses, it’s possible for that total pay to jump as high as $70,000 or even $80,000.
Who Pays For The Surrogacy?
The intended parents pay for the surrogacy. This is always the case, 100% of the time. The surrogate doesn’t pay for any part of the process – as a matter of fact, she’s getting paid! It’s a job, plain and simple, and a mighty tough one at that. Every surrogate deserves to be fairly compensated for their hard work and dedication without having to pay anything out of their own pocket.
At the end of the day, surrogate compensation is just part of the intended parents’ total surrogacy costs. They’ll have to take these expenses into consideration when debating if surrogacy is right for them.
The intended parents should always plan on paying for surrogacy via an agency that can handle all the ins and outs of this complicated process. While independent surrogacy might be tempting, it is ultimately riskier than going through an agency. Ultimately, the surrogate has to be paid fairly to ensure that she and the baby stay healthy and happy. You definitely don’t want to cut costs when it comes to the surrogate’s or the baby’s health!
How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid For Twins or Triplets?
Most agencies will pay more for multiple pregnancies as part of the benefits package.
This extra payment ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000, depending on the agency’s benefits package and the details of the surrogacy contract. As always, make sure that you hammer out these details with the agency before you sign the contract!
Is Compensation Higher For A Second-Time Surrogate?
Yes, if you’ve had one or more successful surrogacies (also known as repeat surrogacies), then you can get paid more. In other words, greater experience translates to higher pay – just like any other job!
This higher compensation is part of the surrogate’s base salary, meaning that the monthly paychecks will actually be greater. In some cases, this can be a substantially higher salary – some agencies can pay up to $10,000 more!
As always, make sure you check your agency’s policy and have your surrogacy contract clearly state that your base compensation must be higher to reflect that you’re an experienced surrogate.
However, these prior pregnancies had to have been “successful”, meaning they were relatively free of complications. Additionally, there is an upper limit to how many previous pregnancies a surrogate can have: in most cases, it’s five prior vaginal deliveries or three prior C-sections. Any more and the surrogate will likely be disqualified.
Are Surrogacy Payments Taxable Income?
Yes, they are. Just like any job, being a surrogate gives you an income. And what happens when you have an income? Uncle Sam comes and takes his chunk of change in the form of taxes, no matter what your job might be. That’s just the way it goes!
In most cases, the surrogacy agency will issue you a 1099-MISC form. However, you should always discuss this with a surrogacy professional or reproductive lawyer to make sure that you don’t run afoul of the IRS. The surrogacy agency will likely have experienced representatives on staff to help you navigate the income tax process – make sure you use these amazing resources!
Finally, there are some surrogacy expenses that might be deductible. This will depend on your particular situation, and these policies can change from year to year, so it’s always best to consult an accounting expert to explore your options.
What Happens If The Surrogate Has A Miscarriage?
Unfortunately, miscarriages happen. While this is a tragedy for all involved, the surrogate must still be compensated for her time, work, and effort. In most cases, they will be paid up until the miscarriage happens and, if necessary, the base compensation will be prorated for the month. Additionally, all expenses will be covered, including those that may happen after the baby is lost.
Which Surrogacy Agency Pays The Most?
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, then you’ll need to find an agency that offers a competitive salary and a great benefits package. Being a surrogate is hard work, and you deserve to be paid fairly for that hard work.
Surrogacy By Faith is a surrogacy agency that not only offers an incredible base salary but one of the most generous compensation plans available. This is because of all the bonuses and benefits that we include in the final pay. For instance, $12,500 alone will go towards extras like a gym membership, maternity clothes, travel expenses, housekeeping costs, and so on. This incredible salary and benefits package ensures that each surrogate has a healthy pregnancy, free of complications.
We value our surrogates and champion the great work that they do. Proverbs 31:29 tells us that: There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all! We take our scripture seriously, and we compensate the “virtuous and capable women” who work with us fairly and generously. Although we’re guided by our Christian values, you don’t need to be a Christian to become a surrogate with us. All you need is the desire to help a family in need and give the most precious gift one can give: the gift of life.
If you live in a state that’s not super surrogacy-friendly, don’t be discouraged! We work with surrogates – and intended parents – from all over the country. We also take the time to match each surrogate with the right intended parents to make each relationship strong and successful.
Are you interested in becoming a surrogate with us? Fill out our Surrogate Initial Inquiry form to start the process! You can speak to our surrogacy professionals and intake team to go over the details of our base compensation, additional payments, and expense reimbursements.
Potential intended parents can also fill out our Intended Parents Initial Inquiry form. Don’t wait another day, get started right away!