Becoming a surrogate is remarkably selfless. It’s a big commitment requiring your time and energy. That’s why surrogate compensation is one of the most crucial factors to consider before beginning your journey.
Surrogate compensation is a key aspect in feeling financially supported for what you are accomplishing for your Intended Parents. There is not a monetary value on what you are doing for them, so this is their way of making sure you are taken care of and saying, “thank you!”
This guide will help you develop realistic expectations for your surrogacy compensation as a whole, discuss the reasoning for specific rates based on experience, and prepare you for possible expenses that may arise throughout your journey. Read on to learn more.
Table of Contents:
- Components of a Benefit Package
- Surrogate Compensation Breakdown
Components of a Benefit Package
How much does a surrogate get paid? You can’t boil it down to a single number. Numerous factors can influence surrogacy compensation and expenses. Instead of awarding a single payment, surrogates often receive a full benefits package. With IARC, the benefits package includes the following:
- Surrogate fee: This is also often referred to as base compensation. This varies based on the surrogate’s experience, with those having experienced a successful journey prior, earning more. This is discussed more in depth in the next section.
- Additional compensation: Separate from your surrogate fee, this includes compensation for things such as medication start at the beginning of an embryo transfer, a transfer fee for completing an embryo transfer, and a clothing allowance. In the event of a twin pregnancy, there is also added compensation for a multiples pregnancy. Our compensation breakdown below goes over all of the compensation pieces in our benefit package.
- Pregnancy-related expenses: Several expenses will arise related to this journey. These expenses are paid on your behalf, so your family should never feel negative financial impact as a result of your commitment as a surrogate. Your surrogate contract with your Intended Parents will go over all of the items and what is included and paid for throughout your journey.
First-Time Surrogate vs. Experienced Surrogate
An experienced surrogate has demonstrated trustworthiness in following medical protocol, maintaining their health and the baby’s health, as well as sensitivity in coordinating with intended parents. These traits are critical in a positive surrogacy journey and are compensated as such, resulting in increased surrogate compensation. A surrogate’s skill in maintaining a sense of stability before, during, and after birth is more demanding than it may seem. It takes extensive self-awareness, discernment, and determination to face any challenges head-on while maintaining your and the baby’s health.
Experienced surrogates have an advantage here because they can draw on their past journey(s). Apart from this, the surrogate’s ability to behave with genuine consideration of and compassion for the intended parents is another factor considered. Experienced surrogates have shown that they’re capable of establishing parentage, which proves that there won’t any trouble separating from the baby and family when the time comes.
These are all points to consider when determining a surrogate’s rate of compensation and why experienced surrogates typically increase their fee a little with each journey. Keep in mind that a first-time surrogate who completes a successful surrogacy will then have the invaluable experience to call upon for future journeys and so increase the base compensation.
Surrogate Compensation Breakdown
How much do you make as a surrogate? It depends. All of the components in the benefit package can vary so it’s important to look at all the pieces and not an overall number. Surrogates are compensated or reimbursed for various things that can or will arise from the journey. Below is a breakdown of what’s included in our benefit package:
- Base Compensation or Surrogate Fee: Every agency differs in how compensation is handled. At IARC, our surrogates are able to select their own base compensation amount. The average base compensation amounts in the industry are between $30,000-$45,000. During your informational call, we can discuss this piece more in depth to guide you in selecting your fee.
- Agency: Even though the intended parents pay the surrogate and not the agency, the agency’s policies can influence your compensation. As a full-service agency, IARC uses a proven seven-step process to develop personalized benefits packages and to ensure the best possible experience for everyone involved.
Additional Compensation, Expenses, and Reimbursement
Apart from the surrogate fee, surrogates also need support not only when going through milestones in the journey, but in handling journey-related expenses. These things can/will arise at different times during the journey but have been expertly narrowed down for you so that your family never feels financial repercussion due to this process. Your surrogacy agency should be wholly supportive in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. In part, that means coordinating the funding for every required expense of your journey. Additional compensation components during your journey
- Medication Start & Embryo Transfer Fee: You will receive $200 for beginning fertility medications for an embryo transfer cycle and will receive a $500 payment following completion of an embryo transfer.
- Clothing Allowance: During the pregnancy a maternity clothing allowance of $500 for a singleton or $750 for multiples will be distributed.
There are additional items for a surrogate to consider that may result in expenses that need to be paid or reimbursed. You may have travel to medical appointments, take leave from your employment for a doctor-recommended amount of time, and may even need help with caring for your own home and children. It’s unfair to expect a gestational carrier to handle these issues alone, so the agency and intended parents will support her. Here is a breakdown of items that typically fall into this category for expenses and reimbursements.
- Monthly Allowance: Throughout your surrogacy journey, from the time you sign the contract with your Intended Parents until 8 weeks post-delivery, you will receive a $200 monthly allowance to account for day-to-day pregnancy expenses such as copays, prenatal vitamins, childcare during medical appointments, parking costs at appointments (if applicable), etc.
- Lost Wages: If you have a loss of income due to your pregnancy or are required to take time off work, you will be paid for lost wages. Things often requiring time off work include visiting the fertility clinic for the final medical screening appointment, the embryo transfer trip, medical appointments throughout your journey, and time off after delivery. If bedrest is required during your journey, lost wages would be paid then as well. The specific terms and amounts will be laid out in your gestational carrier agreement (GCA).
- Medical Expenses: Intended parents pay ALL medical expenses that result from the surrogacy that medical insurance does not cover. This includes all out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-pays, etc.).
- Insurance Expenses: In the event your own insurance is not suitable for you to use during your surrogate pregnancy, parents will pay not only for the medical expenses as laid out above but will also pay for the monthly premium to have a suitable insurance plan in place. Please do not contact your health insurance to ask about coverage or suitability as the agency will handle that.
- Child Care: Your monthly allowance will cover any childcare throughout the month that is for care under 24 hours at any one time. For anything over 24 hours, Intended Parents will pay for childcare needed outside your family’s weekly childcare schedule, up to $50/day/child for children under 12 years old.
- Housekeeping: A $100.00 allowance will be provided weekly for housekeeping for bed rest/restricted activity lasting longer than one week.
- Travel Expenses: Typically, this includes a 1-2 day trip to the fertility clinic for final medical screening and a 3-6 day trip for the embryo transfer. Expenses paid include flight, hotel stays, transportation, food costs, etc.
- Travel Companion Expenses: A travel companion for the first embryo transfer will be paid for, including flight and food costs.
Additional Fees Included (if applicable) IARC has considered the unforeseen, and while the hope is for health and safety in every surrogate pregnancy, it cannot always be predicted that way. Pregnancy comes with risks to consider, and should any happen during your pregnancy, you will be compensated for your efforts.
- Multiples Pregnancy: An additional $8,000 added to your fee in the event the pregnancy results in carrying multiples.
- Early miscarriage: $1,000
- D & C/Hysteroscopy/Hysterosalpinography/HSG: $500/procedure
- Termination, selective reduction, or amniocentesis: $1,000 per procedure
- Cesarean Section Delivery: $2,500
- Loss of Reproductive Organs: $1,000 per fallopian tube/ovary and $3,500 for uterus
A surrogate is never expected or required to pump breastmilk following delivery. But should she choose and is able to, she will be compensated for that time.
- Pumping Breast Milk: $250/week plus supply reimbursement.
Despite the undeniable altruism that defines the surrogacy journey, it helps knowing that you have the financial support so that the process-related expenses don’t become a stressor to you, and you can focus on your pregnancy. That’s why it’s best to entrust your experience to full-service surrogacy agencies like IARC. Plus, you’ll get to join a network of surrogates at every stage of the process, all of whom are eager to support you each step of the way. Ready to begin your surrogacy journey? See if you qualify by reviewing the surrogate requirements and filling out a short, no commitment questionnaire today. You likely still have plenty of questions about surrogacy, and that’s okay! Check out IARC’s surrogacy FAQ page to learn even more about the process and find answers to common questions. We’ve included a few FAQs below.
Do Surrogates Get Taxed?
We are not tax professionals, thus are not at liberty to give tax advice. We advise all surrogates who ask this question to consult an accountant. However, we can provide you with the information that we are not currently required and do not issue 1099 forms for surrogacy compensation, although this is subject to change.
Do I Need to Have Health Insurance?
You do not need to have insurance before becoming a surrogate. If you have an existing plan, we will assess to see if it is suitable to be used during the pregnancy. If it is not suitable or you do not have an insurance plan, Intended Parents would purchase one for you to be used during the journey.
Will I Pay Anything for This Journey?
This journey should come at no financial expense to the surrogate or her family.
IARC is a full-service gestational surrogacy agency that ensures full support throughout each step of your surrogacy. Surrogates and intended parents are cared for at every stage of the journey with highly personalized services that ensure a positive outcome for all. It all starts with the screening process and your first call with a Surrogate Coordinator. All of our Surrogate Coordinators have been surrogates previously with IARC and we love to share our experiences! IARC’s focus is on having a safe and healthy journey and making a connection that has led the agency to its stellar reputation. We look forward to welcoming you to our Surrogate Community!