pregnant surrogate

The Breakdown of Payment and Compensation for Surrogates

By Haley Longman

If you’re considering becoming a surrogate or a gestational carrier, there are many things you may be asking yourself, the biggest one likely being “is surrogacy right for me?” And though money should never be the driving factor in helping someone else build their family via surrogacy, how much a surrogate gets paid is naturally a big part of the equation too. Being a surrogate is an altruistic act that is a major emotional and physical commitment, and thus a surrogate must be compensated accordingly!

At Reproductive Possibilities, carriers are offered a well-structured, full surrogacy compensation package which includes a base fee divided up among the nine months of pregnancy, as well as financial add-ons, milestones, and benefits specific to your unique journey. Here is a breakdown of the average payments a surrogate earns throughout pregnancy.

What is the base pay for surrogacy?

The surrogate base compensation is essentially a salary you earn for carrying someone else’s baby (or babies). The exact amount varies by experience, but at RP, a first-time surrogate salary is about $35,000 for a singleton pregnancy and $40,000 for multiples. 

A more experienced surrogate typically receives a higher base pay; the exact monetary amount is agreed upon by both the surrogate and the intended parents and is included in the legal contract. Both first-timers and experienced surrogates are paid equally, however, for benefits and add-ons throughout the gestational period, all of which are discussed during the onboarding process.

What do surrogates get paid for?

Just about everything you could think of throughout your surrogacy journey will be covered financially, from medical bills to maternity clothes. In addition to getting paid for your time and (literal) labor, surrogates are also compensated so that you can focus on taking care of yourself throughout those 40 weeks, rather than stress about costs. A pregnant woman already has enough to worry about, right?

Surrogacy costs that are covered include the following, listed in the likely order in which they will be paid out:

  • Mock cycle fee: $500. Some surrogates undergo a “mock cycle” before an embryo transfer to confirm that your body is reacting positively to the medications and is preparing for implantation.
  • Canceled transfer fee: $350. In some cases, IVF cycles get canceled. Occasionally the uterine lining doesn’t prepare properly and medications may need adjustment.
  • Carrier’s transfer fee: $500. This refers to the actual embryo transfer procedure and is for your time and effort to prepare your uterus, in addition to the time spent monitoring during the cycle. The procedure itself takes no more than a few minutes.
  • Term life insurance: $500,000. Term life insurance must be obtained at the beginning of the pregnancy and ends at a definitive time, typically around the time you give birth.
  • Invasive procedure fee: $500. Qualifying procedures include amniocentesis, CVS, termination, selective reduction in the case of multiples, or dilation and curettage (D&C).
  • Medical expenses: Exact amount TBD. The carrier’s insurance will cover much of the medical bills, but any lab work, medications, or appointments not covered by insurance will be paid for by the IPs.
  • Maternity clothing: $500 for singletons, $750 for multiples. You’ll need to go shopping for some new attire — you won’t be fitting in those jeans for long!
  • Cesarean delivery: $1,500. Hospitals charge more for C-section births and C-section postpartum recovery is more difficult in general, hence the additional fee.

What other surrogacy costs are covered?

As a surrogate with RP, you will be paid as per your GC (Gestational Carrier) Contract for all of the aforementioned items, on time and on schedule. There are other expenses which you may be eligible for as well, which include:

  • Housekeeping and childcare: $50 per week and $8-$15 per hour, respectively, should you be put on doctor-ordered bed rest or need someone to help take care of your kids while you’re attending appointments.
  • Lost wages: $1,500 cap for spouse and a variable amount for you based on salary, should either of you have to miss work due to the screening, embryo transfer, or pregnancy/delivery. You will be paid for lost wages, an amount which will be negotiated in your GC contract, and if your employer does not offer disability insurance, you will be paid the difference between net pay, less disability, so you receive your full payment.
  • Miscellaneous: Exact amount TBD. Other items you may be paid for include but are not limited to: travel and transportation expenses to and from the airport while traveling and mileage for local travel for monitoring or doctor appointments (though surrogacy travel during COVID-19 is a bit more complicated, of course). Postpartum items such as breast pumps, pumping fees, and miscellaneous supplies as well as shipping charges would be covered as well.
  • Travel costs for you and your spouse/partner will be paid so that you don’t incur significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Do surrogates get paid monthly?

At RP, the first three payments (included in the base fee) are dispensed within the first few weeks of the embryo transfer: first comes $500 after a successful transfer, followed by another payment after a confirmed pregnancy about two weeks later, and, finally, a third after a physician confirms the heartbeat via ultrasound. After this, the remaining amount of the base salary is disbursed in monthly installments leading up to the baby’s birth.

How can I become a surrogate?

Glad you asked! If you are interested in becoming a surrogate or want to learn more about RP, fill out our gestational carrier application. You can also give us a call at (201) 505-0078, fill out our Contact Us form and follow Reproductive Possibilities on social media: we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Haley Longman is a New Jersey-based writer and editor who spent the bulk of her career writing about entertainment, celebrities and reality TV. She has been creating a wider range of lifestyle content since becoming a mom in 2017, from health and interior design to her favorite topics: fertility, pregnancy and parenting.

Haley’s work has been featured on MTV.com, POPSUGAR, Kveller, CafeMom and SheKnows, among others. Professional highlights include appearing on an episode of MTV’s ‘Teen Mom’ and that one time Justin Bieber tweeted out her story about him.