How Much Do Surrogate Mothers Get Paid?

By Maria Magher
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Serving as a surrogate can help a couple have the baby they've always dreamed of but haven't been able to conceive. While many women are primarily motivated to become surrogates to help a couple complete their family, they also receive compensation for their time and effort. Compensation varies, but surrogates can expect to make between $20,000 and $35,000 for their first surrogate pregnancy as of 2015. Compensation also includes other costs, such as medical care, maternity clothes and travel to and from appointments.

Base Compensation

Base compensation is affected by a number of factors, such as where you live, whether you have health insurance and whether you have ever been a surrogate. For example, as of 2015, Circle Surrogacy pays surrogates $30,000 if for surrogates who have health insurance or $25,000 if they don't. Experienced surrogates are paid an additional $5,000. Conceive Abilities pays surrogates $30,000 their first pregnancy and $35,000 for the next pregnancy. Surrogates who become pregnant with multiples get higher compensation. The Surrogacy Source pays an extra $5,000 for each additional baby carried.

Additional Compensation

Surrogates receive compensation and reimbursement for medical care, counseling and other expenses related to the pregnancy. All medical expenses are covered for the pregnancy. If the surrogate's health insurance covers her medical care, she receives reimbursement for her co-pays, deductibles and unexpected expenses. Surrogates get paid extra if they have to go through additional procedures, such as embryo transfer, amniocentesis, labor induction or a Caesarian section. They receive a monthly stipend for miscellaneous expenses such as travel to appointments, an allotment for maternity clothing and pay for attending a support group. They are also reimbursed for lost time from work, whether for bed rest before the baby comes or for recovery after delivery.

Distribution of Fees

Surrogates do not receive their compensation in one lump sum. Instead, the base compensation is typically distributed in monthly installments starting after the baby's heartbeat is detected on ultrasound. If you go into labor early, the remaining fees may be distributed in a lump sum. Additional compensation, such as for travel or for extra medical procedures, may be distributed in lump sums throughout the pregnancy. Each agency has its own policies, and it will explain disbursement of additional compensation when negotiating the surrogate contract.

Dealing with Loss

In some unfortunate situations, a surrogate mother may experience a miscarriage or a stillbirth. In these cases, the surrogate may not receive the full compensation for the pregnancy but may receive additional support to deal with the loss, including counseling and follow-up medical care. Some agencies, such as Sweetchild LTD, pay the full surrogate fee even in case of stillbirth or miscarriage, unless the surrogate is shown to be at fault for the loss. Each agency has its own policy, and the terms of payment in case of loss is discussed in detail when the surrogate signs the contract.

About the Author

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.