Top 7 Most Asked Questions About Becoming a Surrogate

Pregnant woman thinking about most asked questions about becoming a surrogate

Have you thought of becoming a surrogate, but you have questions about surrogate requirements or how much do surrogates make? You’re not alone!

We’ve compiled some of the most-asked questions and provided answers about surrogacy and how to become a surrogate.

Does a surrogate mother share DNA with the baby?

No. In gestational surrogacy – the more commonly practiced surrogacy and the only one performed at Circle Surrogacy – the gestational surrogate – or gestational carrier – has no genetic relationship to the baby she carries for intended parents. An embryo is created with the intended parents’ or donor’s biology and is then transferred into the uterus of the gestational surrogate. 

What is the surrogate mother process?

The surrogate mother process can feel a little complex at first, but at Circle Surrogacy we ensure that a surrogate is supported and guided through each step of the journey. As a surrogate, an estimated timeline of a journey could be anywhere from 14 to 18 months (although every journey is different!).

The big milestones in the surrogacy process for surrogates are:

  • Application & PreScreening. Filling out the application, speaking with surrogate advisors, completing paperwork, and gathering medical records.
  • Social Work Consultation. Meet with a social worker to discuss surrogacy, your background, and to see if surrogacy is the right fit for you.
  • Matching With Intended Parents. Reviewing parent profiles and meeting potential IPs via video and finding your perfect match!
  • Medical Screening & Legal Contracts. Visit the IP’s clinic for your medical screening and work on the Carrier Agreement with your legal counsel.
  • Monitoring Appointments & Embryo Transfer. Begin medications and monitor progress at a clinic local to you. When ready, travel to the intended parents’ IVF clinic for the embryo transfer.
  • Pregnancy. You know all about this stage! Rest, eat well, and take care of yourself and your surro baby!
  • Delivery Day! The day your intended parents get to meet their baby! So many emotions on this day, but most of all be proud at what you’ve done for someone else.

You can learn more about the surrogacy process in our related blog post.

How much does a surrogate make?

How much a surrogate gets paid can vary across surrogacy agencies. In general, a surrogate will earn a base compensation (usually somewhere between $30,000 to $45,000), as well as additional payments and benefits specific to her journey for a total of $50,000 to $60,000. Women interested in surrogacy can use Circle’s surrogate pay calculator to determine their compensation.

What disqualifies you from being a surrogate?

Women interested in becoming gestational carriers must meet a list of surrogate requirements to ensure they are fit physically, mentally, and emotionally for a surrogacy journey. These surrogate qualifications are put forth by IVF clinics and ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine). 

A few reasons you could be disqualified from being a surrogate are:

  • You live in a non-surrogacy-friendly state
  • You do not meet the BMI (Body Mass Index) requirements
  • You are younger or older than the required age range
  • You smoke
  • You use recreational drugs
  • You have a violent criminal history
  • You have extreme medical complications

Circle Surrogacy encourages women to apply to become a surrogate as we take all details of circumstances into consideration when determining a surrogate’s candidacy.

How long does it take to become a surrogate?

The application process to become a surrogate does not take long at all! From the moment a woman fills out a surrogate application until the time she is accepted into the program and ready to match with intended parents can be between 3 to 8 weeks. The exact timing depends on how long it takes for the agency to receive a surrogate’s medical records from her doctor, as well as the time to schedule the surrogacy consultation (which can last 2 to 2 1/2 hours). At Circle, we have a waiting list of intended parents excited to meet their surrogate match, so the process moves rather quickly!

Is it illegal to get paid for being a surrogate?

No! In most U.S. states, a surrogate is able to be compensated for all necessary medical, pregnancy, and living expenses incurred as a result of the physical and psychological commitment – and medical risks of – pregnancy. The payments a surrogate receives are not for her waiving any presumed parental rights or for signing any documentation with regards to relinquishing parental rights.

How can I be a surrogate mother for a friend?

Being a gestational surrogate (or egg donor) for a friend is a kind and generous offer. If you are interested in being a surrogate for a friend or family member, it is helpful to have an open and honest conversation with all parties involved. You may choose to do an independent journey or go through an agency who can manage the process. Either way, you must meet surrogacy requirements set forth by the clinic and ASRM, as well as undergo proper surrogate screening to ensure you are a good fit for surrogacy.

Agencies such as Circle Surrogacy offer intended parents a surrogacy program where they can “Bring their own surrogate.” When this is the case, intended parents would share this information with Circle at their consultation, and the Circle team would facilitate the process and support the parents and surrogate on their journey.

If you still have questions about becoming a surrogate or surrogacy qualifications, you can check out our Surrogate FAQ page. Or, you can email us at: [email protected]

Ready to begin your journey? Fill out our application; it takes less than 10 minutes!