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  • Kristin Marsoli

How Much Do Surrogates Make? Surrogate Pay and Benefits

How much does a surrogate make?

Even though earning money is not the primary motivation for becoming a surrogate, how much surrogates make is one of the most-discussed topics when women apply to be gestational carriers at our surrogacy agencies in California, Massachusetts, and New York.

Ensuring gestational surrogates are properly compensated for their emotional, mental, and physical dedication to the surrogacy journey is a priority at Circle Surrogacy, which is why we've created the most comprehensive pay and benefits package for surrogates, where they can earn $50,000-$60,000+!

Our new Surrogate Pay & Family Protection Program was created by surrogates, for surrogates, and offers surrogates and their families:

  • Competitive pay

  • Protection for the surrogate and her family throughout the journey, with guaranteed compensation, lost wages for partners/spouses, and life insurance

  • Full transparency on all pay benefits—no surprises or out-of-pocket expenses

  • Zero risk to the surrogate should the need for additional support and payments arise

  • Flexibility in creating a personalized benefits package

Our compensation package is easy to understand and outlines everything that goes into creating best-in-class surrogate pay and benefits.

How Much Does a Surrogate Make?

At Circle Surrogacy, a gestational carrier from any surrogacy-friendly state, regardless of her insurance, has the opportunity to earn between $50,000-$60,000+.

Calculating a surrogate's base pay along with additional benefits and compensation is how we arrive at the total compensation a gestational carrier can earn.

What is Your Surrogate Base Pay?

First, a potential surrogate can calculate her base compensation by using our surrogate pay calculator. The calculator asks her to enter the state she resides in, whether or not she has health insurance, and if she is a first-time or experienced carrier. The calculator will show her estimated base fee (in this case, $35,000), and what the total amount of her earnings would be with the full benefits package (in this case, up to $55,000).

Benefits and Pay Added to a Surrogate Base Compensation

Because a surrogate journey spans 12 to 16 months, women are paid not only their base compensation, but also additional payments before their pregnancies, throughout the pregnancies, and after the babies' births. Many of these benefits are in the form of money in the surrogate’s pocket, while other benefits are intangible, such as monthly licensed social work support, legal counsel, life insurance, and a supportive surrogate social community.

The below payments and benefits are added to your base compensation.

Infographic about surrogate compensation

Pre-Pregnancy Payments

As a surrogate, you will receive payments even before you're pregnant. These payments total $3,750 and include:

  • $500 Social Work Screening Advance*

  • $1,000 Signing Advance* when you sign your contract

  • $500 Medical Screening Advance* when you attend your medical screening at the IVF clinic

  • $1,000 Medical Clearance to Transfer Payment* when the clinic clears you for transfer

  • $750 Transfer Payment when you go for your embryo transfer

*Paid out of your base fee.

Personal and Home Care Payments

Surrogates will receive funds to use as they see fit during their pregnancies. Many surrogates use these payments for maternity clothing, housekeeping, and other personal pregnancy needs.

These payments total $3,900+ and include:

  • $200/month monthly surrogate spending (for approximately 15 months. These payments begin with cycle medications.)

  • $500 (singleton)/$750 (twins) for maternity clothing

  • $400 for housekeeping

Childcare, Travel, and Lost Wages Payments

During the surrogacy journey, surrogates are required to travel for medical screenings and embryo transfers to the Intended Parents’ IVF clinic, as well as attend local monitoring appointments close to their homes.

Circle pays lost wages or childcare for the surrogate while she’s fulfilling her surrogacy contract. Circle also pays lost wages to the surrogate’s travel companion for any work missed for the screening and transfer. So the surrogate’s travel companion never has to worry about missing work and not being paid—we take care of that, with no cap on the reimbursement.

These payments total $5,000+ and include:

  • $5,000 for travel and meals for the medical screening and transfer (average)

  • Childcare or lost wages (for the surrogate) while fulfilling the surrogacy contract—this payment varies and there is no cap

  • Travel companion’s lost wages for work missed for travel for the screening and transfer—this payment varies and there is no cap

4th Trimester Self-Care Package Payments

We understand that the journey isn’t over for surrogates the minute they give birth. The 4th trimester is an important time during the process for the surrogate to heal, spend time with family, and take care of herself. Circle will compensate and support you during this time.

These payments total $5,350 and include:

  • $250/month post-pregnancy flex spending (for 2 months)

  • $2,500/$4,000 Post-birth recovery lost wages or childcare (average; up to 4 weeks for a vaginal delivery, up to 6 weeks for a c-section)

  • $150/$625 Partner Post Birth Recovery Wages (up to 2 days for vaginal delivery, and up to 5 days for c-section)

  • $200 Family meal gift card

  • Up to $1,000 for Pumping supplies

  • Up to $250/week for Pumping payments (assumed 4 weeks, but could be much more!)

Surrogate Benefits Included in Every Journey

There are also benefits for surrogates that are not monetary, but very important for the protection of her and her family, and for mental and emotional support through this beautiful process.

These benefits include:

  • Life Insurance, Complications Insurance, and Maternity Insurance, paid for by the Intended Parents

  • Licensed social work support throughout the journey and after birth

  • Welcome kits and special gifts throughout the journey

  • Post-partum and doula resources

  • Vibrant social surrogate community

How Am I Paid as a Surrogate?

Surrogate reimbursements are divided into equal monthly installments following the confirmation of heartbeat (around the 6-8 week mark). They are paid on the first of every month. If you are carrying multiple children, a multiples fee is paid over the last 5 months. After 34 weeks, the pregnancy is considered viable (32 weeks for multiples). If you deliver before 40 weeks, you are given a lump sum for the remaining balance. The remainder of the miscellaneous fees are distributed at various times throughout the pregnancy and will be discussed in your surrogacy screening.

Do I have to pay for anything related to being a surrogate?

The surrogacy process should never become an out of pocket expense for you. The family you match with will pay the fees outlined for you in your screening and agreed upon in the contract, while health insurance (which we’ll ensure works correctly) should cover the majority of healthcare throughout your surrogate pregnancy and birth.

Surrogacy arrangements are built to deliver both financial and emotional rewards for you, the surrogate. The Circle team is here to make sure that’s exactly what happens.

Apply to be a surrogate

If you’re ready to become a surrogate, you can read through our surrogate requirements to see if you qualify. If you feel you would make a good gestational surrogate, we encourage you to apply on our website.

We look forward to meeting you!


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