Becoming a surrogate mother changes more lives than those of intended parents – it changes yours, too. When you apply to become a surrogate, you are making a commitment to be "all in" to help someone achieve their dreams of parenthood. It takes very special women to be surrogates.Apply Now
A surrogate mother – also called a gestational carrier – is a woman who carriers a baby for people (the Intended Parents) who are unable to have a baby on their own. Most surrogate mothers – especially those that work with a surrogacy agency – are gestational surrogates, meaning the surrogate mother does not share genetics with the baby. Surrogate mothers get paid for carrying someone's baby, and they are protected by a legal contract signed by both the surrogate mother and the Intended Parents.
Surrogates are women who have children of their own, have had relatively easy pregnancies and births (they like being pregnant!), and many have completed their own families. Surrogate mothers want to help others have their own families.
What is surrogacy? It's an amazing way to grow families and give others the ultimate gift: a baby!
Surrogate mothers help intended parents (IPs) who planned on having a family but are unable to do so on their own.
There are two different types of surrogacy: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. At Circle Surrogacy – and most other surrogacy agencies – gestational surrogacy is the type of surrogacy that is done. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby she carriers.
Women who become surrogates have the opportunity to help intended parents from all ethnicities, locations and sexual orientations. Some intended parents are single, others are coupled or married. Surrogates may be matched with IPs who live in the US or international parents.
The types of intended parents surrogate mothers help are:
1. Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility
2. Intended mothers who are unable to carry a child
3. Intended parents who have a genetic defect or health condition they don't want to pass onto the child
4. Same sex intended parents who want to have a genetic link to the baby
Some surrogacy agencies give surrogates the chance to express their preferences about the intended parents with whom they wish to match.
Women who apply to become surrogates do so because they want to help others experience the joy of parenthood. When a woman fills out a surrogate application, she may be doing so because: she has a friend or family member who has experienced infertility, she's had easy pregnancies and deliveries and has completed her own family; or, she wants to give something to others, and she enjoys being pregnant.
The delight that our surrogates feel is so special that many return to Circle Surrogacy for second and third surrogacy journeys! We speak with surrogates everyday and understand the reasons why they feel being a surrogate is amazing.
But becoming a surrogate is a process which has a few steps to follow, and several requirements which are helpful, and important, to understand.
The surrogate mother process consists of many mini-milestones that lead to the big day: delivery day!
Here's a step-by-step guide to the surrogacy process, and a surrogacy timeline to help you see how long it takes to give intended parents the ultimate gift: their baby!
The six key milestones of the surrogacy process are:
Step 1: PreScreening (1-2 weeks)
The first step is to fill out a surrogate application. If your application passes the first set of surrogate requirements, you'll be connected with a Surrogate Prescreening Coordinator. Medical records review and evaluation and background checks also happen during this step.
Step 2: Screening (1-2 weeks)
During this step you'll have a video call with social worker, and your primary support person/spouse will have a call with the social worker as well.
Step 3: Matching (1 week to 1 month)
This is an exciting step: matching with your intended parents! When a good match is identified, there will be a profile exchange with intended parents, then a video call. If all parties agree, you will officially be matched!
Step 4: Medical Screening & Legal Contracts (2-3 months)
You'll attend your Medical screening at the IVF clinic (overnight trip), and you'll start and finalize contract negotiations with your attorney.
Step 5: Monitoring Appointments & Embryo Transfer (3-4 weeks)
Once approved medically, you'll begin your medications. While administering your surrogate medications you'll attend local monitoring appointments to ensure your body is responding properly. When your body is ready you'll attend the Embryo transfer! (3-7 day trip)
Step 6: Pregnancy (9 months+)
This step can feel like the longest of all the steps. You'll go for Beta tests at your local clinic to confirm pregnancy. From there, you'll have an ultrasound at 6-7 weeks for confirmation of heartbeat(s). During the pregnancy you'll attend routine appointments, develop your relationship with your IPs and share updates until the big day arrives: Delivery day!
See the full surrogate mother process in detail.
"How much does surrogacy pay?" This is a popular question among women who are interested in applying to be surrogates. And rightly so! Gestational surrogacy is an emotional and physical journey, and they should be compensated.
Surrogate mother pay can vary, but in general, average surrogate pay can be between $50,000-$60,000. This estimated surrogacy pay includes a surrogate's base fee – which can be between $30,000-$40,000 – as well as the additional compensation and benefits she receives throughout the journey.
A surrogate mother's base fee is determined by a few factors:
1. The state she lives in
2. Whether or not she has health insurance
3. If she's an experienced gestational carrier
Once a base fee is established, a surrogate will then receive compensation and payments both before she's pregnant, as well as throughout the pregnancy.
Learn more about surrogate pay and benefits, and see how much you could make as a surrogate mother with our surrogate pay calculator.
"I am so happy with how everything unfolded and came together and so thankful to Circle Surrogacy for making this such an enjoyable experience for me as a surrogate. Circle took such care of me through the entire process! I just don't have enough nice things to say."
"My experience with Circle Surrogacy has been nothing but the best since I applied for my first journey almost 2 years ago. The staff are quick with responses, they are very open, honest and helpful to answer any questions I had from start to finish and even after I delivered my surrogate baby, and showed compassion and support every step of the way as well. From being a surrogate I have come in contact with some ladies who have been surrogates through other surrogacy agencies and it seems as though their experience(s) have been less enjoyable than mine because their agency lacked communication or empathy and it made it very difficult for their surrogates. Circle makes sure that their surrogates and intended parents are always in the loop and on the same page, and I couldn't have asked for anything more for my first time being a surrogate!"
"Working with Circle Surrogacy was amazing! Their commitment and reliability made it easy to trust them and eager to start a journey. I had a great support system and always felt advocated for. I wasn’t just another surrogate, I was a friend and that meant so much. My coordinator and social worker made me feel important, I couldn’t have asked for more."
"I can not say enough wonderful things about Circle Surrogacy and their staff! From the moment I applied to be a surrogate (May 2018) to the present day (2 months postpartum of my first journey) everyone that I have been in contact with has been amazing! From the legal aspect, matching with Intended Parents, the medical side of things and the emotional aspect I always had the backing and support needed. The matching team hands down could not have matched my little family with a better couple and we know consider ourselves all family. :) The relationship established is one that will truly last a lifetime. The Circle staff always made the time and effort to check in, show me that as a surrogate I was appreciated and were always quick to respond when needed. I couldn't imagine a smoother journey or experience and am grateful that I chose to go through this agency while making my dreams to be a surrogate a reality!"
Applying to be a surrogate mother is a big decision! There are many things to consider, including how your surrogacy will impact your life and your family, what do you expect from your journey, and what types of intended parents do you wish to match with.
A requirement to be a surrogate mother is that you are currently parenting a child at home. Having the support of your family and community is important as a surrogate. Many surrogates include their children in their journey, and the kids like knowing that their mommy is helping someone.
Circle offers the most comprehensive compensation and benefits of any agency. While surrogate compensation varies depending on your insurance, state of residence, and surrogacy experience, Circle works with each and every woman to help customize her benefits to fit her journey and needs.
There are two types of surrogacy—gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. In a typical gestational surrogacy arrangement, intended parents create embryos through in vitro fertilization. One or more of these embryos is implanted in a surrogate (sometimes known as a gestational carrier), who carries the child or children to term, but has no genetic relationship to them.
Gestational surrogacies makeup the vast majority of modern surrogacy arrangements. By contrast, traditional surrogates typically become pregnant through artificial insemination, and have a genetic connection to the child or children they carry for their intended parents. We do not arrange traditional surrogacies.
We believe working with an agency is to your advantage as we provide full support and guidance throughout the entire process. All aspects of the surrogacy process are handled by our team, from matching, to screening, to legal work, to social work support. This enables us to handle any challenges that may arise, so that you can focus on your pregnancy, and building a relationship with your intended parents.
Whether you are an intended parent, a surrogate or an egg donor, when you embark on a journey with Circle Surrogacy, we promise to be beside you every step of the way. We promise to educate, lead and guide you through your surrogacy and egg donation journey. We will work tirelessly to help you achieve success and fulfill your dream.
We are a full-service agency. You will work closely with a Journey Coordination team who will guide and support you throughout your entire journey, including social work, legal and billing support. Circle Surrogacy is the only agency in the world to provide unparalleled program offerings for parents, such as unlimited surrogate and egg donor matching, and an unlimited IVF package. We employ an in-house legal staff who is well-versed in reproductive and surrogacy law and insurance contracts.
At Circle Surrogacy, we have the highest level of dedication to building families than any other agency. We'll help surrogates navigate the road, smooth the bumps, and be a resource and constant support throughout your entire journey.