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Become a Surrogate and Help Others

Being a surrogate is a remarkable experience for everyone involved — the intended parents and you and your family. Gestational surrogacy means giving someone else the remarkable gift of bringing a child into the world.

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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.

 

But most importantly, a surrogate is a giver of hope and happiness to those looking to be 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 help make intended parents’ dreams come true and give others the ultimate gift: a baby!

Circle Surrogacy only works with gestational carriers – women who do not share biology with the baby they are carrying.

A surrogate mother – also called a gestational carrier or gestational surrogate – is a woman who carries a baby for people (the Intended Parents) who are unable to have a baby on their own. Most surrogate mothers are gestational surrogates, meaning the surrogate mother does not use her own eggs and doesn’t share any genetics with the baby.

What Is a Surrogate?

01

Gestational surrogates have no biological connection to the baby they carry. Their DNA (eggs) is NOT used to create the embryos.

02

Surrogates are paid throughout the entirety of their journey (not at the end), and compensation starts even before they become pregnant.

03

Surrogates have a choice who they match with. All matches are mutual.

04

Surrogates DO need to give themselves injections as part of the IVF process. Most surrogates say these needles are no big deal!

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Surrogates do not feel "attached" to the babies they carry and look forward to the moment when the intended parents get to hold their baby for the first time.

5 Things to Know About Being A Surrogate

There is so much information out there about becoming a surrogate, but our highly-specialized, collaborative team is the most qualified to offer authentic, accurate information for a successful and rewarding surrogacy journey.

There’s no better place to embark on this journey than at Circle where we have successfully guided and helped surrogates expand families for almost 30 years. If you think being a surrogate is the right fit for you, fill out our surrogacy application to get started.

Why Do Women Become Surrogates?

Throughout our years of experience helping families grow and providing comprehensive support to surrogates, we have seen one common thread among all women who become surrogates: the desire to help others.

Women become surrogates for a variety of reasons, including:

Surrogate mothers have big hearts and giving spirits. Fully supported and backed by our team of experienced professionals who have been in your shoes, our surrogates help grow families every day.

  • Surrogates – also called gestational carriers – are women who have had easy pregnancies and who have completed their own families. 

  • Some women come to surrogacy because they personally know someone who has struggled with infertility. 

  • Others want to give the gift of parenthood to families who can’t do it on their own.

couple holding sign that says "not ours this time"

Who Do Surrogates Help?

Surrogate mothers help intended parents (IPs) who are unable to grow their families on their own. At Circle, we specialize in gestational surrogacy, which means the surrogate has no genetic relationship to the baby she carries.

 

Circle’s surrogates 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 intended parents who live in the United States or internationally. As a surrogate, you have the opportunity to share with us your preferences for the types of intended parents you imagine helping.

The types of intended parents that surrogates help are:

Heterosexual couples who have struggled with infertility

Intended mothers who are unable to carry a child

Intended parents who have a genetic defect or health condition they don't want to pass onto the child

LGBTQIA+ intended parents who want to have a genetic link to the baby

Regardless of the parents’ situation, your willingness to help them bring a child into this world means everything to them.

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Surrogate Mother Requirements

Women who wish to become surrogate mothers must meet a set of requirements to ensure they are a good fit physically, mentally and emotionally. These requirements are in place to minimize the risk of being a surrogate and to help provide as successful as a journey as possible for the gestational carrier as well as the intended parents. Everyone’s goal is a healthy baby, happy intended parents, and a proud surrogate!

1. Health Requirements

2. Lifestyle Requirements

3 Legal Requirements

Circle Surrogacy’s surrogate mother requirements take into consideration the guidelines put forth by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and clinic guidelines. Surrogate applicants will also participate in a screening with a social worker and complete psychological testing.


Becoming a surrogate mother requires applicants to be emotionally and mentally ready to enter into a surrogacy journey to help ensure the most successful outcome for intended parents.

Lifestyle Requirements

Has the support of her family. If married or partnered, the surrogate must have her partner’s support.

Has delivered a child of her own and is currently parenting at least one child.

Is willing to travel for IVF process. Please note, often these trips include overnight stays.

Does not use illegal drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol.

Health Requirements

Has had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries.

Is between 21-42 years of age.

Typically have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate My BMI.

Legal Requirements

Does not participate in the following government aid programs: cash assistance, welfare, public housing and section 8. All other forms of government assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lives in a surrogate-friendly state in the United States (we are very sorry but we cannot accept gestational carriers who reside in Nebraska or Louisiana.

Has a valid driver’s license.

How Much Does a Surrogate Make?

“How much do surrogates make?” This is a popular question among women who are considering being a surrogate. 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 $55,000-$65,000. This estimated surrogacy pay includes a surrogate’s base fee – which can be between $35,000-$50,000 – 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.


At Circle Surrogacy, we offer generous surrogacy pay and benefits. Learn more and see how much you could make as a surrogate mother on our dedicated page.

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Being a Surrogate With Circle Means:

Forming a special bond with the families you help

Gaining a sense of pride and accomplishment

Helping create families with all different backgrounds

Demonstrating an incredible act of kindness to your child(ren)

Being part of a special community of women who are equally as awesome as you are

Why Circle?

Circle is a full-service surrogacy agency with the highest success rates in the industry led by a team passionate about helping people build families.

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  • ​Our Surrogate Advisors know the surrogacy process can feel overwhelming at first. Our team is comprised of many people who have been through this process themselves, so they know exactly how you're feeling and what questions you may have.

  • ​Enjoy the personalized feel of a small agency with the resources of a large agency. Once we support you through application and matching, your dedicated mental health professional on the surrogate support team and journey support team keep track of all your details. With our expansive team, we are able to offer support groups, virtual events, one-on-one surrogate mentorship and more.

  • ​We financially back our intended parents to make sure surrogates are always paid in full and on time. We will compensate you up to $5,000 even if, after being medically cleared and matched, you don’t achieve a pregnancy. Circle will also take on the liability of medical bills.

  • ​Not every surrogate has the same desires when it comes to the birth. At Circle, our surrogates have choices for preferred birth options, such as doula care, a hospital birth, or using a birth center with a midwife.

  • ​We help surrogates build relationships with intended parents who truly feel like family by the end of the process, giving you the opportunity to get to know the wonderful people whose lives are being positively changed because of you. We genuinely believe fostering this relationship is the best way to bring a baby into the world.

Your journey as a surrogate is greatly shaped by the agency you choose. With a 99.3% success rate and a team of passionate experts — many of whom have been in your position — Circle offers a program created with surrogates in mind: competitive pay, guaranteed security, and unbeatable support.

Why Surrogates Choose Circle

  • The number of times a woman can be a surrogate depends on the total number of pregnancies and deliveries she's had (including her  own). We can work with women that have had 6 or fewer previous deliveries (her surrogate journey would be her 7th pregnancy), and if she's had 3 or fewer c-sections.

  • Women who are between the ages of 21-42 can qualify to be surrogates. If you are an experienced surrogate, you may be eligible up  to age 44.

  • No. A requirement of all surrogates is that she has had a successful pregnancy and delivery without complications.

  • In the event that you miscarry as a surrogate, you will have the support of your Circle team  through the entire process. A miscarriage can be emotionally and mentally difficult and your social worker will be there to support you. You will be compensated through the month in which you carried. The decision to try again - if it is deemed medically safe - will be discussed between you, your intended parents and their clinic.

  • In the event you become pregnant with twins, your contract will be amended to reflect your twin journey. You will also receive additional  compensation with a twin pregnancy. Most intended parents prefer to transfer one embryo; surrogates must be medically approved for a multiples pregnancy to transfer more than one embryo.

Surrogate FAQs

Below are some common questions about becoming a surrogate. You can read our full list of FAQs about the general surrogacy process from intended parents here.

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Ready to Become a Surrogate and Change Someone Else's Life?

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"After I watched my sister beat ovarian cancer, becoming a surrogate was the silver lining for me. It’s one of my greatest accomplishments. I grew (mentally, and physically while carrying twins!) in ways I didn’t expect. It was the most culturally enriching experience of my life to carry for a male international couple and I'm forever grateful they came into my life, and I will always hold them close to my heart."

Kristi Johnson,
Circle Program Manager

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"I have witnessed many people struggle with fertility, and felt the pull to do more to help someone achieve their dreams of becoming parents. My surrogacy journeys have been the most rewarding, and fulfilling experiences of my life, and I am so happy to call my Intended Parents family!"

Sarah Harris,

Circle Program Coordinator

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"Everything was so perfect! I’m so very blessed to have been matched with the most amazing IPs and seeing the love and adoration on their faces when they look at their beautiful daughter, makes this journey more than fulfilling! Thank you to everyone on the Circle team for all of your help and support in making this the best journey ever!"

Amber

"I couldn't have asked for a better journey being a first time surrogate. You guys also nailed the personality matching. We are so similar and we've gained life-long friends and we are already planning our trip to Norway to visit the Baby for her first birthday!"

Lauren

"I was a surrogate with Circle Surrogacy and gave birth in January 2020. Everything from start to finish I felt so much support. The people that work at Circle treat you like family and you are definitely not just a number to them. Matching was the most important step and it went perfectly. I was matched with the most amazing couple and the three of us made it possible for a beautiful baby girl to join the world. 10/10 would recommend Circle."

Rebekka

"It has been great working with Circle Surrogacy as a surrogate. They are with you every step of the way. I couldn't imagine doing this without them!"

Tiffany

"Thank you so much for your help through the matching process. You have made me feel very comfortable and at ease with this process and yet I've never even met you. I can't say enough positive things about you and your agency to this point. We are kind of stunned by how fast it has gone; however it doesn't feel rushed but organized and professional. We are really more excited than I thought we would be about this surrogacy journey at this point and I think a lot of that has to do with how much we really enjoyed meeting my IPs and their son, who was so cute and so good during our chat. We look forward to learning more about them and their lives. Again thank you so much for making this as stress free and enjoyable as possible."

Heather

"This agency has been nothing but professional, supportive, and prompt. Before, during, and after my journey I knew that help and answers were only a phone call away. There’s not much they wouldn’t try to do for you, to make sure you felt heard and supported."

Emily

Testimonials

What Is the Process To Become a Surrogate Mother?

Becoming a surrogate mother consists of many mini-milestones that lead to the big day: delivery day!

When you apply to become a surrogate, you will likely not be told how long your journey will last. A surrogacy journey for surrogate mothers can take anywhere from 14-20+ months. Your journey begins with your application, but then depends on many factors: how quickly you’re matched with intended parents, how well you respond to IVF medications and time for embryo creation and transfer.

How long does the surrogate process take?

Surrogate looking at photos

How long does the surrogate process take?

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:

See the full surrogate mother process in detail. 

  • 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.

  • During this step you'll have a video call with a licensed mental health professional, and your primary support person/spouse will have a call with them as well.

  • 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! Circle Surrogacy has intended parents waiting for the right surrogate match – you could be matched immediately!

  • You'll attend your Medical screening at the IVF clinic (overnight trip), and you'll start and finalize contract negotiations with your attorney.

  • 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)

  • 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! 

Surrogate in hospital with intended parents
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