How Much Does a Surrogate Make?

A surrogate is a woman who carries and assists another couple in having a baby. Through in vitro fertilization, the surrogate carries and gives birth to the baby for the intended parents. She tends to be a woman who is herself a mother and wishes to help others with this gift. It is important to have a good lawyer if you’re thinking of doing this, as laws can vary from state to state. So, how much does a surrogate make and what should she consider?

Different Types of Surrogate Mother

Partial Surrogacy (Traditional or Straight Surrogacy)

With a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is artificially inseminated, which makes surrogacy possible to begin with. She is the baby's biological mother because her egg is used. The sperm can be from the intended father or a donor. The surrogate mother then carries the baby to term, birthing and releasing it to the intended parents to raise.

Full Surrogacy (Gestational or Host Surrogacy)

 A full surrogacy is accomplished by using in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the intended mother's egg (or a donor egg) and the sperm of the intended father's. Then the embryo is gently placed in the uterus of the gestational surrogate or "birth mother", but she has no genetic ties to the baby. The woman who provided the egg is still the biological mother.

In the US, the legally less complex of the 2 is gestational surrogacy. About 750 babies are born each year using this method. Its popularity is most likely due to the fact that the baby can have genetic ties to both intended parents.

How Much Does a Surrogate Make?

If you are wondering how much a surrogate makes, it varies from case to case, with fees ranging from $40,000 to $50,000, plus expenses, and it also varies depending on experience.

This chart may help to give you some idea:




Surrogate Mother Fee, All States except California


Surrogate Mother Fee, State of California


Experienced Surrogate Mothers


Maternity Clothing


Monthly Expense Allowance


Invasive Procedure


Embryo Transfer




Caesarean Section


1 Year Term Life Insurance Policy

Valued at $250,000

Health Premiums

In Full

Monthly Support Groups


Surrogate Retreat Weekends

In Full

Family Events

In Full

Becoming a Surrogate


In order to become a surrogate, you must meet 3 basic requirements:

1. Must have a child of your own

It is widely believed that a good mother is the best choice when it comes to a surrogate. A woman who is actively caring for her child-- a child who she has carried through an entire pregnancy, felt the kick inside her and has birthed--is considered to be best suited to know and understand the dynamic of releasing the baby to the intended parents and allows them to raise him/her without interruption. 

2. Must be between 21 and 42 years of age

The reasons behind placing an age limit on becoming a surrogate are because of two things. First, the decision to become a surrogate and how it could affect her current children is thought to best be handled by a more mature woman in her early 20's, whereas the cut-off is in place simply because of medical considerations in a woman older than 42. This is due to the link between high-risk pregnancy and age.

3. Must already be financially secured

It is not believed that financial consideration should be a major motivating factor in becoming a surrogate mother. Those who are financially secured are less likely to ask questions like “How much does a surrogate make?” Although a woman who is receiving state assistance for further education is often the exception, women who depend on welfare and state aid are often passed on as a choice for a surrogate mother. It is important that her own family understand that she is giving a gift, not giving a child away. The possible surrogate mother is needed to be seen as a functional purpose in the family’s life and not a dysfunctional one.


  1. Know the different kinds of surrogacy

It is important to know the 2 different types of surrogacy and which one is for you. You should decide if you would prefer to offer your own egg with a traditional surrogacy, or if you would only prefer to carry the embryo and implant in your uterus with a gestational surrogacy.

  1. Decide if you want to use an agent

Decide if you would like for an agency to place you find a couple, or if you are giving this gift to someone you already know. If you do use an agency, it is important to pick a reputable one as well as the parents you chose, because you will spend a great deal of time together. A bonus of choosing an agency is all the screening that they do for your safety.

  1. Understanding the laws

There is no current federal law pertaining to surrogacy, but each state does employ its own laws. A legal contract is easily obtained in some state whereas other states will jail you. Some states require the intended parents to legally adopt the baby and some state allow custody battles to take place.

Find out whether surrogacy is legal in your state HERE.

  1. Preconception checkup

Before becoming pregnant, it is important to first see a doctor to be sure you are in a pregnancy-ready condition. You will want to discuss getting tested for any sexually transmitted diseases or chronic health concerns. There is a host of suggested vaccines to get as well.

  1. Psychological screening

Even if you are not working with an agency which will require a psychological evaluation, it is best to talk with someone professional through this process. It is important for your own wellbeing in addition to making sure you don't harbor underlying desires to keep the child.

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins

Folic acid is the most important in the first few weeks of pregnancy, so it is best to start taking it before you are actually pregnant.

  1. Have your lawyer draft up a contract

Due to the difference in state laws, questions like how much does a surrogate make and all the potential legal issues, you should protect yourself with good legal representation. Both parties should have their own lawyer to address all important issues such as the occurrence of a multiple birth or the event of a miscarriage.

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