WHAT IS SURROGACY?
Surrogacy is a sensitive topic in any country, some in support, others against. Who is a surrogate, you may ask? A surrogate is a woman who even though carries a child in her womb, has no genetic link to the child. That is to say, the egg and the sperm (of the couple opting for surrogacy) are gestated in-vitro. In surrogacy, pros and cons of being a surrogate mother is inevitable.
Earlier, it was the sperm of the father and the egg of the surrogate but to avoid future complications, the former is generally preferred. So, just how much should you get paid to carry a life?
HOW IS A SURROGATE’S PAY DETERMINED?
A couple of factors play a huge role in deciding the compensation of a surrogate, which generally involves more than the base pay. Some of these factors include the geographical area, experience as well as the insurance charge, to name just a few. Also, the nature of the agreement, whether it’s done via a surrogate agency or privately, plays an important role too. A surrogate mother is given to the freedom to set her own fee sometimes, within reason.
Other standard aspects are listed below:
- LEGAL AND TRAVEL EXPENSES. Surrogacy is a serious matter which requires a proper contract to be drawn and signed. This requires an attorney who’ll negotiate the terms on behalf of the surrogate and also provide counsel as and when required by her. Sometimes, a surrogate is paid a signing bonus of $500 but it’s not mandatory. Traveling expenses are inclusive of hotel stays, transport, and meals.
- MEDICAL EXPENSES. This accounts for more than half of the compensation. In surrogacy, the number of doctor’s appointments is more and there are more medical tests. The expenses include invasive medical tests as well as medications, shots, etc. If the surrogate is carrying twins or multiples then she is paid around $3k-4k more and if she gets a C-section then her pay is increased by $2.5k-3k. Other medical co-pays are also included.
- CYCLE MEDICATION AND EMBRYO TRANSFER. This is a delicate procedure which can prove to be strenuous for the surrogate. A sum of $1k-1.5k is usually paid to her.
- GENERAL MONTHLY ALLOWANCE. A sum of $1k-1.5k is also included as a surrogate’s daily allowance for things like maternity clothing, lost wages, housekeeping etc. Compensation in the event of any complication will be paid to the surrogate by the intended parents.
SO, HOW MUCH CAN A SURROGATE EXPECT IN THE US?
We now know the elements which constitute a surrogate’s pay, now let’s see how much it usually amounts to. In the US, it amounts to $30,000-$50,000 plus associated expenses. The flat rate compensation isn’t uniform throughout the US. California and Oregon surrogates receive around $10k more when compared to the surrogates of other cities.
In New York City, a surrogate can expect anywhere within 45k-55k and if there are further expenses, she will be paid for that as well. In Chicago, Illinois the pay
ranges between $30k-45k. Surrogates in Los Angeles and San Diego can earn up to $50k whereas in Houston, it’s up to $43k. In Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, they earn up to $35k. This disparity can be attributed to the cost of living, general expenses, and the base pay.