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How Much is a Surrogate Mother Compensated?

Today, there are many couples and individuals who long to have a child, but are unable to do so. Some reasons for this could include poor egg quality from the female partner, history of miscarriage, or age of the parents. In other cases, a same-sex couple may wish to start a family, yet is not able to do so in the natural way.

For these types of cases, however, there is a solution. The process of surrogacy involves the use of one woman's uterus to implant and carry the embryo of a child – as well as to carry it through the pregnancy term and deliver the baby – for another. The woman who does so is referred to as a surrogate mother.

How Does Surrogacy Work?

In going through the surrogacy process, there are essentially two primary ways of doing so. These include traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. There are some differences in the two processes, including:

  • Traditional Surrogacy – With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother will have the male parent's sperm inseminated into her uterus by using the process of in vitro fertilization. In this case, the sperm will fertilize one of the surrogate mother's eggs, essentially making her a biological parent of the child. This is typically not the option that female parents take if they wish to have a biological relationship to the child.
  • Gestational Surrogacy – By using gestational surrogacy, in vitro fertilization is used to implant eggs that have been harvested from the biological mother, along with sperm from the male partner, into the uterus of the surrogate mother when it has become an embryo. At this time, the surrogate mother will carry the child throughout the pregnancy until the time of its birth.

How Much Can a Surrogate Mother Earn?

Being a surrogate mother can be quite taxing, both physically and emotionally. Oftentimes, the success rate of pregnancies on the first implementation are low, meaning that the surrogate mother must start all over again with any potential medications, vitamins, and other necessities that are suggested in order to make the pregnancy a success.

There is no set fee that surrogate mothers charge. One reason for this is that there are cases where the surrogate mother is related to the intended parent or parents of the child, and others where all are complete strangers.

First time surrogates may charge a smaller fee, whereas an experienced surrogate could charge between $5,000 and $10,000 or more. In cases where a surrogate is carrying multiple fetuses, she is paid an additional fee.

In many cases, the surrogate mother will also be reimbursed for her medical, hospital, and other related charges. These expenses may include the cost of maternity clothing, meals, and other financial expenditures.

When compensating a surrogate mother, the intended parents will either pay in one lump sum or break the total into several payments. If the intended parents are working through a surrogacy agency, the agency will typically charge a fee for the purpose of covering the costs of interviewing and screening surrogates, advertising, and managing the case throughout the pregnancy.