A Quick Introduction
Hello from Surrogacy Mama! My name is Gennifer Rose and I’m the voice and creator behind my surrogacy blog. I have worked professionally in surrogacy for years, and I’m also a surrogate myself. It has been the most rewarding experience and I’m very passionate about helping families. I wrote this guide to share some of the best highlights of being a surrogate, and also debunk any misconceptions or myths about surrogacy.
What Exactly is a Surrogate?
A surrogate is a woman who carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple. Modern day surrogates are medically known as gestational carriers, and are not biologically related to the child she carries. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like the scenarios seen in popular TV show The Handmaid’s Tale. Instead, an embryo is created using in vitro fertilization (IVF) and then transferred to the gestational carrier’s uterus. As the popular saying goes, she is just the oven and it’s not her bun! 🙂
Gestational carriers are typically helping couples or individuals who are unable to carry a pregnancy themselves due to medical conditions, infertility, or other reasons. Surrogates are currently very high in demand because for many people, it is their only chance at having a baby (in case you were wondering, adoption is not an option for many people).
Read on to see our top five reasons why surrogacy might be right for you.
- Surrogates Can Make $50,000 in Cash Payments
Base compensation for surrogates starts at $50,000 or more, depending on where she lives in the United States and other factors. This compensation is typically paid in installments throughout the pregnancy, with cash bonuses paid at milestones before pregnancy such as starting IVF medication and embryo transfer. Surrogates also earn cash perks such as a paid monthly allowance, $700 cash payment for maternity clothing, paid prenatal massages and even paid maternity leave!
- Surrogates Can Continue to Work During their Pregnancy
A common misconception is that surrogates are not allowed to work while they are pregnant. As long as their job and workplace have a healthy environment for pregnant women, surrogates can continue to work their regular jobs, continue their careers, and earn their regular wages. If a surrogate needs to take time off from work for appointments, labor and delivery, etc., she is compensated for lost wages from the parents. A surrogate working with an ethical agency should never be forced to forfeit income.
- Surrogates Get Paid-Maternity Leave
If you are a surrogate who lives in a state where paid maternity leave is offered, you can be eligible for up to 12 weeks paid leave, with job protection. Think about it, that’s like a 12 week vacation and you’re not busy caring for a newborn! You can take this time to relax at home, spend time with your family, binge your Netflix shows, whatever you want.
For surrogates who live in states that do not offer a full paid maternity leave, you will still be compensated lost wages by the parents for a maternity leave. The amount of weeks of paid maternity leave will be negotiated in your contracts with your attorney (who is paid for by the parents, so you will have no legal fees). I recommend you use your voice and be vocal about how much paid maternity leave you want.
- Fully-Paid Travel
Most surrogates do not live in the same state as their matched intended parents, so there’s often travel involved for medical screening and embryo transfer. This means that the surrogate gets to travel to major metropolitan cities, completely free to them. The parents pay for flights, hotels, meals, Ubers, everything is completely covered. Popular destinations for surrogates to travel are Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Portland, and many more.
As a surrogate you can ask to be submitted for approval at any clinic partnered with the agency, so you can pick the city where you’re traveling to.
- Surrogates Have Access to Fully-Paid Premium Medical Care
If you’re like many Americans, you may have struggled to access quality medical care. During the surrogacy onboarding process, all surrogates go through comprehensive medical screening (don’t worry, it’s nothing painful). They will check your vitamin and nutrient levels, check your thyroid, search for any infectious disease, do ultrasounds of your uterus and ovaries, etc. All of these medical services are completely free for the surrogate, and can be very helpful in uncovering hidden health issues that may be affecting her quality of life.
Once a surrogate is approved, all of the medical expenses related to the pregnancy and postpartum are 100% covered by the parents. Again, a surrogate will never have to pay anything out of pocket.
While gestational carriers receive compensation for their services, the decision to become a gestational carrier should not be taken lightly. However, for those who are willing and able to undertake the journey, it can be a deeply rewarding experience, helping to create a family where one may not have been possible otherwise.
If you’re at all interested or curious about becoming a surrogate, you can submit your info on the Surrogacy Mama website.