Surrogacy Any One Do It? Did You Profit?

Updated on December 12, 2011
M.J. asks from Minneapolis, MN
12 answers

Ok with out being a blunt money grubber. A few years back my oldest Sister and I were thinking about doing a Surrogacy for our middle one. My middle sister wanted 2 more kids but never could get pregnant after her daughter who is 13. I thought maybe I could try first, and then she would try. After a long consideration from both of us, we decided the other sister that wanted kids, is not stable mentally, or we didnt feel she would appreciate what we were about to do for her so we decided against it. However I want to help someone. I feel I have a year or two before I cant, and thought it would be awesome to do this for someone. I have 3 kids. I also went through 2 miscarriages, and a stillbirth so I know the pain of losing kids. I pretty much enjoyed pregnancy, and birth for me all 3 times was, well pretty easy. My husband is not against the idea if he thinks what I am about to do to myself is cost effective. I read that most surrogates get about 22,000 to 45,000 to carry... is that true? I was hoping to use my experience to pay a HUGE chuck of mortgage off. I know that sounds insensitive. I havent even signed up for this so those that are about to attack for that statement you need not apply. I am aware of all that mentally goes into this and what not. NOW I have put on my banker boots and am just thinking along the lines of financial. I know its not a career, or a income. Its a one time only thing.

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So What Happened?

Well back story, I am already approved. As the miscarriages and stillbirth were with my first husband who had problems with sperm. We had gone through fertility treatments for him. After marrying my second husband we have had 3 successful children in a row with NO problems or any issues with our children. I had to go through a screening earlier. The agency that we went through accepted my application based on my medical records for past. As I said I am not looking at this for a steady income it would have just been nice to put a bunch of money on my mortgage if possible. Thanks everyone for you observations and opinions. I was going to do it for sister for free, other than her paying for everything medically. However for legal issues I went through an agency to be sure to protect my rights as well.

More Answers


answers from San Antonio on

Having been a surrogate, I'd like to know where you got the stats that we get between $22k and $45k?

For the first surrogacy I was paid $20k. For the second I was paid $23k, because I was considered an experienced surrogate. You are aware of all the shots that are involved and you only get paid if you get pregnant, right? And that payment is broken up into 10 payments over the course of the pregnancy. In addition, every pregnancy is different. It doesn't matter that your first pregnancies were easy. So were mine. My last pregnancy I had hyperemesis up until the day I delivered. I was vomiting constantly. I gave birth to the baby and began bleeding out. I lost 4 cups of blood and they were prepared to transport me when the last medication finally kicked in. I didn't receive any extra compensation for nearly dying, or for spending so much time sleeping on the bathroom floor, or for vomiting. It's just something I dealt with so some friends could have a baby.

It's a wonderful gift to give someone, but if you're doing it for the money and only the money, don't bother. I figured it out once it comes to about $2.10/hour. That's just the pregnancy. That's not the time you spend trying to get pregnant (giving yourself the shots, and all the doctors appointments) and that's not the time you spend recovering after you deliver.

If you choose to do it, God bless. If you ever want to chat, feel free to message me.


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I was a gestational carrier surrogate and in Massachusetts, it's perfectly legal and above-board. I am employed and my health insurance covered the costs of my pre-natal care and delivery. I was paid more than $20K for the surrogacy, which is the market rate here. As Jennifer H. mentioned below, the contracts are usually written so that you are paid over 10 months - one small payment when you start taking Lupron to suppress your cycle, a larger payment at the time of the transfer, and if the pregnancy takes, you get one payment per month of pregnancy and the final payment at delivery. If you end up carrying twins or higher-order multiples, contracts usually include additional compensation that gets added to the last few months (around $5K per extra baby is typical). There is extra compensation for doing procedures such as amnio, being on bed rest, or having a c-section. You would get a small clothing allowance, and things like parking for medical appointments is reimbursed. So when all that is rolled in, you can get paid a substantial amount of money and for tax purposes, it doesn't count as income or anything at all.

It was far and away the most extraordinary thing that I have ever done and the most meaningful experience that I have ever had, but that's outside of the compensation. Although I have always had easy pregnancies, carrying twins is no joke and is a very likely scenario with gestational carriers. For the first time in any pregnancy, I was put on bed rest and really had to rely heavily on support from my friends, neighbors, family and co-workers and that was hard to do. Although my kids were great with the situation and were happy that I was doing this, it was hard on them to have me out of commission for many months - to hear that I was too tired to play with them, or had to miss a hockey game because I couldn't drive too far, or that we had to eat what someone dropped off because I couldn't stand long enough to cook something they like for dinner. My husband was totally on board with this from a financial standpoint and because he really loved the couple we were doing this with (they were friends of friends) but it was really, really hard on him and he was definitely sick of everything by the end.

When we went on a final hospital tour before the birth (which was a scheduled induction) the nurse manager who handles GC births was teary with joy after meeting with the four of us. She kept saying that it was extraordinary to get to this point and see so much genuine love, warmth and support between the carrier and the intended parents and that most pre-birth meetings like this (they do several GC deliveries each year) are tense, cold and sometimes hostile. I guess in many arrangements, relationships that start off well can break down. We heard similar comments during and after the delivery too. That surprised me, but it's important to know that that can happen if you are matched with strangers instead of doing it for a friend.

There are many families who go through successful GC journeys who are, to put in plainly, in it primarily for the compensation. I didn't seek this out, but once I was asked, I realized that I had just been waiting to be asked and that this was something that I hoped would happen to me. The compensation was a bonus, but it came at the right time as we really needed a financial Hail Mary and this was it.

I think that if you got through the medical screening, and are fully aware of what you're getting into and get through the psych and social worker screenings that come later, it's worth considering. An experienced agency and legal team (which the intended parents pay for) will handle all of the legal issues. Just know that you will need a good support network and your husband must be 1000% on board. Even with a history of healthy, easy pregnancies, the shots you have to take will turn you into a raving lunatic. You have to get up at an ungodly hour and drive to a hospital to have your blood drawn, sometimes several times a week. You have to give yourself small shots in the abdomen daily for several weeks. When you get to the embryo transfer, you have to give yourself a GIANT progesterone shot in the hip every day and if the pregnancy takes, continue that for 10 weeks. You also have to take estrogen pills. If you carry twins, you have to have twice as many appointments as with a single pregnancy (so twice monthly and later, weekly) and have monthly ultrasounds, so there are way more appointments to go to.

Finally, the responsibility of carrying someone else's children is huge and at times, overwhelming. Things I felt free to do in my own pregnancies (have some feta cheese without asking the restaurant if it was pasteurized, have an iced tea with 10 whole mg of caffeine, eat deli meat now and again, have a Diet Coke, use a strong bathroom cleaner) I wouldn't consider doing with their babies. I was totally paranoid about pregnancy loss and kept waiting for something awful happen when with my own children, I was relatively cavalier. Knowing that if something happened, this was pretty much their only shot of having biological children because they couldn't afford to do this twice was at times terrifying. Once the babies were born, the most overwhelming sense that I felt was one of relief that I did my job and from here on out, their well-being was in the arms (literally) of their parents.

My GC babies turned 2 a few weeks ago and they are happy, healthy, wonderful little people who were born to two of the best parents I know. Their parents are the kind of people who you want to have children and it was a humbling experience, an honor, and a privilege to be part of a giant team of people (we tried to count once how many people made this happen and lost count at 100) who helped this couple become parents. All that said, I doubt I would to it again for any amount of money.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Chances are pretty good that no one will want you to be their surrogate for profit. I hope this isn't a mean observation but you have had two miscarriages. They will require your medical background. Who would pick someone that has a stronger chance of miscarrying if they are paying for the service.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have never heard of a surrogate actually MAKING a lot of money. (As in, a substantial profit.) When you read those stats, that they get 22,000-45,000 to carry. (I believe it's much lower then that, for a first time surrogate. It is also less for a gestational surrogate.) That's generally medical costs and the costs associated with pregnancy. Now, there will be some "paid" money, sure. for the time spent pregnant, physical toll, etc. It won't be enough to pay down your mortgage. Creating a baby scientifically, is very expensive. So, is maintaining that pregnancy.

You may not be a candidate for surrogacy. If you went through an agency the age cut-off is generally close to 35. (The IDEAL is 30 or under. I don't know how old you are.) I think gestational surrogates can be a bit older. Generally, (though agencies) candidates for surrogacy should have had no pregnancy complications, or problems with delivering vaginally. Would someone really pay a person thousands of dollars to carry their baby, who has suffered multiple losses? Probably not. I can't think of any agency that would. Most people have enough money to pay a surrogate ONCE. They aren't likely to take that chance on a history of loss. I do not say that to be insensitive, it's just the reality of the situation. If you went private and drew up contracts, you will not make as much, and would possibly not be chosen due to your history, either.

In reality, surrogacy is NOT a money making venture. It's not something that a huge profit is made. My friend was a gestational surrogate, and when all was said and done, she had about 3,500 extra left in the bank. (And she got paid a little more from the family outside of that contract. Really, it was probably closer the 2,500 without that). Which is precisely why MONEY should not be a reason in doing this. They do physiological examinations, before you're even chosen. If it's found out your main reason is money, you will not be a candidate. I encourage you to read up on what makes you a candidate for surrogacy. From what little history you've provided, it doesn't sound like you are. Sorry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would do your research a little more before deciding on doing this for somebody. They were recently talking about this on the radio here. It was a conversation of the wife wanted to be a surrogate because she has such easy pregnancies and needed the money. The husband says no, because she was basically unbearable while pregnant. Anyways, a lady called in and said she did do the surrogate thing. She made a lot of good points about what she enjoyed and why she wouldnt do it again. Her biggest was that it is actually illegal to "make" money off of doing this. You are not legally allowed to be paid. Agencies dont allow "gifts", therefore you would have to do it outside of an agency and then you get in to a bunch of legal problems. Im not trying to talk you out of it. I think it is a wonderful gift for somebody to want to give another family. Just do a LOT of research before you make the final decision.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I looked into it to help dear friends of ours who had tried for years (10) to get pregnant...I was not considered a viable candidate because I had had three miscarriages - 10, 12 and 22 weeks. With your history - you most likely would not be considered a viable candidate.

In Virginia it is illegal to make money off of this. The gaining family pays all medical expenses...for some women - young ones, they pay for rent and groceries...but over all? the gaining families aren't allowed to pay you directly. Only to pay for medical expenses.

I would get more information before you dive in's not easy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Not trying to be mean just logical.

I've had 5 miscarriages..... But back when we were considering our options we did touch on surrogacy for a minute. I wouldn't care if someone had certified you as ok medically... if you had lost previous pregnancies and to be as far along as to even have a still born... I'd look right over you. The money involved in doing this I wouldn't take any chances. I've read you can plan on it costing about 100k to do this... I surely wouldn't ever take a risk on anyone whose medical record wasn't so squeaky clean tylenol was sparse to find.

Just something to think about. I watched for the first time TLC's The Little Couple show and seeing them announce on the season finale that their surrogate miscarried broke my heart in a million little pieces and seeing her face I felt as if she understood actually what it felt like when I miscarried even to the degree had she had it herself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I don't think you would qualify given your circumstances but, you may want to look into donating your eggs.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I have no problem with you looking to make money while also helping someone. However, given that you've had two miscarriages and a still birth, you will probably not qualify. My best friend used a surrogate and the medical screening is VERY rigorous. I don't think you'd be considered if you've had miscarriages before. Also, if your three kids are young, you might not qualify either. Anyway - the 22,000 - 45,000 is not a cash payment to the surrogate. That's the total cost that the families pay. The reason there's the whole range is that IVF costs can vary. So figure $15,000 for IVF, $5,000 for delivery, $3,000 for other medical costs, plus a bit to the surrogate (maybe $2,000 - $5,000) and you're already at $28,000 total cost. But again, the actual cash payment to the surrogate is very small.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eau Claire on

I know in Wisconsin there is no medical coverage for surrogacy (neither the surrogate or the soon-to-be-parents.) So I'm sure that the $22000 will go to cover the medical bills for the pregnancy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I am currently pregnant as a gestational carrier and I agree with what the other surrogates have said as well. the average base compensation for a first time surrogate is 18-25k. That does not include medical expenses. In most cases (especially if you use an agency), your medical expenses are all paid separately and are not deducted from your comp. I can also say that I live in WI and the WI insurance law has a statute that if you have maternity coverage currently, the company cannot exclude paying for a surrogate pregnancy. If your insurance is through a self funded plan, they may have the option to exclude the surrogacy, but that is a complicated issue and one that the agency would help verify for you. There is a lot that goes into the surrogacy , I'm sure you have looked into some of it. Some of the things I didn't count on were the countless hours on the phone with Drs, insurance companies, medical billing offices, psychologist, pharmacies, extra Dr appointments, bloodwork, etc... It will totally be worth it in the end and I am so excited to help the amazing couple that we are working with. As others have mentioned, the possibility of twins is a little scary. I have had very easy pregnancies and this one has been so far also, but I don't know what would have happened if I was pregnant with twins. The thought of bedrest and being unable to take care of my own kids was scary. I am only pregnant with one, so I am hoping the rest of the pregnancy goes smoothly. As far as the money goes, it shouldn't be your primary reason for doing this. Of course, anyone would benefit from an extra 20k, but as another person said, it is more of a bonus on top of the many other reasons that you would want to do this. With your history, it may be harder to find a couple that would want to match with you, but not impossible. Good luck and you are welcome to email me with any questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I have not been through this but just wanted to say good luck and it helps out two families. I say go for it and good for you!

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