Surrogacy By State

Become a Surrogate in California

Key Points:
  • Discover the steps to becoming a surrogate in California.
  • Learn what to take into consideration as you make your decision to become a surrogate.
  • Start your journey to become a surrogate in California by contacting a surrogacy agency today.

Women who have ever found themselves wondering how to become a surrogate mother in California have been called to do an amazing thing for people who have been waiting to become parents! Being a surrogate mother in California is an incredible way to help others in a way that no one else can.

If you want to lear more about becoming a surrogate in California directly, contact a surrogacy specialist today.

Speak with a specialist today!

These seven steps will help you learn how to be a surrogate mother in CA, so you can decide if it’s the right path for you:

Step 1: Choose to Commit Yourself to Surrogacy

Not everyone is the right candidate to become a surrogate mother in California. There’s an approximately year-long commitment involved in becoming a surrogate, and that commitment involves your body, heart, mind, time and energy. Your whole family will be involved, too. If you’re married, your spouse will need to confirm their commitment to your surrogacy decision for a couple of reasons. They’ll need to legally acknowledge that they have no parental claims to any child you would carry for intended parents, and they’ll also be important for supporting you emotionally throughout your surrogacy journey.

A question that’s commonly asked by some women who are contemplating becoming a surrogate in CA is: “How much does a surrogate get paid in California?” Or, “How much does a surrogate mother make in California?” While paid surrogacy in California is legal and standard practice to fairly compensate surrogates for the time they invest and the sacrifices they make, surrogate compensation isn’t usually the main motivation for women who want to be California surrogate mothers.

For most surrogates, the main goal is to help people to become parents. This makes them an excellent candidate for surrogacy. If compensation is your primary goal and you’re exclusively concerned about how much surrogate mothers make in California, then you should reconsider your surrogacy decision. If your first question is, “How much do surrogates make in California?” then you may not be an ideal candidate to become a surrogate in CA.

Step 2: Choose the Type of Surrogacy and the Surrogacy Professional

If you’re ready to commit to the surrogacy process and become a surrogate, California has two types of surrogacy and surrogacy professionals:

Traditional surrogacy:

Traditional surrogacy is not specifically addressed in California law, which means it’s not specifically prohibited. However, this is the less-common type of surrogacy, as you would be the biological mother of the child, and there are increased legal and emotional risks with this method of surrogacy. Through either IVF or intrauterine insemination, a fertility clinic would combine your own egg with sperm from a donor or an intended father. Most surrogacy programs and agencies won’t complete traditional surrogacies due to the potential for risks and complications.

Gestational surrogacy:

Gestational surrogacy is legal in California, and the process is well-regulated and welcomed. It’s the preferred method of surrogacy, as you would not be biologically related to the child you would carry for the intended parents. An embryo would be created through in vitro fertilization with an egg and sperm from donors or intended parents, and then transferred to your uterus.

It’s always recommended that you go through a professional and not try to seek out intended parents on your own without protection. There are two different types of surrogacy professionals you can choose from to guide you through the complex processes:

Surrogacy agencies:

They match you with pre-screened intended parents and offer you most, if not all, the services required to complete the California surrogacy process in full. They generally handle the whole process for you.

Surrogacy attorneys:

They complete the legal elements of the CA surrogacy process. They typically don’t provide searching or matching services, but they can often offer advice for searching for potential intended parents.

Step 3: Complete the Screening Requirements to Become a Surrogate Mom in CA

Once you’ve established how you’d prefer to proceed, you’ll need to make sure that you meet the surrogate mother requirements. California surrogacy professionals’ requirements can vary somewhat, but most of the requirements you’d need to meet include:


To qualify for surrogate jobs, California applicants will need to complete a medical screening process and meet their professional’s health requirements. Those requirements typically include having a BMI of about 19-33, having given birth at least once with no pregnancy complications, being smoke- and drug-free and more. You can learn more about the health requirements needed in the process to be a surrogate mother in CA here.


There are several legal requirements that are part of learning how to become a gestational surrogate in CA. These requirements include being a permanent resident of the U.S., not receiving any government financial aid and more. Learn more about the legal process of how to be a surrogate mom in California here.


Being a gestational carrier in California also involves a psychological screening process to make sure that you’re mentally and emotionally prepared for the surrogacy process. An important requirement for being a surrogate is having strong support at home from people who support your pursuit of your surrogacy goal. Learn more about how to create a support system and how to become a gestational surrogate in CA here.

Step 4: Choose the Intended Parents You Want to Carry For

One of the most exciting and important stages of learning how to become a surrogate mother in California is finding the right intended parents to partner with. There are several different ways to do this.

Surrogates who are working with an agency will be shown profiles of waiting couples that they could choose to carry for. Surrogates who are already know someone who they’d like to carry for will simply need to coordinate with a surrogacy professional for the legal and medical stages of the process. Surrogates who are working with an attorney and are becoming a surrogate without an agency in CA will search for intended parents on their own through personal networking, online ads, etc.


Surrogates can earn $50,000 to $110,000 based on location and experience.

Step 5: Complete the Legal Surrogacy Contract

After you’ve been matched with intended parents but before you begin the medical process, you’ll need to establish a surrogacy contract. Surrogates and intended parents will each need their own legal representation to ensure that everyone’s rights are equally advocated for. A surrogacy contract details things like compensation, the legal parental rights for the intended parents, how everyone would wish to proceed in the event of pregnancy complications or other unforeseen circumstances and more.

When everyone is comfortable with a finalized draft of the contract, you can move on to the next steps to becoming a surrogate in CA.

Step 6: Complete the Embryo Transfer Processes

The health requirements and medical screenings that potential surrogates must meet ensure that you’re healthy enough to complete the necessary fertility treatments, hormones and medications which lead up to an embryo transfer.

Embryo transfers occur at an agreed-upon fertility clinic established in your surrogacy contract, which surrogates will sometimes need to travel to. Intended parents will cover any travel expenses, if necessary. After the procedure, you’ll need to rest at the clinic for a few hours and then take it easy for a few days after in order to help the embryo successfully implant.

It can take several cycles of embryo transfers before a healthy pregnancy occurs. However, when a doctor confirms this, you’ll be able to receive regular prenatal health care from your own OBGYN and you can continue communicating with the intended parents about their baby’s growth throughout your pregnancy.

Step 7: Welcome the Baby with the Intended Parents!

Undoubtedly, the most rewarding and exciting moment of becoming a surrogate in CA is when you’re able to bring the intended parents together with their baby for the first time. Typically, your intended parents will travel to you when you go into labor. When you create your surrogacy contract, you can discuss your preferred birth plan with the intended parents so you all know how the last few moments of your surrogate pregnancy in California will go and what to do.

One of the most uniquely fulfilling experiences that a woman can have is giving the gift of parenthood to someone else by becoming a surrogate in California. For many people, surrogacy is a way to come together over the common goal of creating families.

Contact a CA surrogacy professional now to learn more about how to become a surrogate mother in California.

Male and Female couple smiling with surrogate mother
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