The Difference Between First-Time and Experienced Surrogate Compensation
Find out how your surrogacy experience may play a role in compensation rate as you move forward with your next surrogacy journey.
Did you know that first-time surrogates and experienced surrogates make a different compensation rate when carrying for intended parents? That’s right — if you’ve been a surrogate before, you can expect to get paid a higher amount when you pursue a second or third surrogacy journey.
But, exactly how much does an experienced surrogate get paid? And how different is it from a first-time surrogate’s compensation?
Every surrogacy agency is different, so the best way to answer this question is by speaking with a surrogacy professional. They can give you more information on the details of first-time surrogate compensation, second-time surrogate compensation and even compensation for third or fourth journeys. That way, you can better decide which compensation package is right for you.
In the meantime, learn a bit more about how — and why — compensation rates vary based on a woman’s surrogacy experience.
How Much Do First-Time Surrogates Make?
When you’re searching for information on surrogate compensation, many agencies promise flat rates of $25,000 or more for gestational carriers. Is that really what you’ll make if you’ve never been a gestational carrier before?
The answer is yes. Most agencies set their base compensation rates based on how much a first-time surrogate will make. After all, many of the women who find their information online are looking to start their first-ever surrogacy journey. In many cases, what you see is what you get.
However, as you’re researching surrogate compensation, be cautious. Many agencies will also use misleading numbers to get you in their doors, promising higher numbers than what their first-time surrogate compensation rate actually is. They may promise extravagant numbers up to $60,000 and $80,000. Higher rates such as those as normally reserved for experienced surrogates and, even then, those rates may include other reimbursements and payments that aren’t just base compensation.
So, in short: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re wondering about your potential first-time surrogate compensation, expect to be paid an average of $30,000 (plus reimbursement/coverage of all surrogacy-related expenses), depending on your state of residence and personal situation.
How Much Does an Experienced Surrogate Get Paid?
If you’re considering a second or third surrogacy journey, you already know the ropes. You know how surrogate base compensation and reimbursement works, and you know that compensation is not the best part of being a surrogate — it’s helping to build a family.
But did you also know that you can receive a higher compensation rate for your next journey?
That’s right — experienced surrogate compensation rates are typically higher than women who are completing this journey for the first time. When you’re a repeat surrogate, you have already proven your ability to safely carry a gestational pregnancy to term. You have shown you can successfully partner with intended parents through the length of this process, and you have a knowledge of the surrogacy process that will make another journey much easier. You’ll be in high demand from intended parents who are looking for a surrogate.
Because of your valuable knowledge and experience, intended parents and surrogacy professionals are happy to pay a higher repeat surrogate compensation. Exactly what this will be varies based on professional. Some agencies will offer an additional $5,000 per pregnancy, while some will offer a higher flat rate for experienced surrogates, no matter their number of journeys.
To find out what the average second-time surrogate compensation or third-time surrogate compensation is, speak with a few different surrogacy professionals during your research process.
Does Repeat Surrogate Compensation Continue to Rise?
For many women, being a gestational carrier is a journey they want to repeat over and over. You’ve probably heard stories about women who have been gestational carriers four times over (or more).
But, is this really possible — and will their repeat surrogate compensation ever hit triple-digits?
The answer is a bit complicated. While surrogate compensation for second-time or third-time surrogates will increase from their first journey, a professionals’ policy on a cap for surrogate compensation will vary.
Keep in mind: There is also a limit to how many pregnancies you can have as a surrogate. That includes your own pregnancies. Many professionals will set that limit at no more than five vaginal births and no more than four cesarean-sections. While having a lengthy pregnancy history can be an advantage for intended parents, it can also increase the likelihood of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. So, every time you decide to become a surrogate, you must again be medically cleared by a fertility specialist to move forward.
Surrogacy professionals don’t advise that women try to make a career out of surrogacy. While surrogate compensation can be useful for long-term financial goals, it is not as useful for day-to-day expenditures. While your repeat surrogacy compensation will increase as you start your second or third surrogacy journey, think about whether the potential risks and challenges are worth it.
Again, the best way to learn about experienced surrogate compensation is by speaking with an honest, transparent surrogacy professional. Only that way can you choose the path that is best for you and your family.