When you’re first thinking of becoming a surrogate, there may be one thing on your mind: finding the highest-paying surrogacy agency for your situation. Even if compensation isn’t your main motivation for becoming a gestational carrier, it can certainly sway your choice of professional, all things considered.
As you look for surrogacy agencies that pay the most, you will likely come across compensation rates that astonish you. Many surrogacy agencies will advertise their surrogacy rates at $60,000 and higher.
Seem too good to be true? That’s because it probably is.
Offering the highest-paid surrogacy for prospective carriers is one the most effective recruiting techniques out there for surrogacy agencies. Even women who aren’t interested in compensation can be attracted by the high rates promised by national agencies. But, in most cases, the “best” surrogate compensation isn’t all that it’s made out to be.
In this article, we’ll debunk some of the myths surrounding compensation rates offered by the surrogacy agencies that (seem to) pay the most. To have the most successful surrogacy journey possible, you first need to understand the complexities behind the process — and that starts with the complicated, often-misleading surrogate base compensation.
“Highest-Paying” Surrogacy Agency Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
The internet can be a great advantage to women hoping to become a gestational carrier. But, it’s not always a source of reliable, truthful information.
One example? Certain surrogacy agencies using internet search results to advertise inaccurate surrogate compensation rates — all to suck in unsuspecting and unaware prospective gestational carriers.
It’s human nature for people to focus on the headlines. When you search for information on compensation, and you see search results advertising rates up to $60,000, $70,000 and even $80,000, it’s normal to click on those links first. You want the best surrogate compensation possible, and those higher numbers seem to promise you what other agencies can’t.
However, those numbers don’t tell the whole truth. In fact, many surrogacy agencies make an advertising technique out of offering misleading compensation rates in internet search results, only to actually offer much less once you have started the surrogacy process with their agency.
How do they do this? The agencies tend to combine base compensation rates (the money in your pocket to do with as you please) with reimbursement and payments for other surrogacy costs, such as pregnancy and medical expenses. To that end, the “best” surrogate compensation they offer you is actually a combination of all the payments you’ll receive during surrogacy — many of which are simply to get you through the added expenses of a surrogacy journey.
Take, for example, West Coast Surrogacy. This agency often pops up near the top when you Google “surrogacy compensation,” with results advertising compensation rates from $50,000–$80,000.
However, when you dig deeper into their compensation charts, you quickly realize that number is not offered to everyone. In fact, the agency sets its “advertised” surrogate compensation based on the rates for surrogates in California, where there is greater demand for surrogates, the cost of living is higher and surrogates are regularly paid more than in other states. Don’t live in California? Don’t expect to get anywhere near that much money.
And more fine print? Their website states clearly: “The average amount of compensation, including expenses, can range from $50,000 to $80,000 depending on experience and the individual arrangements.”
So, in short, even experienced gestational carriers aren’t taking home $80,000 in base compensation to do with as they wish. That $80,000 includes payments that the agency expects to cover expenses associated with being a surrogate (such as maternity clothes, travel and more).
West Coast Surrogacy isn’t alone with using this technique. If you see a “highest-paying” surrogate agency offering extremely attractive compensation rates, odds are that the reality is a little different than what’s shown in their internet ad.
What to Consider When Searching for the Best Surrogate Compensation
With all of these professionals advertising themselves as the “highest-paying surrogacy agency,” how does a prospective gestational carrier find a professional who is honest with you about their true base compensation rate?
It requires a little bit of work and research.
If you, as a gestational carrier, are choosing a surrogacy agency, you shouldn’t just go with the first professional you talk to. There are a lot of options out there for great local and national surrogacy agencies, and many of them will be completely transparent with you about their base compensation rate. But, not all of them will, so coming into a meeting with a professional being prepared will be the key to getting the answers you need.
There are a lot of questions a prospective surrogate should ask an agency she’s considering. When you start talking about surrogate compensation, ask these questions:
- What does your compensation rate include? What doesn’t it include?
- How will my medical, pregnancy and other surrogacy expenses be paid for?
- How will my experience and location play a role in my total compensation rate?
- How will my compensation be paid out — monthly? By trimester?
- Who will manage the escrow service for my compensation payments?
- What are the conditions of receiving my surrogate payments?
Only by having all the information you need can you determine whether a professional can offer the best surrogate compensation for your situation.
But, finding out where you can be the highest-paid surrogate mother shouldn’t be your only concern when searching for a surrogacy agency. An attractive surrogate compensation rate can be important, but it’s nowhere near as important as finding a professional who will provide all the support you need during this journey. Being a surrogate can be hard; you want to make sure that the professional you choose will be there for you whenever you need them. No amount of base compensation can make up for an unsupportive surrogacy professional.
To learn more about the realities of surrogate base compensation, contact a surrogacy professional today.