Being a Surrogate: What It's Actually Like
Ever wonder what it's like being a surrogate going through the approval process? If so, you're not alone–in fact, a growing number of women are considering this life-changing opportunity.
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Here, we'll give you an idea of what to expect before applying at SurrogateFirst or elsewhere to begin your surrogacy journey.
Overall, becoming a surrogate takes time to finish since the screening process is relatively thorough. After all, intended parents always want to make sure that they find a suitable surrogate who meets all qualifications, including applicable state laws about commercial surrogacy.
Certainly, surrogacy may be a long journey, but for many women, the joy of helping others start a family of their own is worth more than the financial compensation.
So, if you're curious about what it takes to become a surrogate, here's what it's like when you work with our agency.
What does a surrogate actually do?
A surrogate’s job is simple on paper, yet the reality is anything but elementary.
When infertility comes to light, gestational surrogacy is a way for couples or single individuals to achieve something they never thought possible – raising children in a happy home.
So, a surrogate’s primary role is to carry the child to term and deliver a healthy newborn in exchange for financial compensation.
Interestingly, some surrogates take the journey altruistically out of the kindness and compassion of their hearts. For example, a sister could agree to become a surrogate for her brother’s wife if the couple can’t conceive a child on their own.
Besides, a surrogate pregnancy is really no different from a normal pregnancy aside from assistive reproductive technology and fertility medications. Basically, a gestational surrogate gives birth to a child, fertilized with the intended parents' genetics instead of the surrogate's genetic material.
There may also be more medical screenings and checkups involved for surrogates during the pregnancy itself, yet the pregnancy progresses just the same; only the intended parents will have legal custody of the child after they are born.
If this arrangement sounds like something that you’d be interested in, here’s a quick breakdown of the process to become a surrogate at our agency.
What kind of compensation does a surrogate receive?
Surrogacy compensation packages vary from agency to agency. Usually, the intended parents pay a flat rate for surrogacy services through an agency that screens candidates and coordinates the process from beginning to end.
But regarding how much surrogates earn, a first-time surrogate’s base compensation is about $35,000 at the time of this writing. If the surrogate has completed one arrangement successfully, the earnings go up to about $50,000 in base compensation.
Additionally, the top surrogate agencies like ours offer supplemental compensation that we believe leads to a higher success rate, such as counseling before the child is born. There may also be compensation for starting fertility medications or if the child must be delivered via C-section.
Not only that, some surrogacy agencies will actually compensate surrogates for lost wages or reimburse them for expenses like travel accommodations and transportation to and from medical appointments.
Generally speaking, you can expect to earn about $9,000 to $10,000 on top of your base compensation to account for every expense from beginning to end.
What are the basic surrogacy qualifications?
The qualifications to become a surrogate range from passing a criminal background check to reproductive health screenings and everything in between.
At SurrogateFirst, our screening process entails the following minimum qualifications:
- No history of drug and alcohol abuse
- Body mass index of 18 to 32
- At least six months since your last birth
- Giving birth to at least one healthy baby
- A healthy reproductive history overall
- Criminal background check
- Reside in a state where surrogacy is legal
- Age must be between 21 years old and 40 years old
- A non-smoker who doesn't live with active smokers (i.e., high risk of exposure to second-hand smoke)
If you think you meet those qualifications, contact us anytime to learn more about how to become a surrogate!
Who decides who becomes a surrogate?
Our role is to guide everyone through the surrogacy process, including the intended parents or other close family members. It really depends on the situation and what the intended parents are looking for.
Some intended parents want us to take the lead when the time comes to pick a surrogate, but others prefer a more hands-on experience and play a very active role.
Certainly, deciding who becomes a surrogate ultimately comes down to what the intended parents believe is best for their future family. Our part is to make sure that the intended parents have all the necessary information to make that decision.
Not only that, a surrogate may choose not to work with the intended parents after all and decide that surrogacy isn't exactly what they assumed it was going to be like.
Ultimately, the surrogacy process is lengthy and time-consuming, but in the end, you may find it to be a life-changing journey.
At SurrogateFirst, we're a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents around the world with our fully-vetted, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the miracle of surrogacy.
Every team member at SurrogateFirst is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.