What do surrogates make?

surrogate agency

Have you ever wondered how much money surrogates make? After all, pregnancy is no joke. Surrogates get paid for their time and commitment.

A pregnant person experiences fatigue, weight gain, and hormonal fluctuations throughout those nine months, and she has to pay careful attention to her health to be sure she is providing a healthy place for the baby to grow. Alongside diet, exercise, and both medical and psychological meetings she may be attending during her pregnancy, a surrogate also keeps in good communication with her partnered intended parents. 

Surrogate compensation can be hard to understand at first glance because it’s broken up into different parts. Some are paid upfront, some are reimbursed, some are standalone payments, and some are provided to make up for a surrogate’s lost income. 

So, what do surrogates make and how is the income broken down?

Surrogates Base Compensation

Understanding the full scope of a surrogate’s income begins with the base compensation. These are the “paychecks” similar to payment received from an office, retail, or food industry job.

Each state is accountable for their own specific surrogacy laws – some outlawing surrogacy altogether. In California, surrogacy compensation is held in escrow as required by law and paid in installments. The surrogate receives payments throughout her entire journey and is therefore never left without an income.

Los Angeles Surrogacy is one of the leading surrogacy agencies in the United States because of our extensive experience and strong partnerships with knowledgeable legal and medical teams. If you are interested in beginning your own journey as a surrogate mother, please fill out a surrogate application here and we will get back to you with more compensation details for your specific information. 

Surrogate compensation is not a “one size fits all” paycheck, and can differ greatly depending on location, prior experience as a surrogate, and the factors addressed below.

Additional Surrogates Compensation Factors

After the base compensation, there’s more to the story. Surrogacy agreements are designed to make the surrogate as happy and healthy as she can be, so the intended parents cover medical fees, lost income, and any travel and maternity wardrobe reimbursements.

There is also additional compensation when the surrogate carries multiples (twins or more) or if a C-section (otherwise known as a Cesarean section, which is a surgery during the delivery of a baby where an incision is made in the surrogate’s abdomen and uterus) is needed.

Medical Fees

If the surrogate does not have surrogacy-friendly insurance already, the intended parents will cover insurance costs. At Los Angeles Surrogacy, we recommend a specific insurance policy that consistently proves to be more cost-effective in the long run compared to other surrogacy-friendly policies. We only partner with fertility clinics that we trust and have proven time and time again to provide the most advanced technology mixed with the most empathetic and highly trained doctors.

Medical fees include the IVF appointment (when the embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus), delivery (the costs of giving birth at a hospital), and all check-up and as-needed appointments in between. Because some of these procedures can be costly, insurance helps to make both routine and emergency appointments more affordable while maintaining the highest quality care.

Lost Income

As the surrogate mother nears her third trimester of pregnancy, it may not be viable for her to work anymore, especially if her career involves being on her feet. For some women, this may happen well before the third trimester depending on their unique pregnancy symptoms. Each woman is different – some decide to work until their water breaks because they feel fine to do so, while others experience severe sickness and have trouble working much earlier than the third trimester.

To be sure there is never a time when a surrogate feels as though she is hurting for money or in a financial deficit due to her pregnancy, she is often reimbursed (or paid a higher base compensation, if negotiated this way at the beginning of the partnership) to make up for lost income. 


Surrogacy agreements may include travel fees, if necessary. Surrogates may receive upfront payments or reimbursements for filling their gas tanks or for paying other transportation-related fees.

This is especially important for partnerships where the intended parents and the surrogate mother do not live in close proximity. Some intended parents prefer to be at their surrogate’s medical appointments to share in the exciting progress of their growing baby. In the case that the surrogate mother needs to travel far for these appointments, her travel will be reimbursed.

Maternity Clothes

Though it is not a direct paycheck, surrogacy agreements do leave room for maternity clothes. Maternity clothes are necessary, just as purchases made to soothe pregnancy-related pain, and repayment for products of this nature will be discussed at the beginning of any surrogacy partnership. This ensures nobody is surprised or confused about who is paying the necessary expenses.

The Full Picture

At the end of her surrogacy journey, a surrogate may see anywhere from $30,000-$80,000 in direct payment. The range is wide due to the amount of personalized factors that are unique to each individual, as described above.

Surrogates may also save money during their time as a surrogate, because their medical (including physical and mental health) appointments, clothing, and travel is paid for. That is why these payments are included in the breakdown and are added benefits in addition to paychecks.

A surrogate’s legal fees are paid for, even though she will be represented by a different attorney than her intended parent partners. Any other surrogacy-related expenses are discussed during initial negotiations before paperwork is signed.

Los Angeles Surrogacy advocates for our surrogates. There is no intention to surprise a surrogate with hidden fees or lower payments than expected. The Los Angeles Surrogacy case manager maintains transparent and consistent communication with the surrogate mother during the entire journey.

Are you interested in starting your journey as a surrogate? Let us answer your questions! By providing more information about yourself, we can help you receive a more accurate range of your potential compensation. Reach out to us here.