When I talk about how I represent surrogates and run a surrogacy agency, one of the questions people are the most curious about is how much compensation surrogates receive. However, I also find that they feel awkward asking about it. This shouldn’t be a taboo subject! Surrogates are compensated generously – and there’s good reason for that.

Being a surrogate is hard work – you go through a rigorous application and screening process before you even get to the pregnancy part. Then there’s the embryo transfer procedure, frequent medical appointments throughout the pregnancy and the delivery and recovery period. There’s also medical risk associated with every pregnancy.

So what does surrogate compensation look like? It’s composed of base compensation, reimbursements and add-ons. The base compensation for a first-time surrogate is $35,000 and $40,000 for experienced surrogates.

There are add-ons for various medical procedures a surrogate might undergo during the process (ex. amniocentesis, c-section, miscarriage). There are also reimbursements for expense such as medical expenses, maternity clothes, lost wages, travel, pumping breast milk, childcare, housekeeping and meal preparation. There is also a monthly allowance of $150 for ancillary expenses.

The intended parents will also provide health insurance (if the surrogate doesn’t already have surrogacy friendly health insurance) and life insurance and cover the cost of your independent legal counsel throughout the process.

Off all the expenses associated with a surrogacy journey, I find that the intended parents are happiest to pay the surrogate compensation because they respect what an amazing gift you’re giving to them.

So what will you do with your surrogate compensation? Other surrogates have paid off student loans, used it as a down payment on a house, finished a basement, purchased a boat, taken an amazing vacation, saved for retirement, saved for their own children’s college education, managed to stay home from work with their kids for another year or used it to launch their small business.