How much do surrogate mothers make?

How much do surrogate mothers make? Here’s a look at how much you get for being a surrogate, how surrogates get paid, and other important information.

If you are here, you have already asked yourself the first question: “Should I become a surrogate?” It is a rewarding calling that has so many benefits for everyone involved, and many of our surrogates report that it is one of the most fulfilling experiences of their lives.


It is no secret, however, that many women choose to be surrogates because they are also intrigued by the financial benefit. So if the second question on your list is “How much can I make as a surrogate?”, we are happy to answer all of your questions.


At Northwest Surrogacy Center, we believe that every person involved in the surrogacy process should know as much as possible about how, when, and where their expenses are covered, from the initial interview to delivery day. We are up front and transparent with both potential parents and you, as the surrogate, about how much the process costs, how much money you will make, how (and how often) you can expect to be paid, and what happens when additional expenses occur. Here is an in-depth look at how the financial side of surrogacy works:


How are Surrogate Mothers Compensated?

Getting paid to be a surrogate mother involves a number of different expenses, including base pay, a monthly allowance for pregnancy-related needs, stipends for various medical procedures, maternity clothes, and travel, as well as any other expenses that may come up along the way. 


To avoid any unexpected financial surprises, we clearly outline all potential costs in a legally binding contract that is signed by both parties at the beginning of the process. Here is how our compensation plan breaks down, and what you can expect:


Fixed Costs

As a surrogate mother, you can earn up to $55,000 plus expenses. On average, the starting base pay is $40,000, but it can be higher based on previous experience or your state’s cost of living. Our surrogates are also provided with a number of additional stipends, paid either monthly or on a one-time basis:

  • $200 monthly benefit (estimated for 15 months)
  • $1,000 wellness benefit
  • $1,000 embryo transfer payment
  • $500 for maternity clothes (more for multiples)
  • $640 for housekeeping support


Before a pregnancy is ever confirmed, however, the intended parents also pay for all of the upfront screening costs and initial setup fees. This includes medical and psychological screenings for their potential surrogate, fertility clinic expenses, or travel, as well as any counseling or attorney fees. Medical insurance is also provided to the surrogate at no cost, including any co-pays and prescriptions, as well as life insurance. 


Variable Costs

Pregnancies have a lot of moving parts, so surrogate compensation also includes additional, supplementary items including but not limited to:

  • Lost wages and/or child care required for pregnancy-related needs like doctor’s appointments
  • Medical insurance and any associated co-pays
  • Life insurance
  • Variable costs if surrogate is put on bed rest
  • Travel fees (to and from the fertility clinic, for example)
  • Surrogate counseling


It’s hard to gauge what these costs will be in advance, so transparency is more important than ever during this stage of the discussion. We want to make sure that intended parents know that everything financially related to the surrogacy is their responsibility.


Medical Needs

Just like non-medical needs, compensation for being a surrogate includes all medically related costs. These can be either fixed costs (those with dollar amounts below) or variable, depending on the unique situation. Here are a few examples of common medical expenses that come with paying for surrogacy, paid for by the intended parents:

  • $1,000 for embryo transfer
  • $2,000 for c-section
  • $5,000 fee for multiples (per additional child)
  • $750 per instance for invasive procedures
  • $2,000 termination of pregnancy
  • $5,000 loss of uterus
  • $2,500 for loss of ovaries or fallopian tubes
  • Up to $2,000 for a birth doula
  • $300 a week plus supplies for pumping breast milk


This isn’t an exhaustive list, because every situation is unique and it’s impossible to predict how a pregnancy will progress. We prepare our intended parents to expect the unexpected and set aside extra money for anything additional that comes up.


For more in-depth details, our program cost guide (provided to intended parents) outlines all of the fixed and variable costs that they will be expected to pay. If you would like to find out how much a gestational surrogate gets paid in your state, use our compensation calculator.


Surrogacy Payment Timeline

If in-vitro fertilization is successful on the first round, a surrogacy journey lasts around 15 months. One of the most common questions potential surrogates ask is how (and how often) do I get paid?


The first payment happens as soon as all qualifications are met and a match is made between you as the surrogate and intended parents. The money is paid up front and held in an escrow account to ensure that your needs are met, regardless of the intended parents’ future financial situation.


From there, you are paid monthly for regular expenses, or on a per-item basis for singular procedures or other needs. The escrow account is held open for up to a year after you give birth, and also covers things like pumping breast milk if that is something you and your family decide to incorporate. (Here is a look at the payment schedule that we also share with intended parents.)


Your Surrogacy Costs Are Completely Covered

At Northwest Surrogacy Center, we ensure that our surrogates are paid well for their service and completely financially covered for medical and related expenses. However, one of the requirements for our surrogates is proof of overall financial stability. If you choose to become a surrogate through our agency your regular expenses like monthly housing or grocery budgets should never be dependent on your surrogacy compensation, but rather used for the betterment of your own family. 


If you’d like to join our family of surrogates, start here to see if you qualify. 



Ready to see if you qualify?

If you are a healthy, nonsmoking woman between the ages of 21 and 41 years old and have had previous healthy, full-term pregnancies, we would love to hear from you!

Ready to take the first step to parenthood?

Schedule a free consultation with our team to answer your questions and discuss the surrogacy process, including matching times and costs.