How to Become a Surrogate Mother for Money in the U.S.

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As of 2021, the number of babies born each year in the U.S. by gestational surrogacy is roughly 750. This is a very low number compared to how many babies are actually born each year in the U.S. (well over three million).

It is common knowledge that many couples struggle with infertility, past pregnancy complications, IVF failure, or a plethora of other issues. Because of these problems, the question arises, “Are surrogates in demand?”

The answer is YES. Surrogates are in demand to help families fulfill their dreams of adding children to their teams. If you have ever considered giving back to your community and helping someone else become a parent, surrogacy might be the right choice for you.

Before you decide to become a surrogate mother for money, learn what steps to take in order to make sure you are up for the task.

Being a surrogate mom is a special opportunity, but it is not for everyone. Though it is rewarding in many ways, there are many emotions and choices that come along with it. If you are interested, you would truly be the giver of life for a special couple who desires the parenting honor.

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What is a Surrogate Mother?

There are two types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. With traditional surrogacy, the surrogate woman is artificially inseminated, making her the baby’s biological mother. Gestational surrogacy is done through in vitro fertilization (IVF). A fertilized egg is implanted into the surrogate’s womb and she is to carry out the pregnancy.

Many people choose gestational surrogacy now that IVF is making it more possible to do so. This may give the surrogate mother less attachment to the baby since there is no relation. For some women, this is the ideal choice.

Being a surrogate mom isn’t a decision to make lightly, and you won’t make $50,000 overnight. There are many things a woman should consider beforehand. The most important part to consider is your mental health as this will be an emotionally and physically taxing journey to grow and birth a baby that is not yours. It may be hard for some surrogate mothers to part with the baby after delivery.

Does a Surrogate Require a License?

A surrogate mother does not require a license. However, a surrogate must be a legal citizen of the U.S. or a legal immigrant. Additionally, not all 50 states allow compensated surrogacy opportunities.

There are no federal laws in the U.S. that regulate surrogacy. Each state can make its own laws around it. Check your state laws to see if you can get paid to be a surrogate.

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Other Surrogate Requirements and Qualifications

Some agencies might vary depending on who you go through to become a surrogate. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to see if you qualify. Surrogates must be at least 21 years old and not older than 41. A surrogate cannot have had more than six pregnancies in her life, but she should have had at least one successful full-term pregnancy to qualify.

A surrogate must be raising a child and have a BMI between 19-32. Six months should have passed since the last delivery, no felony record, no tattoos or piercings in the last six months, and cannot be on antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication in the last year.

Surrogate Salary or Pay Expectations

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a surrogate in the United States is over $104,000. Some salaries reported are as low as $40,000 while others have reported salaries as high as $400,000. The majority of surrogates are reporting approximately $51,000- $61,000. When I researched how to become a surrogate near me, I saw my state reporting similar salary amounts as the national average.

The difference in salaries will depend on the agency you go through, your experience as a surrogate, and the state you apply with. Private surrogates for celebrities or wealthy clients may also sway the income possibilities. Typically, first-time surrogates get a lower pay and experienced surrogates receive higher. Surrogates usually receive a deposit in the beginning and then the remainder of their salary is paid out in monthly installments.

Being a surrogate mom can be a rewarding way to make money without paying anything. Not only does a surrogate get a salary, but she would also have no medical expenses related to the pregnancy. Additionally, she could also receive prenatal vitamins, maternity clothes, and other pregnancy-related expenses at no added cost to her.

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7 Steps to Become a Surrogate Mother for Money

Portrait of a pregnant surrogate mother

The first thing you need to consider when learning how to get paid to be a surrogate mom is your mental health. This is a very big decision, so take each step below slowly.

1. Research Surrogacy in Your Area

As previously mentioned, compensated surrogacy is not legal in all states. The first thing you should do is research your area to stay compliant.

For example, The Child-Parent Security Act (CPSA) recently made it possible to become a surrogate mother near me. If your state allows surrogacy for money, begin looking for surrogacy agencies to partner with in your area.

Conduct thorough research about the agency, read reviews, and even ask if there are previous surrogates you can contact for references. You can never be too careful.

2. Participate in a Pre-screening Process

First, fill out a pre-screening questionnaire to see if you qualify to be a surrogate. Answer basic questions about your age, BMI, previous pregnancy and birth history, and other medical questions.

Once you have completed that, the agency will determine if you are able to move forward with the full application process.

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3. Complete Your History Forms

If you are able to move forward, a thorough dive into your social and medical history will take place. You will need to fill out a packet of forms to help the agency determine if you are a fit to be a surrogate mom. There will be questions about your health as well as your family’s health history.

You will need to sign medical release forms so the agency can retrieve records of your medical history. There will also be a request for you to show proof of who you are, such as a copy of your driver’s license. It is an extensive process to ensure you are a medically viable surrogacy candidate.

4. Schedule an In-home Assessment

Some agencies require an in-home assessment where a social worker comes to you. During this visit, you and each adult living with you will be interviewed. Of the questions asked during this visit, you can expect to answer things like why do you wish to become a surrogate, any fears or concerns, and how your spouse will support you during the surrogacy.

Additionally, there will be a general, criminal, and child abuse background check conducted on you. Social media checks may also take place.

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5. Mental Health Evaluation

Mental health is a huge part of the surrogacy process. Not only is pregnancy full of hormones that can cause mental health related concerns, but the act of holding someone else’s child in your body can also be emotionally taxing.

A mental health and psychosocial evaluation will include personality testing, addressing the “what ifs” during the surrogacy process, and divulging how the handoff of the baby to its intended parents will be. Your feelings toward all of these answers are important.

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6. Medical Review

A fertility clinic will need to do a full workup on you including blood and urine tests, a physical exam, and a review of your personal and sexual history. A doctor will need to sign off stating that you are fit to carry a pregnancy to full term.

7. Surrogacy Profile

Once you have received the approval that you can become a surrogate, your surrogacy profile is added to the agency for potential parents to review. This means the parents will determine which surrogate is right to carry their baby for them.

This could take some time to happen. It is just as important for the parents to be sure about who they choose to be the surrogate as it is for you to be sure of your decision to become a surrogate.

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Questions New Surrogates Are Asking

Take a look at what other women are asking when thinking about how to become a surrogate. The questions they have could help you make a more informed decision about your choice to be a surrogate.

Do surrogates get paid monthly?

Some agencies pay surrogates on a monthly basis. Other agencies may put down a larger upfront deposit for your service and then pay monthly installments. It is unlikely that you will receive the full amount at one time.

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How long does it take to become a surrogate?

Each agency’s time frame will vary. It will also depend on how fast you can get all of your parts turned in, how fast medical records can be obtained, and when the in-home assessment takes place.

It will also depend on how long it takes to be chosen by a couple. Typically, interested surrogates are seeing a time frame of 14-20+ months, according to Circle Surrogacy.

How many times can you be a surrogate?

You can be a surrogate mom up to five times within a 20-year period, as long as you meet all of the requirements. Based on the limits that are set forth by the medical community, a surrogate cannot have more than six total pregnancies. This isn’t just six surrogate pregnancies; this includes any previous pregnancies the woman had before applying for surrogacy.

Do surrogates have to pay taxes?

Yes, surrogates have to pay taxes. Anything that is considered an income must be reported on your income taxes. You are providing a service and you are receiving monetary benefits for it. It should be listed on your taxes according to TurboTax.

Is becoming a surrogate hard?

This answer will be different for everyone. You cannot simply become a surrogate overnight. If you have the determination to proceed with the steps in the application and you have the patience to wait for all the steps to be completed, then this might not be hard for you.

However, the emotional part could be different for everyone once you are expected to hand the baby over to the parents after holding him or her in your womb.

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Who Should Become a Surrogate Mother?

Being a surrogate mom is not for everyone. While the salary sounds enticing, there is more to consider than just the money aspect. Actually, there is more involved than the finances. There are emotions tied to this partnership and a great deal of trust between the surrogate and the involved parents. There is much to think about beforehand.

A surrogate mother is someone who meets physical and mental health requirements. She should also be someone who is caring and truly wants to help others in a uniquely special way.

Sign up to be a surrogate if you want to make a life-changing impact on a family and on the world by bringing in a new life. You never know what your sacrifice could mean for the greater good just by being the first place that little baby calls home.

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