The Itemized Compensation Plan
Surrogate mother compensation is usually done in the form of an itemized surrogacy compensation. This common way to pay for a surrogate fee lists different procedures and aspects of surrogate motherhood, with different fees.
For information on the other two methods of surrogacy compensation, please see:
Most surrogate mothers prefer an itemized surrogate fee for their contracts.
Basically, in this form of surrogate mother compensation, there is a base fee, and then each procedure, necessary or just a possibility, requires an additional, separate fee.
The following lists typical fees associated with an itemized compensation plan.
Most contracts DO NOT include every fee mentioned below; that would be taking advantage of the intended parents. Instead, each surrogate and her intended parents choose the fees that fit with their situation.
You will find that the fees in an itemized compensation plan for surrogate mother compensation have a wide range. This just goes to show you that everyone is different, and feels differently about surrogacy compensation.
Typical Surrogate Motherhood Fees
Base Surrogate Fee
The base fee for most first time surrogate mother compensation schedules is $15,000-20,000.
An experienced surrogate typically charges $5,000-10,000 more, sometimes for each previous successful journey.
The average surrogate mother compensation for first time surrogates is $18,000 and second is $23,000-28,000.
Most surrogate motherhood contracts allow for an additional fee to be paid if the surrogate carries multiple fetuses. This fee ranges from $500-5,000 per fetus. The most common amount is $2,500-3,000 for twins, and $5,000 for triplets.
Multiples fees are usually paid after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If a surrogate miscarries a twin or triplet, she is usually not paid the fee. The payments can be made in one bulk payment, broken up into two or three payments, or equally added onto the remainder of the base fee payments.
Typically with surrogate mother compensation, a surrogate will get a fee for the medication leading to the transfer, and the transfer itself. A typical transfer fee varies from $500-1,500. Most are around $1,000.
Many surrogate fee schedules will ask for part of that fee as a “start of medications” fee, or a “canceled transfer” fee. This is usually half of the transfer fee, or around that. For those with transfer fees of $750, $500 would be appropriate. This is so that if a surrogate starts injectable medication in preparation of the transfer, and the transfer is canceled through no fault of the surrogate, she is compensated for the medication administration.
With traditional surrogacy, a contract may have a cycle fee, but this is usually very small. The average is $250-750, with $500 being average. Not every traditional surrogacy contract will have a cycle fee at all.
In an itemized compensation plan, if a surrogate is required to undergo the additional surgery and recovery of a c-section, many times a surrogate mother compensation schedule adds an additional fee.
Most c-section fees range from $500-5,000. $3,000 is the typical fee.
There is some debate as to whether a woman who has previously undergone a c-section is entitled to receive additional compensation for another one, as it could be expected.
Some agencies will not allow for a c-section fee in these circumstances. But most surrogates do not feel this way, and do wish to include an additional fee for c-sections, either planned or surprised. This payment is made after the delivery.
There are a number of unexpected invasive procedures that a surrogate may have to go through during a surrogate motherhood journey. Some of these procedures would not be something the surrogate would have done for her own pregnancies, for example, an amniocentesis.
The following procedures can be termed invasive:
- Selective Reduction
Fees in surrogate mother compensation for these procedures vary. Most contracts have $500-2,000 per procedure. The average is $500-750.
Some contracts separate the procedures out, and put a specific fee to each different procedure. For example, some feel that Selective Reduction or Abortion would command a much higher fee than an Amniocentesis.
These payments are made at the time of the procedure, or the base compensation payment following the procedure.
A maternity clothing allowance is standard in most every itemized surrogate mother compensation plan. Some contracts leave this allowance out if the surrogate has recently been pregnant and already has a large wardrobe of clothing available. Most clothing allowances are $500-750.
For multiples, or for those surrogates who work in a professional environment, a clothing allowance can be higher, $1,000-1,500. The maternity clothing allowance is usually paid at the start of month 3 or 4, or broken into two payments, usually month 3 or 4 and month 5 or 6.
If a doctor recommends bed rest to the surrogate, it can disrupt her life, and that of her family.
It can also require additional expenses.
Bed rest fees are all over the board when it comes to surrogacy.
Most surrogate mothers ask for their wages to be compensated if they are working, and ask for additional funds for daycare expenses, and cooking/cleaning expenses since they will be unable to do these things themselves.
Some surrogate motherhood contracts ask for reimbursement of actual expenses, while others set a standard fee. The fees range from $200 a week to $100 a day. Most contracts have fees of around $250 a week if the doctor allows the surrogate to remain on bed rest at home, or $500 a week if the surrogate is hospitalized.
Take into account when planning these fees the number of children the surrogate has, and how much would have to be spent in child care if she were unable to care for them. It’s also important to note that even if the surrogate mother is a stay at home mom, a bed rest fee will need to be considered. If a surrogate mother is placed on bed rest, her children will still need to be cared for.
Some surrogates have the ability to have the intended mother herself, or a surrogate’s extended family help out in such a situation, making bed rest fees small or nonexistent.
The following fees are not standard in every itemized surrogate mother compensation plan, though many contracts include them. Most contracts would not include every one of the following expenses, but a surrogate mother might feel strongly about a particular fee and want to include it in the itemized compensation plan.
Mock Cycle or Transfer Fee
Some clinics require surrogates to complete a mock cycle or mock transfer. These mock tests require a surrogate to undergo medication and/or a transfer procedure without actually transferring embryos.
The point of the mock tests is to see how the surrogate’s body responds to the medication before an actual cycle is started. Not all clinics require this, but some surrogate mothers feel they should be compensated for the time and discomfort associated with the tests.
The fees included in a surrogate fee schedule for this range from $500-1,500.
Loss of Reproductive Ability
Surrogacy is a medical procedure. Although rare, it is possible to loss the ability to have any more children after undergoing a surrogacy.
It is also possible to end up with an emergency hysterectomy, requiring a lifetime of hormone replacement treatments. For this reason, many surrogates wish to include a Loss of Reproductive Ability or Loss of Reproductive Organs clause in their surrogacy compensation schedule. This fee ranges from $2,500-$10,000.
Other surrogate mothers feel that the chances they take having a baby for someone else go part and parcel with the surrogate motherhood experience, and feel that it would not be right to ask for this sort of fee.
Most first time surrogates do not ask for this fee in their itemized surrogate mother compensation plan, though many experienced surrogates do. Some call this a Retainer Fee, others call it a Deposit. Some even call it a Signing Fee or Commitment Fee. It basically amounts to a monetary advance on the surrogate’s base fee at the signing of contracts.
This fee is NOT in addition to the base fee, it is PART OF the base fee. Surrogates that wish to utilize this fee usually request from $500 to up to 10% of the base surrogacy compensation.