Frequently Asked Questions
Fertility clinics set qualifications, so you should check with your intended parent’s fertility clinics to see what their requirements are, but in general, a surrogate candidate should:
- be between 21-42 years old
- have carried at least 1 child w/out complications
- have no more than 3 deliveries via c-section
- have a body mass index < 33
- not smoke, abuse drugs, alcohol, or prescription meds
- not be receiving welfare, public housing or cash assistance from gov’t
- have a stable home life with emotional and childcare support
- not have mental health conditions requiring the use of meds w/in the last 6 months (including depression)
- not have a criminal record
It is impossible to do an embryo transfer (required for gestational surrogacy) without the involvement of a fertility clinic, so there’s no way around the requirements imposed by the intended parents’ fertility clinic.
Most women who want to become surrogates do so because they have a passion for helping others – and the compensation is a nice, added bonus. Most women do not sign up for surrogacy just for the money alone. For many, the potential compensation range from $25,000 to $35,000 is not enough on its own to justify the potential risks and inconvenience of being pregnant.
Fertility clinics will not accept women who are using surrogacy to help make ends meet. One of the most important requirements to be a surrogate is to be financially stable.
You may or may not – it depends on what works best for you and your intended parents. If you don’t have your own medical insurance, your intended parents can purchase insurance plans under your name either during the Open Enrollment (the Affordable Care Act) period that begins in November and ends mid-December (cheaper) or through Lloyd’s of London insurance market (more expensive). Insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act cost anywhere from $550-$850/month, whereas insurance through Lloyd’s of London can cost more than $1,000/month – costs that are covered by intended parents.f
No, you do not need an agency to find an intended parent. Around 30% of surrogacy journeys are completed without the help of an agency.
Agencies, though, provide many benefits to surrogates. They support you during your journey and they are in charge of matching you with intended parents. Keep in mind, however, that agencies charge, on average, $23,000 to intended parents just to access you. The compensation that you charge is not included in that fee. This high fee may limit the potential matches for you.
Having emotional support during a surrogacy journey is non-negotiable – it is essential for both intended parents and surrogates. An alternative to using an agency for emotional support would be to ask intended parents to pay for a fertility counselor. The following article published by RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, illustrates the importance of fertility counselors during a surrogacy journey. Some professional organizations that provide surrogacy counseling sessions for both intended parents and surrogate include the Center for Fertility Support and Bryman Counseling Associates . The market for fertility counselors is growing tremendously so there are many available options. On average, fertility therapy sessions cost $125/hour. To put this in perspective, a surrogacy journey would have to demand 184 hours of therapy to warrant the $23,000 in agency fees.
This is a great question. The most important thing to remember is that there are many agencies out there, so if you speak to one and you don’t feel comfortable, move along.
Some surrogates feel more comfortable choosing an agency that is located in the same city or state, but surrogates rarely physically meet with surrogacy coordinators. Intended parents could be living anywhere within the USA, so surrogates should not feel constrained by local agencies.
Facebook groups, such as “Surrogacy Agency Reviews – U.S. ONLY” is another great resource to consider. Many surrogates and intended parents post about their experience with various agencies on this group, so if there is an agency you are thinking about using, make sure you check out this Facebook group first.