Considering a Surrogate

Egg Donors and Surrogates compensation

surrogacyConsidering a Surrogate

A gestational carrier is a woman you expect to provide an optimal environment – internally and externally – for the nine months your baby is in utero. She is someone who has no biological ties to the fetus and is unselfishly giving her body over to you and your baby for three-quarters of a year. (Yes, she is being compensated.) Your carrier is someone who will be part of your child’s story forever.

The Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recently issued a committee opinion entitled “Consideration of the Gestational Carrier”. The document, “considers the protective safeguards that need to be in place to ensure the ethical treatment of gestational carriers.” According to the document, gestational carriers:

  • Have a right to be fully informed of the risks of the surrogacy process and of pregnancy
  • Should receive psychological evaluation and counseling
  • Should have independent legal counsel.
  • Should be at least 21 and at least one birth
  • Have the right to appropriate medical care
  • Should be counseled on risks of multiple pregnancy if more than one embryo is transferred
  • Need to understand types of infectious disease screening, (And, intended parents need to understand limits of screening)


  • Reasonable economic compensation to the gestational carrier is ethical
  • The intended parents are considered to be the parents of any children born by a gestational carrier
  • The obstetrician should be agreed upon by the surrogate and intended parents
  • There should be discussion with the carrier about the broader social context – such as the effects on the carrier’s child(ren) or partner

Most of the points raised in the committee opinion are standard operating protocol for surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics that have surrogacy programs – or should be. They should advise clients to have separate legal counsel and provide psychological screening, for example. But they are worth repeating here, for the benefit of carriers and intended parents alike.

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If you would like more information about becoming a surrogate mother or about surrogacy in general, please contact Surrogates Across America.

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Generous Donations: Egg Donors and Surrogates

Surrogate Mother

By Laurie McLaughlin

When a couple is having trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy, sometimes a “third party” is enlisted to help. These women—egg donors and surrogates—are giving one of the greatest gifts of all. Find out why they do it.


The phrase “third-party reproduction” sounds so impersonal. But the egg donors and surrogates who help couples achieve their dream of parenthood are anything but. These women are giving of themselves in the most personal way possible. And most times the couples who are the recipients of these gifts are strangers.


Who are these women? Why do they do what they do? If you’re cynically thinking it’s just for the money, think again. Donating eggs or carrying a pregnancy involves real health risks that money really can’t compensate for. Egg retrieval is a surgical procedure that requires weeks of shots and discomfort followed by another couple of weeks of recuperation. Pregnancy and childbirth, of course, with the preliminary hormonal treatments and recuperation following delivery, affects at least a year of the surrogate mother’s life (and her family’s). The majority of women who carry a child for another woman are “gestational surrogates,” meaning the child inside them was created with the egg from either the intended mother or another donor. Traditional surrogacy arrangements, in which the surrogate also provides the egg, are much less common today, because both the intended parents and the surrogates have concerns about issues of attachment if the baby is both genetically created and carried by the same woman.


For both egg donors and surrogates, the fees that are paid are meant to cover medical fees as well as pain and suffering. Laws from state to state vary, and some are more surrogate- and donor-friendly than others. Fees also vary, with areas such as California paying as much as $25,000 for a surrogacy and $8,500 for egg donation. It’s unlikely that anyone would agree to be a surrogate or egg donor for strangers without compensation, but money alone can’t explain why women put their lives on the line to do it. talked with six egg donors and surrogates and asked them to tell their own stories of why they do what they do… Come back again to read a egg donor/surrogacy story from Terri!




If you would like more information about egg donors and surrogates, please contact Surrogates Across America.

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What to Look for In a Potential Surrogate Mother

What are the attributchild shoeses to look for in a good surrogate?


By Sandra Lippard

The relationship between Intended Parents, IP’s, and a Surrogate has the potential to be very stressful, and if the match of the IP’s and the Surrogate is not good, there is the potential for a very antagonistic relationship with the person who is carrying your baby. Once you have chosen a surrogate, and she becomes pregnant, it is a relationship that you must sustain until the baby is born.

From the surrogate’s perspective, many surrogates choose to work only through an agency as they feel more secure that a reasonable 3rd party will collect the surrogacy fees and expenses, manage the escrow account, and be able to act as a buffer between the IP’s and the surrogate, if needed, to facilitate an equitable resolution to any issues that arise. The conversations you should be having with your surrogate should be about feeling the baby’s first kick, and not about mailing her monthly payments, insurance co-pays and expenses.


Whether you or your Agency are doing the screening, general best practices guidelines for identifying attributes of good surrogate should be:

  • Age 24-40
  • Appropriate Body Mass Index (BMI) – most agencies will accept BMI’s of 18-33 ( for BMI calculations see )
  • Has at least one biological child that she is raising in her own home
  • Has a history of uncomplicated pregnancies where she carried the babies to term
  • Has a steady job with health insurance or is a stay at home mom with a spouse whose job provides health insurance for the family
  • Is married, single or divorced (not in the process of a separation)
  • Is willing to have a background check performed on her and any adults living in her household
  • Is not in any financial or legal trouble
  • Is not on any state or federal assistance
  • Is able to take time off from work (and potentially travel) for medical appointments related to the surrogacy
  • Is willing to undergo any tests that the Reproductive Endocrinologist at the IVF clinic and the OB/GYN believe are necessary
  • Has a supportive spouse or partner (if applicable)


In addition to these concrete qualifications IP’s or the Agency should also inquire about the following more subjective and emotional issues:

  • Motivations for pursuing surrogacy?
  • What kind of support does she anticipate from her friends and family?
  • Does she think she will have trouble separating from the baby after carrying it for 9 months?
  • Feelings about carrying multiple fetuses?
  • Feelings about termination in the case of a serious abnormality of the fetus?
  • Feelings about selective reduction (terminating one or more of the fetus if she becomes pregnant with multiples – this is usually done for the health of the other fetus or fetuses, and sometimes for the health of the birth mother)?
  • Number of IVF cycles she would be willing to undergo?
  • Would she be willing to work with IP’s of a different race, if applicable?
  • Would she be willing to work with a single parent or same sex couple, if applicable?
  • Desired amount and type of contact with IP’s?
  • Feelings about IP’s attending doctors’ visits and being in the delivery room at the time of the birth?


We at Surrogates Across America would love to assist you in your search to find the right surrogate to help build your new family. Feel free to contact us to answer any of your surrogacy questions.


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Image: David Castillo Dominici /




If you would like more information about surrogacy or are interested in becoming a surrogate mother, please contact Surrogates Across America.

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