Being a surrogate – When you become a surrogate, you are giving a family a chance to have a baby. This is a wonderful gift for a family and a selfless act of you. Whether you are donating your egg or carrying the baby to term, this involves a lot of work on your body and mind, a bond with the new family and creating a new life for others. Let’s dive into what it is like being a surrogate and what to expect, depending on where you live.

What is a surrogate

A surrogate is a person, animal, or object that serves as a substitute or replacement for another individual or entity. The concept of surrogacy can apply to various contexts and situations:

Surrogacy in Reproduction:

A surrogate mother is a woman who carries and gives birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple. This can occur through various methods. This includes traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate’s own egg is fertilized) or gestational surrogacy (where the surrogate carries an embryo created from the intended parents’ or donors’ genetic material).

Why do people use surrogates

Firstly, people use surrogates for a variety of reasons across different contexts. The underlying motivation for using surrogates is typically to achieve a specific goal or outcome that may not be possible or practical through conventional means. Here are some common reasons why people use surrogates:

Reproductive Challenges:

Couples or individuals who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term due to medical issues, fertility problems, or other reasons may choose to use a surrogate to have a child. This allows them to experience parenthood genetically while relying on the surrogate to carry and give birth to the baby.

Genetic Parenting:

Overall, in cases where one or both parents have a genetic disorder or medical condition that they do not want to pass on to their offspring, they may opt for gestational surrogacy using a donor egg or sperm. This enables them to become parents while minimizing the risk of passing on the genetic condition.

Same-Sex Couples:

Same-sex couples, particularly male couples, may use a surrogate to have a biological child. In such cases, one partner’s sperm is used to fertilize an egg from a donor, and the resulting embryo is implanted in the surrogate’s uterus.

Health and Safety Concerns:

Pregnancy can pose significant health risks to certain individuals, such as those with preexisting medical conditions. In these cases, using a surrogate can help mitigate potential health risks. However, still allowing the intended parents to have a child.

Career and Lifestyle Constraints:

Some people may choose surrogacy to avoid disruptions to their careers or lifestyles that can occur with pregnancy and childbirth. Using a surrogate allows them to have a child without the physical demands of pregnancy.

Infertility Treatments:

Surrogacy may be considered as an option after multiple failed attempts at assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Humanitarian and Compassionate Reasons:

In situations where a close family member or friend is unable to carry a pregnancy, a woman might volunteer to be a surrogate out of compassion and a desire to help.

Overall, the decision to use a surrogate is deeply personal and can be influenced by a wide range of individual, medical, legal, and ethical factors. It’s important for individuals or couples considering surrogacy to carefully consider all aspects, seek professional guidance, and make informed choices that align with their values and circumstances.

What are some disqualifications for surrogate

Surrogacy arrangements typically involve a thorough screening process to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved. Certain factors or conditions may lead to disqualification of a person from becoming a surrogate. It’s important to note that the specific disqualifications can vary depending on the surrogacy agency, clinic, or legal jurisdiction involved. Here are some common disqualifications for becoming a surrogate:

Medical and Health Factors:

  • Age: Most surrogacy programs have age restrictions, often requiring surrogates to be between a certain range, typically 21 to 40 years old.
  • Medical History: Certain medical conditions, such as serious heart problems, autoimmune disorders, or uncontrolled diabetes, may disqualify a person from being a surrogate.
  • Pregnancy History: A history of complicated pregnancies, preterm births, or certain pregnancy-related health issues could lead to disqualification.
  • Psychological and Mental Health: Surrogates are typically evaluated for mental health stability and emotional readiness to undergo the surrogacy process.
  • Substance Abuse: All in all, history of substance abuse or ongoing drug or alcohol use may disqualify a person from becoming a surrogate.
  • Smoking: Many surrogacy programs require surrogates to be non-smokers or to quit smoking before the surrogacy process begins.

Reproductive Health:

  • Fertility Issues: Surrogates should have a history of successful pregnancies and births, demonstrating their ability to carry a pregnancy to term.
  • Reproductive Health Disorders: Certain reproductive health disorders, such as uterine abnormalities, may lead to disqualification.

Lifestyle and Behavioral Factors:

  • Legal History: A criminal history, especially involving offenses related to child abuse or neglect, may disqualify a person from becoming a surrogate.
  • Financial Stability: Some surrogacy programs require surrogates to meet specific financial stability criteria.

Ethical and Psychological Considerations:

  • Motivation: Surrogates should have genuine and altruistic motivations for becoming a surrogate, rather than primarily for financial gain.
  • Understanding of the Process: Surrogates must fully understand the surrogacy process, its emotional and physical demands, and potential risks.
  • Support System: A lack of a strong support system from family and friends may be a disqualifying factor.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements:

  • Legal Restrictions: Legal restrictions on surrogacy in certain jurisdictions may disqualify individuals from participating in surrogacy arrangements.
  • Citizenship or Residency: Some surrogacy programs may have requirements related to the surrogate’s citizenship or residency status.

It’s important to consult with a reputable surrogacy agency or fertility clinic to understand the specific eligibility criteria and disqualifications that apply to their programs. The screening process aims to ensure that the surrogate’s health, well-being, and intentions align with the best interests of all parties involved, including the intended parents and the child who may result from the surrogacy arrangement.

What are the qualifications for a surrogate

Qualifications for becoming a surrogate can vary depending on the surrogacy agency, fertility clinic, or legal jurisdiction involved. However, there are several general qualifications and criteria that are commonly considered when selecting potential surrogates. Keep in mind that these qualifications may not apply universally and can differ based on local regulations and individual program requirements. Here are some typical qualifications for a surrogate:

Age Range:

Surrogates are typically required to be within a certain age range, often between 21 and 40 years old. Some programs may have slightly different age limits.

Physical Health:

  • Prior Successful Pregnancies: Many programs require surrogates to have had one or more successful, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries.
  • Good General Health: Surrogates should be in overall good health. This means free from significant medical conditions that could pose risks during pregnancy.
  • BMI Range: Surrogates often need to have a body mass index (BMI) within a healthy range to minimize pregnancy-related complications.

Mental and Emotional Health:

  • Psychological Evaluation: Surrogates may undergo psychological assessments. This is to ensure they have the mental and emotional stability to handle the challenges of surrogacy.
  • Motivation: A sincere and altruistic desire to help intended parents build a family is typically a key qualification.

Lifestyle and Habits:

  • Non-Smoker: Many programs require surrogates to be non-smokers and may also require them to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • No Substance Abuse: Surrogates are usually disqualified if they have a history of substance abuse or ongoing drug or alcohol use.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and regular exercise, is often important.

Support System:

  • Strong Support Network: Having a strong network of family and friends to provide emotional and practical support throughout the surrogacy process is beneficial.

Legal and Ethical Considerations:

  • Clear Legal Status: Surrogates should have a legal right to live and work in the relevant jurisdiction, and they should be aware of the legal aspects of surrogacy in their region.
  • No Prior Legal Issues: A history of legal issues or criminal activity, especially those involving child-related offenses, may disqualify a candidate.

Communication and Commitment:

  • Effective Communication: Surrogates should be able to communicate openly and effectively with the intended parents, agency, and medical professionals.
  • Commitment: Surrogates must be committed to attending medical appointments, adhering to medical advice, and following the surrogacy agreement.

Fertility and Reproductive Health:

  • Uterine Health: A healthy uterus with no significant abnormalities is important for successful surrogacy.
  • Fertility Evaluation: Surrogates may undergo fertility assessments to ensure they have the potential to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term.

It’s important to note that surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics may have additional specific requirements and criteria. Prospective surrogates should thoroughly research. Consult with professionals to understand the qualifications and expectations for the surrogacy program they are interested in.

Do you get compensated if you are a surrogate

Yes, surrogates typically receive compensation for their role in a surrogacy arrangement. Compensation is provided to compensate surrogates for their time, effort, and the physical and emotional demands of the surrogacy process. The amount of compensation can vary widely based on factors such as location, agency or clinic policies, and individual circumstances. Here are some key points to understand about surrogate compensation:

Base Compensation:

Surrogates generally receive a base compensation. This is a set amount intended to cover the time and commitment required during the pregnancy and the surrogacy process.

Additional Compensation:

In addition to the base compensation, surrogates may receive additional payments for specific circumstances. This includes multiple pregnancies (e.g., twins or triplets), cesarean sections, or pregnancy complications.

Medical Expenses:

All medical expenses related to the surrogacy process, including prenatal care, maternity clothing, and childbirth, are typically covered by the intended parents or their insurance.

Legal and Administrative Fees:

The intended parents usually cover legal and administrative fees associated with the surrogacy process. This includes drafting and reviewing contracts.

Travel and Accommodation:

If the surrogate and the intended parents are located in different regions, travel and accommodation expenses for medical appointments and other necessary visits may be covered.

Lost Wages and Childcare:

Some surrogacy agreements include compensation for lost wages or childcare expenses incurred as a result of medical appointments or other commitments related to the surrogacy.

Monthly Allowance:

Surrogates may receive a monthly allowance to cover incidental expenses and additional support during the pregnancy.

It’s important to note that the compensation structure can vary significantly. This is depending on the country, state, or region where the surrogacy takes place. Additionally, the specific agency or clinic involved. Additionally, ethical considerations are paramount in surrogacy, and compensation should not be the primary motivation for becoming a surrogate. Most surrogates are motivated by a desire to help others. Additionally, they provide a unique gift to intended parents struggling with fertility issues.

Prospective surrogates should thoroughly research and discuss compensation details with the surrogacy agency or fertility clinic they are considering to ensure they have a clear understanding of what is included and what is expected throughout the surrogacy process.

Do you get compensated to be a surrogate in Canada

In Canada, compensated surrogacy is prohibited. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA), which is federal legislation, makes it illegal to pay a surrogate for carrying a child for another person or couple. The Act permits altruistic surrogacy. This is where a surrogate can be reimbursed for certain reasonable expenses incurred during the surrogacy process. However, not for profit or financial gain is allowed.

Altruistic surrogacy means that the primary motivation for the surrogate’s participation is to help intended parents, and not to receive compensation. The intended parents are allowed to reimburse the surrogate for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the surrogacy, such as medical expenses, travel expenses, legal fees, and other pregnancy-related costs.

It’s important to note that the legal and regulatory landscape surrounding surrogacy can be complex and may vary between provinces and territories. The AHRA applies at the federal level, but some provinces may have additional regulations or guidelines related to surrogacy.

If you are considering becoming a surrogate in Canada, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand the legal framework, regulations, and requirements in your specific province or territory. Consulting with legal experts and reputable surrogacy agencies is recommended to ensure you are informed about the process and your rights and responsibilities as a surrogate.

Should You Go Through An Agency For A SurrogateChat

Whether or not to go through a surrogacy agency is a decision that depends on your individual circumstances, preferences, and needs. Surrogacy agencies can offer valuable support, guidance, and coordination throughout the surrogacy journey, but there are also other options to consider. Here are some factors to help you decide whether to use a surrogacy agency:

Benefits of Using a Surrogacy Agency:

  1. Expertise and Experience: Reputable surrogacy agencies have experience in managing the entire surrogacy process, from matching intended parents with surrogates to legal and medical coordination. Their expertise can help streamline the process and navigate potential challenges.
  2. Screening and Matching: Agencies often have a thorough screening process to select qualified and suitable surrogates. They can help match intended parents with surrogates based on preferences and compatibility.
  3. Legal and Administrative Support: Surrogacy involves complex legal and administrative processes. Agencies can provide assistance in drafting contracts, ensuring legal compliance, and managing paperwork.
  4. Mediation and Communication: Agencies can serve as intermediaries between intended parents and surrogates, facilitating communication and addressing any concerns that may arise during the surrogacy journey.
  5. Emotional Support: Surrogacy can be emotionally demanding for all parties involved. Agencies can offer emotional support and counseling to surrogates and intended parents.
  6. Network and Resources: Agencies often have established relationships with fertility clinics, legal professionals, and other service providers, which can help ensure a smooth process.

Considerations for Not Using an Agency:

  1. Independent Arrangements: Some intended parents and surrogates choose to pursue surrogacy independently, without an agency. This can involve more direct communication and control over the process.
  2. Cost Considerations: Using an agency involves additional fees, which may not be financially feasible for everyone. Going independent might save money but could also require more time and effort on your part.
  3. Personal Relationships: If you have a close friend or family member willing to be a surrogate, you may not need an agency for matching. However, legal and medical coordination is still important.
  4. Legal and Regulatory Knowledge: If you have a good understanding of the legal and regulatory aspects of surrogacy in your region, you might feel comfortable managing the process on your own.
  5. Local Regulations: In some jurisdictions, using an agency may be necessary to comply with legal requirements.

Ultimately, the decision to use a surrogacy agency or pursue an independent arrangement depends on your comfort level, resources, and priorities. If you’re considering surrogacy, it’s advisable to thoroughly research both options, consult with legal professionals, and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

How Much Do Surrogates In the United States Make

Surrogate compensation in the United States can vary widely based on several factors, including the state you’re in, the surrogacy agency or program you’re working with, the specific terms of the surrogacy agreement, and any additional circumstances related to the pregnancy. While I can provide you with a general idea, please note that these figures are subject to change and can vary significantly.

In addition to the base compensation, intended parents often cover various expenses associated with the surrogacy, such as medical expenses, legal fees, travel costs, and other pregnancy-related costs. These additional expenses can significantly contribute to the overall financial support provided to surrogates.

It’s important to note that surrogate compensation is not the primary motivation for most surrogates. Many surrogates choose to help intended parents build their families out of a sense of altruism and the desire to make a positive impact on others’ lives. Compensation is intended to acknowledge and support surrogates for their dedication and commitment to the surrogacy process.

If you’re considering becoming a surrogate or if you’re an intended parent exploring surrogacy options, it’s crucial to research and discuss compensation details with the surrogacy agency or program you’re working with. Compensation rates and arrangements may have changed since my knowledge cutoff date, so I recommend reaching out to a reputable surrogacy agency or legal professional for the most up-to-date information.

What Are The Costs Surrogates Incur

Surrogates can incur various costs throughout the surrogacy process. These costs are typically covered by the intended parents, and they are intended to reimburse surrogates for their expenses and provide support for the duration of the pregnancy. The specific costs can vary depending on the surrogacy arrangement, the location, and the terms of the surrogacy agreement. Here are some common costs that surrogates may incur:

Medical Expenses:

  • Prenatal Care: Surrogates may have medical appointments, tests, and ultrasounds as part of their prenatal care.
  • Medications: Surrogates might require fertility medications before embryo transfer and other medications during the pregnancy.
  • Maternity Clothing: As the pregnancy progresses, surrogates may need to purchase maternity clothing.

Travel and Accommodation:

  • Medical Appointments: Surrogates may need to travel for medical appointments and consultations with fertility clinics or medical professionals.
  • Birth: If the surrogate gives birth in a location different from her home, travel and accommodation expenses may be incurred.

Legal Fees:

  • Attorney Fees: Legal representation is important to draft and review the surrogacy agreement, ensure legal compliance, and establish parental rights.

Psychological Support:

  • Counseling: Surrogates may benefit from counseling or therapy to navigate the emotional challenges of the surrogacy journey.

Lost Wages and Childcare:

  • Time Off Work: Surrogates may need to take time off work for medical appointments and recovery after childbirth.
  • Childcare: If surrogates have children of their own, they may need to arrange for childcare during appointments and hospital stays.


  • Health Insurance: Surrogates may have additional health insurance costs, especially if the intended parents’ insurance does not cover all pregnancy-related expenses.
  • Life Insurance: Some surrogacy agreements may require life insurance coverage for the surrogate.

Compensation for Time and Effort:

  • Base Compensation: Surrogates receive compensation for their time, commitment, and physical efforts associated with the pregnancy.
  • Monthly Allowance: Surrogates may receive a monthly allowance to cover incidental expenses and additional support.

Childbirth and Recovery:

  • Hospital Costs: Medical expenses related to childbirth and postpartum care are typically covered by the intended parents or their insurance.

It’s important to note that surrogates should not be financially burdened by these expenses, as the intended parents are responsible for covering them as part of the surrogacy agreement. The details of cost coverage should be outlined clearly in the surrogacy contract to ensure a mutual understanding between the surrogate and the intended parents. Before entering into a surrogacy arrangement, it’s recommended for all parties involved to work with legal professionals and surrogacy agencies to define and agree upon the financial terms of the arrangement.

Will Surrogates Also Donate Their Eggs?

In some cases, a surrogate may also choose to donate her eggs as part of the surrogacy process. This is known as “gestational surrogacy with egg donation.” In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries a pregnancy for intended parents, but she does not use her own eggs. Instead, an egg donor’s eggs are fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and the resulting embryo is then transferred to the surrogate’s uterus.

The decision to donate eggs as a surrogate can vary based on individual preferences, medical considerations, and the specific requirements of the surrogacy arrangement. Here are a few scenarios in which egg donation might be considered by a surrogate:

Intended Parents’ Request:

In some cases, intended parents may request that the surrogate also serve as the egg donor, especially if they have a close relationship with the surrogate or if they are looking to minimize the number of individuals involved in the process.

Medical Compatibility:

If the intended mother is unable to provide viable eggs for IVF, the surrogate may consider donating her own eggs to create embryos for transfer.

Donor Egg Shortage:

In situations where intended parents are using an egg donor from a third party and there is a shortage of available donors, the surrogate might be asked if she is willing to donate her eggs as well.

Ethical and Personal Choice:

Some surrogates may feel a strong desire to provide both the pregnancy and the genetic material, viewing it as a more intimate and personal contribution to the intended parents’ journey.

It’s important to note that egg donation involves its own set of medical procedures, risks, and emotional considerations. If a surrogate is considering donating her eggs in addition to carrying the pregnancy, she should receive thorough medical and psychological evaluations to ensure that she is physically and emotionally prepared for both aspects of the process.

Lastly, the decision to donate eggs as a surrogate is highly individual. It should be carefully discussed and agreed upon by all parties involved, including the surrogate, intended parents, and medical professionals. It’s advisable to work closely with a reputable surrogacy agency or fertility clinic to navigate the complexities and ethical considerations of gestational surrogacy with egg donation.

How does A Surrogate Get Pregnant

A surrogate gets pregnant through a process called in vitro fertilization (IVF). In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries a pregnancy for intended parents, but she does not use her own eggs. Instead, the pregnancy is achieved using the intended parents’ or a donor’s genetic material. Here’s an overview of the steps involved in the process of a surrogate getting pregnant through IVF:

Ovulation Stimulation and Egg Retrieval:

  • The intended mother or an egg donor undergoes ovulation stimulation using fertility medications to produce multiple eggs.
  • Once the eggs are mature, they are retrieved through a minor surgical procedure performed under anesthesia.


  • The retrieved eggs are combined with the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm in a laboratory dish to allow fertilization. This can be done through traditional IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). However, a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.

Embryo Development:

  • Fertilized eggs, now called embryos, are monitored as they develop and grow in the laboratory for several days.

Embryo Transfer:

  • One or more healthy embryos are selected for transfer to the surrogate’s uterus. This is typically done after 3 to 5 days of embryo development.
  • The embryos are transferred through a thin catheter into the surrogate’s uterus via the cervix. This is a relatively painless procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia.

Pregnancy Monitoring:

  • The surrogate undergoes monitoring to track the progress of the pregnancy. Blood tests and ultrasounds are used to confirm the pregnancy and ensure the embryos have implanted successfully.

Pregnancy and Birth:

  • If the embryo implantation is successful, the surrogate continues with prenatal care and carries the pregnancy to term.
  • The surrogate gives birth to the baby, and after birth, legal and administrative processes ensure that parental rights are transferred to the intended parents.

It’s important to note that while the process of IVF is well-established, it may involve variations based on individual circumstances and medical protocols. Additionally, surrogacy arrangements can involve both gestational surrogacy (where the surrogate carries an embryo not genetically related to her) and traditional surrogacy (where the surrogate’s own egg is used), each with its own set of procedures and considerations.

The entire process requires close coordination between fertility specialists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, surrogacy agencies (if applicable), and legal professionals to ensure a successful and legally compliant surrogacy journey.

What does a Surrogate do after the birth?

After giving birth as a surrogate, there are several important steps and considerations that both the surrogate and the intended parents need to address. The exact post-birth process can vary based on the surrogacy agreement, legal regulations, and individual circumstances. Here are some key aspects of what a surrogate may do after the birth:

Recovery and Postpartum Care:

  • Firstly, like any birth, the surrogate will need time to recover physically from the childbirth experience. She will receive postpartum medical care to ensure her health and well-being.
  • The intended parents and surrogacy agency (if involved) often provide emotional support during this time.

Newborn Care and Transition:

  • After birth, the newborn is typically placed in the care of the intended parents, following the agreed-upon plan. The intended parents become responsible for the baby’s care, including feeding, diapering, and other caregiving tasks.

Postpartum Emotional Support:

  • The postpartum period can be emotionally complex for both the surrogate and the intended parents. Open communication and emotional support are crucial during this time.

Legal and Administrative Processes:

  • Legal arrangements ensure that the intended parents’ parental rights are legally established. This may involve obtaining a pre-birth order or a court order, depending on the jurisdiction.
  • Birth certificates are typically issued with the intended parents’ names.

Transitioning Responsibilities:

  • The surrogate’s involvement in the baby’s care ends after birth, and the intended parents assume full responsibility for the child’s upbringing and care.

Maintaining Contact (Optional):

  • Depending on the surrogacy arrangement and the relationships involved, some surrogates and intended parents choose to maintain a level of contact after birth. This could include updates, photos, and occasional visits. The level of ongoing contact varies widely and is typically agreed upon before birth.

Emotional Closure:

  • Both the surrogate and the intended parents may benefit from emotional closure after the birth. This can involve reflection on the journey, expressing gratitude, and acknowledging the unique bond that was formed.

It’s important to emphasize that the post-birth process should be well-planned. Additionally, it should be discussed between the surrogate, the intended parents, and any relevant professionals involved. Open and honest communication is key to ensuring that all parties have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and expectations after the birth.

Surrogacy agencies and legal professionals play a crucial role in facilitating the post-birth process. Additionally, ensuring that all legal and administrative steps are followed, and supporting the emotional well-being of both the surrogate and the intended parents.