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Do Women Get Paid to Become Surrogate Mothers?

Apr 7, 2008
There seems to be a lot of public misconception when it comes to surrogate mothers and compensation.

Do women get paid to act as a surrogate mother? Yes, in most cases they do. But that does not detract from the huge sacrifice and gift that surrogacy is.

A woman who decides to become a surrogate goes through the regular ups and downs of a typical pregnancy, but in addition to that, she is subjected to many more steps that most women who have had children will never experience.

When a woman decides to become a gestational surrogate, she must undergo many invasive tests before the procedure can even begin. She is also required to go on no less than four months worth of daily and weekly injections, to prepare her body for the pregnancy as well as sustain it.

And if the procedure doesn't work? It all starts over again, with more shots, more appointments, and more tests.

She may be required to miss work, family occasions, and even place her children in daycare while attending mandatory doctor's appointments and traveling hundreds of miles for procedures.

She may end up with multiples: twins, triplets, or more, in her attempt to assist another family. This can cause doctor ordered bedrest for weeks, or even months at a time. This may also require her to have surgery to delivery the babies, when she hasn't previously needed such surgery.

She may be required to pass up a job promotion, or a promotion for her husband, because she is legally unable to leave her state of residence until the surrogacy is completed.

Her family and her life is essentially put on hold for upwards of a year at a time, in an attempt to assist another family start a family of their own.

Why shouldn't a surrogate mother be compensated? It honestly would be very difficult for most surrogates to be able to make these sort of sacrifices on a daily basis for an extended period of time without the ability to be compensated.

Part of the problem, and the misconception today is what the media has done to inflate the public's perception of just how much a surrogate mother is paid. Reports circulate that surrogate mothers receive upwards of $50,000-100,000 for becoming pregnant for someone else.

It is simply untrue.

An entire surrogate journey may cost that amount of money, but most of it goes to the clinics for doing the embryo transfers and testing, the agency for handling the matching and surrogacy arrangement, the lawyers for making sure it is all legal, the medications and medical expenses to get the surrogate pregnant and keep her pregnant, and finally, the surrogate.

Usually a surrogate gets paid much less than any of the other entities. If you factor in the time a surrogate mother spends for the journey, she makes only a couple of dollars an hour.

Truthfully, if a surrogate wanted to just "make money", she'd be better off financially becoming a customer service sales person at a shop in the mall.

But that is the beauty of the world of surrogacy. So many women are willing to put their lives on hold to help another family, and compensation is not their driving factor.
About the Author
Rayven Perkins is an author and two-time surrogate mother. To find out how to become a gestational surrogate mother, or more information on gestational surrogacy, please see her site What is a Gestational Surrogate Mother?
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