All About Surrogacy 


As a potential surrogate, you have a right to know as much as possible about the gestational surrogate cost or average pay for a surrogate. That includes knowing what factors influence your compensation package.

What Makes Up a Surrogate Mother’s Compensation?

Three general categories make up what ends up being your total compensation package as a surrogate. The three categories are (1) base fee, (2) allowances, and (3) reimbursable expenses.  Your pay as a surrogate can vary based on circumstances.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at some key compensation components.

Base compensation

The most significant portion of the average pay for a surrogate comes in the form of a base fee.  The base fee is considered compensation for the months spent carrying a baby for the intended parent or parents.  At the Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia, first-time surrogates typically get a base fee of $35,000 paid in eight (8) equal installments, starting with confirmation of pregnancy by fetal heart rate.  Someone who has previously been a surrogate will receive $5,000 more (or $40,000+) as their base fee.  Base compensation can be negotiated, especially for gestational carriers who have excellent health insurance that will cover their prenatal care during their surrogacy journey. 

Base compensation. Average pay for a surrogate
Monthly miscellaneous allowance. Average pay for a surrogate


Upon signing a contract with her Intended Parents, surrogates will receive a monthly allowance of $250.  It is intended to cover things like travel costs to and from appointments and the little incidentals that the surrogate might encounter during pregnancy.  This allowance is in place the entire time the surrogate is under contract (typically 14-16 months), which adds up to around $4,000.

Surrogates also receive $1,000 each time they undergo an embryo transfer procedure (regardless if pregnancy results), a one-time maternity clothing allowance of $500, and $150 per week for pumping and storing breastmilk after birth.  

If you end up carrying twins, you will receive additional compensation of $5,000 on top of your base compensation for the pregnancy.

Surrogates also receive special compensation if they undergo invasive procedures.  $500 is paid for each procedure like hysteroscopies or saline ultrasounds which often happen before the embryo transfer.  If a selective reduction or abortion occurs, surrogates are compensated $1,000.  If the baby is born by c-section, the surrogate receives a lump sum of $3,000 after delivery.

Reimbursable Expenses

While under contract as a surrogate, the intended parents must ensure their surrogate has adequate insurance coverage. 

Most surrogates receive comprehensive insurance coverage in three (3) areas.

  • Medical insurance, which is intended to cover all prenatal care and labor & delivery expenses.
  • Life insurance coverage of $250,000+ will be provided to the surrogate’s family.
  • Loss of organs insurance would provide the surrogate with $5,000 – $10,000 in compensation if she had a partial or complete loss of her reproductive organs.

In addition, any copayments or cost sharing for care received during a surrogacy is reimbursed by the Intended Parents.  Gestational carriers have zero out-of-pocket costs for their maternity care during a surrogacy.

Surrogates often need time off to attend appointments. They might also be ordered to bed rest if issues were to arise. The surrogate’s health is always a top concern. If a surrogate has to miss any time from work, they would be compensated dollar-for-dollar for all lost wages.  Additionally, surrogates are reimbursed for any childcare and housekeeping costs if she is under physician-mandated bed rest during the pregnancy.


Surrogates with the Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia should expect their total pay and compensation package to be between $55,000 – $60,000.  Additionally, there are many non-monetary benefits associated with our agency, from experienced and compassionate case management to free health coaching and surrogate-only social events.

We want all parties to understand these numbers because we believe in transparent and honest communication and to help set expectations for all parties. 

There is room for negotiation on some items. However, that conversation would occur between the agency, Intended Parents, and the Surrogate. Once agreed upon, it will be memorialized in the final legal contract. If you are contemplating becoming a surrogate, we encourage you to review the above information closely. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have!