Surrogacy in USA: Overview

If you’re wondering about surrogacy in the United States, your friends at Extraordinary Conceptions are here to help you. Together, we can help families grow! You can apply today to learn more by becoming a surrogate.

Surrogacy in the United States

Thinking of becoming a surrogate? USA legislation allows for commercial (compensated) surrogacy agreements in many states. Our agency was developed to help you navigate the exciting journey ahead. We recognize that surrogacy is a massive undertaking. That is why we take extra care to educate applicants about the entire process and offer unmatched support, services and benefits.
While surrogacy in the United States is a complex process, it will be rewarding once you begin the unforgettable journey towards helping build a family!

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Surrogate mother smiling, talking on the phone and holding a mug, sitting on a bed.

Is Surrogacy Legal in the United States?

Yes! Surrogacy is legal and supported in many US states. However, this is not determined on a national level; each state has their own legislation surrounding this process. We recommend researching the specific legislation and regulations in relation to your location before applying to become a surrogate.

In the US, surrogacy is typically commercial. This type of surrogacy allows for you to receive compensation! This is not the case across North America. While Mexico has recently ruled to allow for commercial agreements, all Canadian agreements are altruistic. This means that, while Canadian surrogates receive benefits and reimbursements, they are not paid.

Most American surrogacy agreements are gestational. This means that legally, surrogates must have no biological relations to the baby she is carrying. There is also always a legal contract included with gestational surrogacy, which protects all parties involved.

This is not the case with the alternate type of agreement. This other form of agreement, where surrogates can be related to the coming baby, is referred to as “traditional” surrogacy and is only legal in a handful of states. Due to the complexities of traditional surrogacy, our agency will only facilitate gestational surrogacy agreements.

Why Become a Surrogate in the United States?

Surrogacy is a rewarding journey that will remain with you for your whole life. Not only do most surrogates find this experience incredibly fulfilling, it often leads to lifelong friendship with their Intended Family.

In the US, surrogates also experience the benefit of substantial compensation! While the exact number varies, American surrogates are typically paid between $30,000 and $75,000. Several factors will impact the exact amount, like location, pregnancy type and your Intended Parents’ circumstances. Repeat surrogates often earn a higher amount than first-times.

On top of compensation, all of our US-based surrogates will receive:

  • A generous signing bonus following legal clearance
  • A benefits package worth up to $8,000. This includes reimbursement for pregnancy expenses
  • A dedicated support network, including your own Surrogacy & Care coordinator and peer connections]
  • A large life insurance policy that can be kept after your pregnancy
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Surrogacy USA: Which States are Best?

Depending on where you live, surrogates might be in higher demand than in other locations. This is part of why we originally based our agency in sunny California! There is a high demand for surrogates across the Golden State, making it easier for you to match with Intended Parents.

Surrogacy in California is popular for a few reasons:

  • History. Surrogacy isn’t exactly a new idea in California. For decades, it has been a widely accepted and embraced option for families unable to carry a child.
  • Laws. In California, specific legislation is in place to protect everybody involved, from the surrogate to her Intended Parents to the coming baby. These laws include the California Family Code 7960, which allows families to establish parentage through a pre-birth order rather than a hearing. California law also requires both the surrogate and her Intended Parents to have separate legal representation for drafting their contract.
  • Location. California is home to some of the finest IVF and fertility resources in the country. With so many first-class options available to Intended Parents in California, it increases demand for surrogacy.

California surrogates also enjoy generous compensation packages due to their high demand in the state. Several reasons drive the higher pay, including progressive local legislature and world-class IVF clinics and fertility agencies.

If you don’t live in California, don’t worry. Plenty of US states support and have high demand for surrogacy agreements!

Understanding Laws and Legislation

As we mentioned, the legalities of surrogacy depend on the state where you live. Once you’ve established that you do indeed live somewhere surrogate-friendly and acquainted yourself with local law, you must confirm that you are eligible to fulfill this role. There are many requirements to be an American surrogate, including age, BMI and health restrictions. Other North American states have similar (but slightly different) regulations.

The US surrogate process will involve several important steps. Once you match with Intended Parents, you will be required to undergo medical testing and screening to confirm your eligibility. Once you have been medically cleared, you will be required to develop a legal contract. This contract will cover everything surrounding your agreement, including a birth plan. You will need an attorney for this portion of the process—we are happy to provide referrals and the cost for your attorney is covered by the intended parents

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Surrogate USA: Find the Support You Deserve

If you are considering becoming a surrogate, get in touch with our team. We have been working with surrogates in the US for over 15 years! We began Extraordinary Conceptions in 2005 after our founders welcomed their own twins into the world with the help of a wonderful surrogate. We understand the intricacies of surrogacy well, and created our agency to help support the amazing women who choose this role. We are here to help our surrogates every step of the way and have an experience they will always cherish.

To learn more about becoming a surrogate, get in touch with our team at your convenience. Thank you for making us part of your story!

Frequently Asked Questions

Usually, yes. However, this will depend on your own contract and circumstances. Typically, surrogates receive pre-pregnancy benefits prior to confirmation of heartbeat. Once the baby’s heartbeat has been confirmed, you will begin receiving payment in monthly installments.

The exact amount that a commercial surrogate gets paid depends on many factors, including:
Experience. All eligible surrogates have previously given birth and live with their child(ren.) Some also have been surrogates previously. While all eligible surrogates are in high demand, more experienced ones often receive higher payment.

  • Location.  In the US, surrogacy has a higher demand in some states than in others. In places like California, the process is very sought after, and surrogates receive some of the highest compensation packages in the country. In other states, like Louisiana, commercial surrogacy is mostly illegal.
    Employment Status. Your surrogacy pay scale might depend on your current employment status. This is due to the natural disruption a pregnancy causes in your work life! If you have a full-time job, any lost wages due to doctor appointments, bed rest or other pregnancy-related needs will be compensated. The same holds true for surrogates entering altruistic agreements.
  • Pregnancy Type. Some surrogates don’t only hear only one heartbeat at their first OBGYN visit! Surrogates who end up carrying multiples can expect a higher pay rate.
  • Intended Parents’ Circumstances. Your payment will be coming from your Intended Parent. The rate will depend on what’s realistically in their means. Elements like employment status and location often determine this number.

Coming back for another round? We are so grateful, and our Intended Families are, too!
Many Intended Parents prefer to work with a repeat surrogate due to her applied experience with the process. Not only do repeat surrogates often earn more than first-timers, they might also be offered additional flexibility with certain eligibility requirements, like BMI or age.

While many states, like California, are fantastic for surrogacy, that’s not the case for the whole country. There are a couple of states where we advise against embarking on any type of surrogacy agreement. The most significant of these is Michigan, which outlaws surrogacy agreements entirely. Louisiana law is similar—while it does allow for some forms of surrogacy, the rules are restrictive and complicated. We do not endorse surrogacy in either of these states.

Outside of Louisiana and Michigan, many other states have conditional laws surrounding this procedure. This means that surrogacy agreements are possible and supported, but families should do their research before moving forward.

Read About Becoming a Surrogate From Women Like You!

Take a look at what some of our own surrogates have said about their experience with Extraordinary Conceptions:

“Seeing the parents hold their baby for the first time was the best part of my journey and I knew immediately that I wanted to do this again”
Karen
“I just wanted to thank you guys for working so hard with us to make this happen! I feel so grateful being able to help such an awesome couple.”
Ashley

“Any “difficult” parts of the pregnancy were immediately erased the moment I saw the look on my Intended Parents’ faces. It was pure joy for all of us!”

Jennifer
“Extraordinary Conceptions really made the process of surrogacy a wonderful one. Always making me feel comfortable and being there to answer every single question. Thank you for introducing me to my intended parents and letting me help make their dreams come true.”
Natalie

We’re Honored to be Part of Your Journey!

Apply to become a surrogate with Extraordinary Conceptions today, and someone from our team will be in touch with you very shortly. We are honored and excited to help you take the steps to making a family’s dreams come true.

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