Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have hired a surrogate to carry their third child. Since those media reports, people want to learn more about surrogacy, and some women are wondering how they could become surrogates.
Former surrogates will share that they didn’t carry someone else’s baby for the money. They did it because they wanted to help. A first-time gestational surrogate can earn $45,000 and up. While that’s generous, it’s important to remember that surrogacy is more than a full-time job, at seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It’s an enormous responsibility.
So why do women do it?
For Linda, she did it because it was something that she needed to do.
“It was my dream to be a surrogate,” said Linda, who signed up with Extraordinary Conceptions based in Southern California. “I wanted my future parents to feel the same way I felt when I had my babies. It meant the world to me knowing that I could give someone the greatest gift of all.”
From so many agencies to choose from, Linda decided on Extraordinary Conceptions because of their years in the industry. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Mario Caballero, experienced infertility with his wife and ultimately turned to surrogacy to help build his family more than a decade ago. It was that experience which motivated the opening of Extraordinary Conceptions.
“I love meeting the women that had decided to become surrogates because it brings me back to when we were looking for someone to help us have children,” Caballero said. “I had no idea how strong a child’s love would be. I am so grateful to surrogates, and for all that they do so other intending parents can one day feel the same.”
One of the most common questions the Surrogacy Admission Team members hear from candidates is if their own eggs are used. A gestational surrogate has no biological ties to the baby she is carrying for her intended parents. An egg donor or the eggs of the intended mother are utilized. A surrogate is implanted with the embryo during a transfer.
A lot of women know being a surrogate will be an amazing thing, said Tere B., a former surrogate, and surrogate advocate. Candidates told her how they wanted to help somebody – that made perfect sense because that’s why Tere became a surrogate.
“I remember them telling me how they wanted to be able to help someone become a parent because being a parent brought so much joy to them. That was always nice to hear,” she said.
Women researching agencies will notice right away that there are many ones to comb through. Ways to trim down that list are simple: Just ask those remaining on the list these targeted questions.
- How many years have they been in the industry?
- What is their medical and psychological screening process?
- What is the breakdown of their base compensation and benefits package?
- How are surrogates paid? Is direct deposit an option?
- Who are their fertility clinics and specialists?
- What type of life insurance policy do they offer?
- What type of communication and emotional support do they offer throughout the surrogacy journey?
- Do they partner with any legal specialists?
A top agency will be happy to answer these questions. It’s also an excellent opportunity to gauge how professional they are in their answers. Being a surrogate is a personal decision that should never be rushed into – take the time needed to find the right agency so that the experience is an amazing one.