If you are considering surrogacy, it’s likely that you have many questions about the process. After all, while surrogacy is an exciting and special experience for families, it is also a fairly complex and involved process. Before embarking on this journey, families should thoroughly research everything that is involved in the process.

Before beginning the surrogacy program, it’s important for families to know that there are 2 types of surrogacy. While the overall “blueprint” of both types of surrogacy are the same, they will incur a very different experience for families, from costs to regional legislation. We recommend thinking seriously about which type of surrogacy works best for your unique circumstances— and remember, if you have any questions, we are just a phone call away.

As we mentioned, there are two primary types of surrogacy: commercial and altruistic. In many states and countries, only altruistic surrogacy is legal. However, many parts of the United States facilitate commercial surrogacy as well.

What is Commercial Surrogacy?

Commercial surrogacy is legal in many parts of the US, although every state has separate legislation surrounding the procedure. When a surrogacy agreement is considered commercial, the surrogate carrier receives a compensation package. These compensation packages are paid for by the Intended Parents.

The pay rate for surrogates is not a fixed number. Depending on a number of factors, a surrogate could be paid anywhere between $30,000 and $70,000. The specific amount that intended parents pay their surrogate will depend on factors like location, surrogate experience, and their overall financial and employment circumstances.

What is Altruistic Surrogacy?

In many parts of the world, altruistic agreements are the only legal option for surrogacy. With altruistic agreements, the surrogate carrier does not get paid by her intended parents, and does not receive a compensation package. Instead, it is considered a gift from the surrogate to her intended parents.

While altruistic surrogates do not get a compensation package, they do not pay for anything, and they receive benefits. Altruistic surrogates are reimbursed for any pregnancy-related expenses, like missed work days due to appointments, maternity clothes, and food. Additionally, Intended Parents will pay for any medical expenses, legal fees, insurance, travel and more.

Are Both Types of Surrogacy Legal?

Yes— but not everywhere. Many countries only allow for altruistic surrogacy agreements. However, the USA is not one of those countries: commercial surrogacy is legal in many states. (In the United States of America, surrogacy is regulated on a state-by-state basis.) Mexico law also allows for surrogacy agreements in certain states, but there are more regulations surrounding who can be an intended parent.

Most US states allow for commercial surrogacy agreements.  The most surrogacy-friendly states are California, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, and Washington state. Most other states are also fairly surrogacy-friendly, though on a more “conditional” basis. If you live in these states, you may need to do a bit more research into local laws to ensure that it’s the right place for your family to proceed. Louisiana and Michigan are not surrogacy-friendly states, and we do not recommend attempting the procedure in either location.

In Canada, surrogacy is legal—but commercial surrogacy is not allowed in any province. This comes with pros and cons for intended parents. This makes the surrogacy experience a much more affordable procedure, making it accessible to many more families. However, there is typically a longer waiting time to begin the surrogacy process in Canada and other altruistic surrogate locations due to a smaller pool of surrogate carriers.

Of the 2 Types of Surrogacy, Which are Better?

Every family is different. Depending on your unique needs, location, financial circumstances, and projected timeline, you might find that either a commercial or altruistic surrogacy agreement is better for you than the other. We recommend speaking with families who have experienced surrogacy firsthand—and our staff!

At Extraordinary Conceptions, we have been helping families come together through surrogacy and egg donation for nearly two decades! All of our surrogates and egg donors have been selected by us through an extensive application process, and meet every legal and medical requirement for this role.

We know that the fertility journey can be overwhelming to navigate, but our professionalism, compassion, and lived experience help ensure that families, surrogates and donors always have the support and care they need. If you have any questions for us about the surrogacy process, please get in touch with our team. Thank you for including us in the story of your family!