Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions webpage! We understand that you may have numerous inquiries. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you wish to delve deeper into any topic or if you have additional questions. Our dedicated team is here to provide all the answers and support you need.
1 / What I can expect in terms of compensation?
At our agency, we prioritize empowering surrogates by affording them the freedom to determine their compensation. We work collaboratively with both surrogates and intended parents, offering expert guidance throughout the process.
In general, the compensation package typically falls within the range of $45,000 to $95,000. However, in certain instances, it can reach up to $110,000. This reflects the deep appreciation and recognition of the significance of this exceptional journey.
The comprehensive compensation package includes a base pay along with additional benefits, which is generally worth $5,000. Typically, the base pay for surrogates ranges from $40,000 to $90,000, and in unique circumstances, it may exceed this range.
The base pay is structured to provide consistent support throughout the journey. It is divided into 10 equal installments. Starting with the confirmation of a fetal heartbeat, the surrogate receives 10% of her total base pay each month. After successfully delivering the baby, usually in accordance with the terms outlined in the specific gestational surrogacy agreement, the surrogate receives any remaining base pay. This payment structure ensures a steady and reliable compensation flow throughout this extraordinary journey.
2 / Benefits
The surrogate is provided with an extensive array of benefits. These encompass:
A monthly allowance.
Fees for embryo transfer.
Costs associated with initiating medication.
Support for housekeeping.
Compensation for mock cycles.
And various other related expenses.
Throughout the surrogacy journey, all expenses are fully covered, ensuring the surrogate faces no financial burdens. As outlined in the gestational surrogacy agreement, these benefits are systematically distributed. Furthermore, it's crucial to highlight that additional compensation is given in specific circumstances, such as undergoing a C-section, enduring invasive procedures, needing bed rest, or supplying breast milk.
While we offer a foundational compensation package, we believe in the surrogate's autonomy and empowerment. Adhering to this principle, we allow the surrogate to determine the finer details of their compensation. Consequently, the finalized compensation package is essentially decided upon by the surrogates themselves. For a more detailed understanding of the benefits and package, we invite you to contact us directly.
3 / Insurance
Insurance plays a critical role in securing the surrogate journey, and at our agency, we prioritize comprehensive coverage to ensure the well-being of everyone involved. We take a proactive approach to address various aspects of insurance to provide peace of mind to both surrogates and intended parents.
One of the key components of our insurance coverage is surrogacy-friendly health insurance. This policy is carefully selected to cover prenatal care and the birth process. It ensures that all medical expenses related to the pregnancy and delivery are appropriately covered, minimizing financial concerns during this significant journey.
In addition to health insurance, we also provide life insurance for surrogates. This serves as an extra layer of protection, offering financial security for the surrogate and her family in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
We understand that bed rest may become necessary during a surrogate pregnancy, and to address this concern, we offer insurance for bed rest. This coverage ensures that if bed rest is prescribed by a medical professional, the surrogate is supported financially during this period.
To further enhance the coverage, our insurance package includes provisions for major organ loss and total disability. These elements are designed to safeguard surrogates in the rare event of a major health crisis, providing financial support when it's needed most.
The selection and configuration of the insurance package are not unilateral decisions. Instead, they are made collaboratively, involving thorough discussions with the intended parents and surrogates. We believe in transparency and open communication to ensure that all parties are comfortable and well-informed about the insurance arrangements. Ultimately, the insurance plan is decided jointly by the surrogate and the intended parents, allowing them to tailor it to their specific needs and preferences.
4 / Requirements
Thank you for considering joining the Smart Surrogacy family as a potential surrogate mother. Your interest in helping others on their journey to parenthood is highly appreciated. We've outlined some key criteria for you to review.
Health and Personal Criteria for Prospective Surrogates:
The prospective surrogate's age should ideally fall between 21 and 45 years.
She should have previously given birth to at least one child and must be currently raising at least one child.
It's important that she has experienced at least one pregnancy and birth without any major complications.
In general, the prospective surrogate's Body Mass Index (BMI) should be no higher than 35. We understand that health is multifaceted, and while the BMI is a useful metric, it isn't definitive. We work with a variety of clinics, each headed by doctors with their unique approaches. As a result, there are varying BMI thresholds that our partner doctors might find acceptable.
The prospective surrogate should reside in a surrogate-friendly state within the United States. Regrettably, we cannot accept potential surrogates from Nebraska, Louisiana, Michigan, or those residing outside the US.
Financial Criteria for Prospective Surrogates:
Ideally, you should not be involved in government aid programs such as cash assistance, welfare, public housing, or Section 8. However, we evaluate other types of government assistance on an individual basis.
Lifestyle and Support Criteria for Prospective Surrogates:
Having family support is crucial. If you're married or partnered, your partner's support is a must.
You should be comfortable with traveling to a fertility clinic for the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process.
Please avoid the use of illegal drugs, cigarette smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
We acknowledge that these criteria might seem strict or overwhelming, but they're designed in accordance with the guidelines provided by fertility clinics and The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).
We see these surrogate criteria as an initial step to get to know you better, and above all, to ensure a smooth and successful journey for everyone involved. Thank you once again for considering Smart Surrogacy.
5 / Why Wasn't I Selected as a Surrogate Mother?
It's crucial to underscore that if a woman doesn't meet the specific requirements set forth for surrogate mothers, it in no way diminishes her ability to have healthy and successful pregnancies, either in the past or in the future. These requirements are formulated based on guidelines provided by reputable organizations such as the ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) and various fertility clinics. Their primary aim is to establish parameters that enhance the likelihood of a successful surrogate pregnancy while prioritizing the well-being of all parties involved.
These guidelines are not intended to pass judgment on an individual's reproductive health or capabilities. Instead, they are designed to ensure that every step of this significant journey adheres to specialized criteria. The objective is to create a supportive and safe environment for both the surrogate mother and the intended parents. These guidelines take into account various medical, psychological, and logistical factors to maximize the probability of a successful outcome.
It's important to recognize that not meeting these requirements for surrogacy does not indicate any inadequacy or deficiency in an individual's reproductive abilities. Many factors come into play when determining eligibility for surrogacy, and these criteria are specifically tailored to the unique nature of the surrogacy process. Surrogacy, after all, is a specialized journey with distinct requirements that help ensure a positive experience for all involved parties.
6 / Great things about being a surrogate
Becoming a surrogate mother is a unique journey filled with emotional rewards and the immense satisfaction of helping someone fulfill their dream of parenthood. But it also provides surrogates with substantial financial gain. The remuneration you receive as a surrogate mother is a recognition of the time, effort, and commitment you put into this important role.
This significant financial compensation can be truly life-changing. It offers you a secure way to generate income, while also providing an invaluable service to those who long for a child. This money can be used in a variety of ways, such as funding your own family's needs, securing your children's educational futures, purchasing a home, or even launching your own business.
In addition, all the medical expenses related to the surrogacy process are fully covered, ensuring you don't have to worry about any financial burdens along this journey. Thus, while you're making an extraordinary contribution to someone else's life, you're also improving your own financial situation, making surrogacy a truly rewarding experience on multiple fronts.
7 / What is the surrogacy process?
Embarking on the surrogacy journey can initially feel like an overwhelming and emotionally charged experience. However, we recommend approaching it with a structured perspective by breaking it down into seven distinct steps. Our primary goal is to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of these procedural phases, your surrogate responsibilities, and a rough timeline to guide you through this transformative process. It's important to bear in mind that each surrogacy journey is unique, and while these steps provide a general framework, the timing and specific details may vary for your individual experience.
1. Preliminary Screening: The journey begins with a preliminary screening, where you'll fill out an application and undergo initial evaluations. These evaluations encompass aspects of your health, lifestyle, and personal history, serving as a foundation to determine your suitability for surrogacy.
2. Consultation and Comprehensive Surrogacy Assessment: Following the preliminary screening, you'll engage in more in-depth consultations with experts in surrogacy. These discussions are an opportunity for you to ask questions, express concerns, and gain a deeper understanding of the surrogacy process. A comprehensive surrogacy assessment will also be conducted to delve into various facets of your life, health, and motivations.
3. Selection of Intended Parents: Once you've passed the initial assessments, the next step involves the selection of intended parents. This is a significant decision, and it's crucial to find the right match that aligns with your values and preferences. Building a strong connection with the intended parents is an essential aspect of this phase.
4. Medical Evaluation and Legal Agreements: With the intended parents chosen, medical evaluations will be conducted to ensure that you are physically prepared for the journey. Legal agreements will also be drawn up to define the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties involved. These legal documents provide a solid framework for a successful surrogacy experience.
5. Ongoing Monitoring and Embryo Transfer: As the journey progresses, you will enter the phase of ongoing monitoring. Regular medical check-ups, ultrasounds, and blood tests are conducted to track the progress of the pregnancy. When the time is right, the embryo transfer will take place, marking a significant milestone in the surrogacy process.
6. Pregnancy Journey: Once the embryo has been successfully transferred, you will embark on the pregnancy journey. This phase involves taking medications to support the pregnancy and ensuring the well-being of both you and the developing baby. Your healthcare team will closely monitor your progress throughout this period.
7. Post-Delivery Fourth Trimester and Postpartum Care: After the baby is born, the journey doesn't end there. The post-delivery phase involves comprehensive care during the "fourth trimester," ensuring a smooth transition for both you and the baby. Postpartum care and support are crucial elements of this step, helping you recover and providing guidance as you transition back to your daily life.
Each of these seven steps contributes to a holistic surrogacy experience. While the journey may seem complex, this breakdown helps you navigate it with clarity and confidence, ultimately leading to the fulfillment of a profound and selfless act of helping others achieve their dreams of parenthood.
8 / Surrogate Screening Process
Following the submission of your surrogate application, the initial screening step promptly commences. You will receive an invitation to our surrogate portal, where you will complete additional documentation to provide us with a more comprehensive understanding of you.
During the Prescreening phase, we will gather the following crucial information:
Health and Pregnancy History
Criminal and Financial Background Checks
Should the Prescreening process indicate that surrogacy is a suitable option for you, and you believe it aligns with your life, you will then advance to the second phase: the Surrogacy Consultation, which involves a discussion with a licensed mental health professional.
Your surrogacy consultation will be conducted by a licensed mental health professional with expertise in interviewing and assessing surrogate candidates. This social work assessment typically lasts for approximately 2 hours, although it can be split into two shorter meetings if needed.
Throughout your Surrogacy Consultation, you will engage in discussions and provide information on the following topics:
Your motivation for pursuing surrogacy.
Your pregnancy history.
Insights into your family dynamics and interpersonal relationships.
Your personal interests, hobbies, and life experiences.
Identification of your primary support network, including the designation of your Primary Support Person.
Sharing relevant medical records.
During this screening phase, your Primary Support Person will also undergo a separate evaluation by a licensed mental health professional to ensure their readiness for the crucial role of supporting you in this journey.
The third and concluding phase of the Surrogate Screening Process involves a psychological assessment. Every surrogate is required to undergo psychological testing utilizing the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), with the results interpreted by a licensed psychologist.
This assessment typically lasts for approximately 30-45 minutes and serves as an additional screening tool to evaluate the overall psychological well-being of surrogate candidates. Its purpose is to ascertain the suitability of a candidate for the surrogacy journey. Given the complexity of this adventure, we aim to assess upfront whether you and your family are fully prepared to embark on this incredible journey.
9 / Explaining Surrogacy Medications
During your surrogate pregnancy, many aspects may mirror a personal pregnancy experience, but there's one significant difference: the introduction of in vitro fertilization (IVF) medications. These medications play a pivotal role in preparing your body to carry and nurture the pregnancy.
Why Surrogates Need Pregnancy Medications
Since surrogacy involves pregnancies that are not naturally conceived, surrogates are required to take hormone supplements. These medications serve several vital purposes:
Coordinating Menstrual Cycles: To ensure that the surrogate's uterus is primed and ready to accept the embryo(s), medications help synchronize her menstrual cycle with the intended mother's or donor's cycle.
Preparing the Uterus: Two crucial hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are provided through medication. Administered in sequence, these hormones mimic the surrogate's natural cycle. This combination maximizes the chances of a successful pregnancy and reduces the risk of miscarriage.
Types of Hormones Used in Surrogate Medications
The specific medication protocol can vary based on your clinic and doctor. However, here are the hormones commonly used during surrogacy:
Estrogen and Progesterone: These hormones are administered in combination for approximately two weeks until the pregnancy test.
While these hormones are being administered, regular ultrasound examinations and blood tests are conducted to monitor the body's response. Once pregnancy is confirmed, estrogen and progesterone are continued until around the eighth or ninth week when the pregnancy naturally produces its own hormones. At this point, supplementation is no longer necessary, and you would typically transition to care under your chosen OB/GYN.
Possible Side Effects
The medications used to prepare and support surrogates for pregnancy are generally well-tolerated and have minimal side effects. Some surrogates may occasionally experience a sensation of bloating and mild cramping.
The hormonal changes induced by these medications may lead to mood swings, similar to those experienced during a typical menstrual cycle. These emotional fluctuations are normal and are a common part of any pregnancy experience.
Administration of Medications
You might have heard about injections being part of the IVF and surrogacy journey. While the specific protocols can vary, you may need to administer hormone injections, either on your own or with assistance from a friend or partner. Although injections may be slightly uncomfortable, many surrogates find solace in knowing that their efforts are helping another family achieve their dream of parenthood.
What Our Surrogates Say
"This agency is amazing! I love how Amber understands me and answer all of my questions and concerns. I'm a first time surrogate and so far my journey is going great! I would recommend this agency to anyone who asks me what agency I'm doing my surrogacy journey with! Thank you Amber for everything that you are doing for me and my intended parents for choosing me as their surrogate ❤️❤️"