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What is Surrogate “Compensation”? What are Surrogates Compensated for?

By Emilee Gehling and Isabella Erickson


Many Intended Parents compensate their Gestational Surrogate for the pain, suffering, and inconvenience associated with undergoing fertility treatment and pregnancy. Surrogate reimbursement typically covers the expenses and costs incurred by the surrogate throughout the pregnancy. This includes medical bills, insurance, lost wages, and various other expenses such as maternity clothing. Sometimes, Intended Parents will reimburse the Gestational Surrogate for unique requests, such as adopting an organic diet during the pregnancy, and the reimbursement is for the additional cost of organic groceries.


Contrary to what some people believe, surrogate compensation is not a reward for carrying the Intended Parents’ child. It is designed to put the surrogate in the same financial situation she would be in had she not been a surrogate. Pregnancy is expensive. Pregnancy can impact a woman’s career, have lifelong effects on her body, and carry risk. Although employment discrimination based on pregnancy is illegal, time off from work due to bed rest restrictions can delay employment opportunities, like a raise or promotion. Pregnancy can cause short term disabilities that take time to recover from. Pregnancy risks include health risks including death. What surrogates do is no joke, and ‘compensated’ surrogacies simply recognize that fact.


Lastly, and most importantly, surrogates overwhelmingly do not become surrogates to earn money. There are easier, less stressful, and less risky ways to receive the reimbursement to which a surrogate is entitled. Surrogates overwhelmingly become surrogates because they want to give the gift of life to an infertile couple. Far and wide, altruism and generosity are core tenets of surrogacy. This act of generosity often weaves a unique and lifelong bond between two families.


If you are a potential surrogate or intended parent looking to start a surrogacy journey in Iowa, Nebraska, or South Dakota, contact Gehling Osborn Law Firm. Our attorneys are here to provide answers and a place to start.




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