When exploring options for becoming a surrogate, you might come across many unfamiliar terms and conflicting information that can be confusing and isn’t always helpful.

If you’re serious about applying to be a surrogate, you’ll need to know the facts. Let’s break down the seven most important things you should know before starting the application process. 

1. A gestational surrogate is different from a traditional surrogate

You may have already discovered that there are two types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional. 

These days, gestational surrogacy is the most common type of surrogacy and the only type offered by agencies like Family Source Consultants. A gestational surrogate has no biological connection to the baby she is carrying. The pregnancy is achieved by creating an embryo with the eggs of the Intended Mother (or a donor) and the sperm of the Intended Father (or a donor). The embryo is then transferred to the surrogate via in vitro fertilization.

In traditional surrogacy, the embryo is created using the surrogate’s own eggs and the sperm of the Intended Father (or a donor), usually via artificial insemination. The traditional surrogate is also the biological mother of the child. 

In the United States, traditional surrogacy is a fairly uncommon practice now due to the legal and emotional implications. A surrogate with a biological link to the child can lead to custodial issues and/or disputes over other responsibilities. 

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has no legal obligations or genetic links to the child. 

2. Gestational surrogates must meet strict criteria

Becoming a gestational surrogate involves going through a stringent screening process. You’ll have to meet some important requirements to become a surrogate.

To be accepted as a surrogate at Family Source Consultants, you must be:  

  • A legal resident of the United States
  • Between the ages of 21 and 42
  • In good overall health 
  • A non-smoker with no history of illegal drug use
  • Of a healthy weight with a BMI of 33 or less
  • In a stable living condition
  • Not currently on medication for depression or anxiety
  • Genuinely eager to have a baby for someone else

3. You’ll have to take a lot of medications to get pregnant

As a gestational surrogate, you’ll have to go through the IVF process to get pregnant. You may be required to give yourself injections and take pills for up to 12 weeks. 

Every surrogate’s protocol is different, but some medications you may be expected to take include:

  • Birth Control Pills
  • Estrogen
  • Lupron
  • Progesterone
  • Antibiotics
  • Medrol
  • Aspirin
  • Prenatal Vitamins

These medications prepare your uterus for embryo implantation, provide increased protection against miscarriage, and help to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

4. Surrogacy isn’t legal everywhere

Not all countries are “surrogacy-friendly.” In some parts of the world, surrogacy is not permitted or may even be criminalized. In other countries, surrogacy simply isn’t regulated, leading to complications with the process. 

Even in the US, surrogacy still isn’t legal in every state. Laws regarding surrogacy vary widely between states, making the legal process quite confusing. What’s more, surrogacy cases can be handled differently from county to county or even from one judge to the next.

Some states are fully open to surrogacy, while others make it almost impossible. For this reason, Family Source Consultants cannot accept surrogates from Michigan, Nebraska, Louisiana, or Wyoming.  

No matter which state you live in, Family Source Consultants will provide you with an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state to draft your surrogacy contract. 

5. What does a surrogacy agency do?

A surrogacy agency is a professional organization that offers third-party reproduction services to people who want to build their family or help someone else create or add to their family. They assist Intended Parents, surrogates, and egg donors through the process of screening, matching, case management, medical procedures, and legal matters.

Family Source Consultants is a surrogacy agency that specializes in matching and facilitating gestational surrogacy and egg donation arrangements throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. 

Your case manager will make travel arrangements, handle your expense reimbursements, and be a liaison between you and your intended parents throughout your journey to ensure that things move forward smoothly. If there are any conflicts, your case manager will be the go-between to handle any uncomfortable conversations for you.

A surrogacy agency also provides ongoing emotional support during and after a surrogate’s journey so that you’ll never feel confused or alone! 

6. How much do surrogates make?

The compensation a surrogate receives varies widely between agencies. For first-time surrogates, some compensation packages start at around $35,000; experienced surrogates (who have multiple journeys) can earn $50,000 or more. 

As Family Source, surrogates receive a base compensation of $48,000+. With additional benefits, your total compensation can add up to $70,000 or more.

You’ll receive your base compensation in 10 equal payments throughout the pregnancy. You’ll also receive additional payments for expenses such as housekeeping, maternity clothing, travel costs, and various miscellaneous expenses. 

7. Emotional rewards far outweigh the financial rewards

As impressive as the compensation package might sound, becoming a surrogate is not about making money. It’s about helping someone realize their dreams of having children.  

Surrogates are generous and kind women. They may be ordinary moms with lives and families of their own, but they’re also people who want to give back.

When Family Source Consultants’ surrogates talk about their journeys, it’s clear that their primary motivation is the emotional reward. They love being able to help others start a family. And while it’s not always an easy journey, these surrogates are prepared to devote themselves to the task. 

Ready to get started on your surrogacy journey? We’d love to hear from you! Request more information today!

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.