What You Need to Know about Surrogacy Compensation

How to Find a SurrogateAs people consider becoming a surrogate, questions about compensation are often at the top of the list. This post helps answer initial questions regarding surrogacy compensation.

There are two financial aspects that go into a surrogacy program.

  • Compensation for time and commitment for being a surrogate
  • Reimbursement for expenses that are related to the surrogacy

How much surrogates are compensated

Many agencies, including the International Assisted Reproduction Center (IARC), allow surrogates to select their own fee. For first-time surrogates a typical fee is between $16,000 and $20,000, and experienced surrogates generally request an average fee of $25,000.  

There are people, however, who decide to be a surrogate for less because they’ve decided it’s important to them to help a couple have a family who might not be able to afford the higher fee. As you consider your own surrogacy journey, it is important to consider the reasons you are choosing to be a surrogate and set your fee accordingly.

It is essential to ask the agency you work with how it collects and distributes the fees. At IARC, the fee is collected before the embryo transfer occurs and is saved in a secure account so surrogates are confident the funds will be available throughout the surrogacy.
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Intended parents, donors and their legal rights: Time to rewrite the law

By Steve Snyder, executive director of IARC

As third-party reproduction becomes more frequent to help infertile couples become parents, the old presumptions of legal parentage need to be re-evaluated.

Currently, those presumptions remain based on certain birth and genetic assumptions that do not take parental intent into account. For example, in most states — unless the donor donates to a heterosexual married couple under the supervision of a licensed physician with certain written consents in place — the donor’s presumptive legal parents are not terminated no matter what the parties’ intent is.

Steve Snyder, Executive Director IARC

Those presumptions are now outdated in cases of sperm and egg donation because of medical, reproductive and social advancements. Many families are being created strictly as the result of the procreative intent of aspiring parents who cannot provide all reproductive components.

In such cases, the law should establish and protect the legal parentage of those who intend to procreate, but it does not yet do so universally and uniformly.

Legally, we’re not in Kansas anymore

This disconnect between procreative intent and parentage law is occurring in Kansas. William Marotta, a sperm donor who answered a Craiglist ad, provided his sperm to a lesbian couple to create a child to legally raise as their own. The donation was memorialized in an express donor agreement.

However, because Marotta and the couple did not use a licensed physician, the sperm donor’s parental presumption was not effectively terminated. Consequently, any interested party could establish the donor’s legal parentage despite the parties’ contrary intent.

It wasn’t until the child’s intended legal parents applied for state aid for “their” child, however, that the county attorney became an “interested party.” The law mandated that the county attorney must identify and pursue all presumptive legal parents for reimbursement for the state aid provided to the child.

Under the statute, Marotta remained a presumptive parent, and the county attorney has successfully established the sperm donor as the child’s legal father for support purposes. According to the court and Kansas law, he is now considered the father to a child. This is contrary to the intent of all other relevant parties and the express donor agreement.
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