No one likes talking about money. Money is a *huge* taboo topic in our culture.... that is probably one reason I didn't think I should talk about it. However, I have been thinking about it and one of the main goals of my blog is to share openly ~all aspects of surrogacy~. So let's talk!
Surrogacy is expensive. However surrogacy is something that I wouldn't want to skimp on. There are HUGE risks on the surrogate side as well as the Intended Parent side if things don't go according to plan. Some surrogates choose to go independent and try to keep the costs as affordable as possible for the families they might be working with. Some times this works out wonderfully. Sometimes this is a train wreck waiting to happen. The financial security of my family is something I don't want to jeopardize to help someone else. My family is my priority, as it should be. Therefore I will do everything in my power to make sure that everything is done legally and on the up and up.
Since I only have experience working with one agency I will use their information - something that you can find by a couple clicks on their website. My agency requires that all the money that will be required for the entire surrogacy journey is put into an escrow account before we get started. At this point in my journey that is what my couple is in the process of doing.... they have 10 days to fund their trust account. This is something that is thought out, planned out and budgeted for. My agency estimates that it will cost $115,000 - 150,000. If you are curious about a few things that IP's are responsible for paying for you - can read about it here.
When I started researching surrogacy over 10 years ago I didn't realized you could actually get paid to do it! That was a huge bonus. "You mean I get to be pregnant, and carry someone's baby for them and they will pay me for it?!?! Wow." There are other surrogates that have gotten into it just for the money, but I read something awhile a go that made me rethink my thoughts on this......
If you are not someone that is in 'need' of the money - ie, 'I need to do this or I am going to lose my house', but rather a want, I guess that is okay. I used to have big issues with it. The soldier clip really gave me a good perspective. There are many wonderful things that the extra money could be used for. Maybe you want to put a down payment on a house, start a college fund for your children, open a new business adventure or take a once in a lifetime vacation. I know of one surro that is doing a journey so she can afford to buy a service dog for her disabled son. Should we look down on a surrogate because she wants to help out her family? I don't think so... Remember we were required to have a credit check in the initial application process and we cannot be on any type of public assistance. When I grow up I want to go to college to become a nurse or a midwife or something along those lines. I think it would be wonderful if I didn't have to go into debt. The money I receive will be a great way to let my family afford to do that. So the money is not a need, and since I'll be getting it anyway, it is a nice Bonus!
There are also huge risks involved in being a surrogate (why do you think I have to have an additional life insurance policy?), but financially it shouldn't cost *my* family anything to help someone else achieve their dream of adding a child to their family. I have read too many stories of surrogates that let their heart lead instead of their head and they ended up declaring bankruptcy because of medical bills that IP's left unpaid. I am hoping that I am protect my family at the same time of receiving a bit of financial bonus and a whole lot of emotional bonus.
Something else that I have heard over and over is that even if the surrogate originally set out with the financial part leading her decision she will often times face many, many trials while trying to achieve a healthy pregnancy for someone. They might face termination, miscarriage, negative betas and canceled cycles. Somewhere during that journey you create a bond some intimate and so raw with emotions that ultimately all you want to see is the joy of the family with a baby in their arms and most surrogates are willing to give it all up just to make that happen.
People will often times hint that they want to know how much I make. (I like to consider it compensation for pain and suffering....) Let me just say that how I respond to this is often determined by why I think they are asking. If you are genuinely interested in learning about surrogacy or if you are a close friend I don't mind sharing with you. However if it is because you think I am make HUGE amounts of money off this, you are mistaken. I think the perfect response would be: "Why don't you tell me how much you make and I'll let you know if you should keep your day job." :-) I don't go around asking people how much money they make..... and if you think about it, at least if I was working I would get most holidays and evenings off, my weekends would be free, I wouldn't be restricted on what I could eat and drink, I could go with my kids on the roller coasters at the fair and I could relax with my husband in the hot tub. When I was working I also wasn't required to inject multiple hormones into my body, I wasn't asked to abstain from sex for weeks at a time and didn't have to bring my work home with me. I didn't work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, puke my guts up for weeks at a time or gain 40lbs. I am not complaining - I knew all this going into it... at least after the first time anyway. I just want *you* to realize that I am not just getting pregnant. It takes a lot to get there and it takes a lot to sustain the pregnancy physically and emotionally. I am honored to be able to do this. I know not everyone is cut out to be a surrogate. I know I am. And yes, I am compensated for a job well done. Nothing wrong with that!
...and no I am not going to say how much I receive. It really doesn't matter. If you want, you can go look it up. It is published out in cyber world. :)