Most gestational carriers matched in a surrogacy cycle with Intended Parents are compensated by the Intended Parents. Many gestational carriers struggle to know what is a fair rate and what compensation and bonuses they may be entitled to and should ask for.
The answer very often is — it depends on how and who you are matched by.
Private attorney match via Katrina Cassidy P.C. through Texas Surrogacy Center — Highest Gestational Carrier Compensation in Texas
Many carriers will wonder what is the best compensation structure they can or should request? At Katrina Cassidy P.C. d/b/a Texas Surrogacy Center, we believe the most beneficial and fair compensation are those where the BASE COMPENSATION paid to the carrier is high and reasonable. We don’t believe in charging a huge locator fee to the intended parents which short changes the gestational carrier. We value the gestational carrier and her most important role in the surrogacy process — that of carrying a child. This means we have a program where the base compensation and bonuses paid to gestational carriers is the highest in Texas.
Texas Surrogacy Center pays GUARANTEED COMPENSATION of $42,850 minimum for 1st time gestational carriers and $47,850 minimum for experienced carriers. No travel outside of Texas is ever required. *Guaranteed Compensation is NOT ALL-INCLUSIVE, and other customary surrogacy expenses are paid by the intended parents in addition to guaranteed compensation and bonuses.
Our compensation is not all-inclusive because we believe if the gestational carrier incurs and needs lost wage income due to the pregnancy or needs additional child care because she is on bed rest due to the child she is carrying, she needs to have that and not simply hope that her all-inclusive compensation will be enough to cover everything. Our gestational carrier compensation schedule also includes reasonable expenses to be paid for by the intended parents for:
- Expenses incurred during screening
- Gestational carrier’s legal expenses
- Maternity clothes
- Husbands lost wages
- Gestational Carrier’s lost wages
- Child care
- Lost wages post- delivery to recover before you return to work or your home life responsibilities
- Life insurance
- Loss of Organ Fee
- Start of Cycle and Embryo Transfer Bonuses
- Insurance expenses such as deductible, copays, and coinsurance paid
Women interested in becoming gestational carriers may choose to be a carrier for a friend, relative or match privately on their own with Intended Parents, through an agency or through a private locator such as attorney Katrina Cassidy P.C. through the Texas Surrogacy Center. When a gestational carrier decides to carry for a friend or family member, very often the parties will agree that the parents will only pay for medical and expenses. However, the gestational carrier should also be mindful that she will, in all likelihood, require:
- lost wage income,
- child care expense reimbursement,
- an allowance to cover such miscellaneous costs such as
- over the counter medications,
- extra gas,
- extra food,
- pregnancy related comfort items such as pillows, etc.
The carrier should also always have a life insurance policy covering her, so her family is protected in the event of any unanticipated events. Finally, it’s reasonable for a gestational carrier to request compensation even if she is carrying for a friend or family member.
Being a gestational carrier takes time, energy and wear and tear on the gestational carrier’s body and her family.
In my experience, it is common for a gestational carrier who is not being compensated at all, to withdraw from the match once it becomes evident that the carrier will need to spend a significant amount of time attending doctors appointments, etc. and time away from her family.
Therefore, it is reasonable for all gestational carriers to be paid compensation for their gift of carrying a child, which in turn allows them to help their own family. These types of matches are more balanced and generally tend to be more successful. Carriers who match themselves with parents as well, with no help from an agency or attorney, may also receive less compensation simply because they are not aware of the compensation and bonuses that are available or necessary for a successful journey.
If a gestational carrier matches through an agency, the compensation she may earn is very largely based on which agency a carrier is matching with. Here it is important to note that the carrier may see that California agencies, for example, are paying higher base compensation, however, this means the carrier will need to leave her family and anticipate traveling out of state to places such as California for doctor visits and possibly for delivery.
Many gestational carriers do not want to further upset their family routine by extensive travel in addition to becoming a gestational carrier. They want to stay in their home state and still earn a reasonable compensation. This is very possible!
Texas has a high demand for qualified carriers as many Intended Parents search for carriers in Texas because it is surrogacy friendly. Cycle and medical costs are also far more reasonable in Texas.
Two things any gestational carrier should be mindful of are:
- How much the agency is charging the parents to locate a carrier? – Many agencies charge almost as much as the gestational carrier will earn to locate the gestational carrier. This generally means that the carrier will receive lower compensation than they should because the Intended Parents are not wanting to pay two high fees.
- How much they are receiving as base compensation? – Many agencies will advertise that the carrier will receive a range for her base compensation. For example, “UP to $45K-$60K”. The words “UP TO” are key because the compensation may be on the lower end but could be “UP TO” the maximum. The maximum is not necessarily the typical compensation.
Also, to advertise the high compensation, the gestational carrier should know that many agencies will take the base compensation, add up all the other potential expenses to the base compensation, such as maternity clothes, wages, etc. and advertise that as the “COMPENSATION”.
Beware the “ALL-INCLUSIVE COMPENSATION”
The all-inclusive type compensation is a new trend for gestational carriers. It seems appealing, but is not necessarily financially advantageous for the carrier. Whether it is depending on how the pregnancy proceeds. For example, the agency may offer to pay the carrier a $40,000.00 ‘all inclusive” compensation which sounds appealing. However, from this $40,000 “all-inclusive” compensation the carrier will be expected to use her compensation for:
- base compensation,
- her legal,
- life insurance,
- maternity clothes,
- lost wages,
- child care,
- and every other expense that could possibly have been required.
If the carrier sustains multiple unexpected expenses during the pregnancy such as lost wages due to bed rest or multiple unanticipated doctor appointments, this compensation no longer seems appealing at all. Since the carrier will have contractually agreed to take the “all-inclusive compensation” rather than a base compensation plus other expenses which are payable if the event occurs, the carrier will not be able to request any further funds even if the all-inclusive compensation is later found to be insufficient.
In short, there are many aspects every woman considering becoming a gestational carrier in Texas should consider – one of the most important being the financial pay with which she is compensated. They are so important because they are a means for every gestational carrier to help her own family as well as providing the gift to Intended Parents in helping to build theirs.
If you are considering becoming a gestational carrier, please contact us with any questions. Katrina Cassidy’s reproductive law practice focuses exclusively on assisting Intended Parents and Gestational Carriers through the complete gestational surrogacy process. Katrina Cassidy has an insight and empathy into the process from the perspective of the Intended Parents that most attorneys or agencies handling surrogacy do not. This insight was gained through her personal experience with infertility and her own multiple experiences as an Intended Parent in the gestational surrogacy process. It also gives her a greater admiration for gestational carriers because without one, she would not have been able to grow her family.