Surrogacy in the United States

How to Become a Surrogate in the United States

Surrogacy is continuously evolving as different states adapt laws and regulations to protect the surrogate, and the intended parents, as well as the child. To help provide you with the most accurate information, we’ve published separate pages that give the latest information on how to become a surrogate in each state.

In addition, we’ve also outlined general information about surrogacy in the United States and how moms who are willing to help can navigate through the process and become surrogates.

Click on the state you are located in for more information or you can scroll down below for general information about surrogacy and becoming a surrogate in the United States.

Surrogacy By State

The Most Surrogate Friendly States

California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Washington.

Surrogate Friendly States

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia

Not So Friendly But Surrogacy is Possible

Idaho, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming

Still Possible But Be Very Cautious

Arizona, Indiana

Not Possible At All

Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska

States with the most Gay Friendly laws for Intended Parents

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia

What does surrogacy mean?

Surrogacy means, a woman, the surrogate, carries a baby for a couple or individual, the intended parent(s), who are unable to either get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term due to various reasons either medical or physical.

Two Types of Surrogacy

Traditional Surrogacy

in a traditional surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate is also the egg donor and therefore the biological mother of the baby she is carrying. In traditional surrogacy, the pregnancy is achieved through IUI or artificial insemination.

Gestational Surrogacy

with gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not related at all to the baby she is carrying. She is merely carrying the baby in her womb until birth. Pregnancy in gestational surrogacy is achieved through in vitro fertilization (IVF) where a fertilized embryo is implanted directly into the uterus of the gestational carrier.

Among the two, gestational surrogacy is the widely accepted practice and many states have adopted laws and statutes that makes it a less burdensome process. Traditional surrogacy however is not legally recognized in most states.

A common misconception about surrogacy is that the surrogate will get attached to the baby, and have a hard time “giving the baby away.” But for a surrogate, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The ultimate purpose of her journey is to make someone else a MOM or a DAD… to help create a family that wouldn’t be possible without her grace, kindness and courage!

The moments you countdown to in a surrogate pregnancy are the moments you will get to see this child united with her parents, and grandparents, and the rest of her family who anxiously await her arrival.

If you are thinking of becoming a surrogate, gestational surrogacy is the safest and most well-regulated option and we can help you with that. Simply take our 8-minute quiz to see if you qualify and we’ll help you take care of the rest!

Why Become a Surrogate?

Surrogacy, for many people, is still hard to understand. Even for some of my friends and family who’ve seen me become a surrogate three times. There’s always that lingering question of why would you carry someone else’s baby? Do you need money so badly to do it three times? Is it morally right? Is surrogacy ethical?

The questions are endless and only surrogates can answer most of these questions because the experience changes you and your family in so many ways. After becoming a surrogate, you become more compassionate, you become more loving of other people, you become more aware and more sensitive to other people’s struggles, it increases your gratitude for your own children, and strengthens your relationship with your partner when they support you in the journey, and have a renewed appreciation for what a miracle you are.. It’s amazing but it’s hard to explain and express and we understand that some people may never get to grasp what being a surrogate really means but that’s OK we love our family and friends nonetheless.

Since I’ve brought it up, let me answer the questions above.

Surrogacy in United States

Why would you carry someone else’s baby?

Because you are making a dream come true. You are ending loneliness, frustration, and sadness. You are giving a gift of life. You are helping a couple build a family that they would’ve never had the chance to if not for you. Most women discover the need through meeting others who are struggling with infertility or dreaming of having a family, and realize that something that’s come to us so easily, even accidentally in some cases, is just out of reach for so many people. Most women decide to become surrogates as a way to give that gift to others, because they can’t imagine not being able to have their own children.

Do you need money so badly to do it three times?

No one should become a surrogate because she NEEDS the money. There is so much that goes into the journey, including pre-screening leading up to the matching process that costs a lot of time and energy and is uncompensated. Although the compensation is generous, and allowed me to invest in some big dreams I had for my own family, it’s not the only factor. And the money alone doesn’t make surrogacy “worth it.” Although the compensation piqued my interest in surrogacy for my first journey, it was seeing the family become whole and knowing that I was a part of that magic that had me hooked. Sure, the money is a great perk, but it’s not everything.

Is it morally right? Is surrogacy ethical?

Just because something is unfamiliar, doesn’t make it unethical. Everyone has different beliefs tied up with life and family building, but the general foundation of a family, in all respects is love. If a child is so wanted that a team of people, even strangers, come together to help their parents bring them into the world, what’s more beautiful than that? Every child should be so lucky to be born to parents who wanted to love them so badly that they made their life possible even when the odds were stacked against them, and a team of people and medical professionals helped to make the dream of their existence a reality. Ethics are personal. To judge another person for who they are, who they love, or how they build their family or help to build another family is misguided.

Pros and Cons of Surrogacy

Pros and cons go both ways. For the surrogate and for the intended parents, I’ll try my best to talk about them both.

Pros and Cons for the Surrogate

Pros

  • You get to experience pregnancy again.
  • You feel really good about yourself knowing that you are carrying a precious gift.
  • You are generously compensated .
  • You get massages and other perks to make pregnancy more enjoyable
  • You gain lifelong friends.
  • You gain access to a sisterhood of other surrogates.
  • You are protected legally.

Cons

  • It is physically and emotionally demanding.
  • It requires a lot of time. At least 12 months. 😊

Pros and Cons for the Intended Parents

Pros

  • You get to have a family after all these years.
  • The baby is genetically related to you so you are indeed the parents.
  • You gain lifelong friends.
  • You have access to a support group.
    You are legally protected as well as the unborn child.

Cons

  • Surrogacy can be pretty expensive.
  • The medical procedures and laws can be complicated depending on what state you are in and the surrogacy agency you are working with.

What is Required to become a surrogate?

Apart from the physical, medical, and other requirements I guess one of the most important is your willingness to help and go through the journey because it will be different from any other thing you may have done. It’s a lot more special and a lot more demanding.

We’ve written about surrogacy requirements more extensively on this website.

If you’ve read this far and are eager to help a couple start a family, here is the surrogacy process that we follow here at Surrogacy Is. It is fairly simple and we take away all the grunt work of the application process so you can focus on the journey itself.

  1. Fill out our quiz that you can find HERE. This is an important pre-qualification process so you don’t waste your time going to surrogacy agencies only to find out that you do not qualify.
  2. If qualified, one of our surrogates will contact you to answer any questions you may have and walk you through the next steps in the process.

That is it. We then work on finding you the best surrogacy agency that will take good care of you and provide the best compensation and benefits. Once you are with the agency, we continue to be available to you as a support group that will help you throughout your journey.

How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid?

It typically ranges from $40,000 to $75,000+ and even more if you are an experienced surrogate or are carrying twins. It depends on a number of factors and it is best discussed with the surrogacy agency.

Do know that everything will be laid out prior to signing any contract. Your compensation, benefits, responsibilities, as well as the responsibilities of the intended parents will be discussed before anything is done.

Compensation can be broken down into four stages and you can learn more about them here: https://surrogacy.is/compensation/

How Many Times Can I Become a Surrogate?

The human body can only take so much and it really depends on how easy you carry a pregnancy and the risk factors involved. Typically, surrogates I know go through the journey upto three times. Like me. 🙂

Your body will tell you if you can still go through another journey.

Surrogacy VS Adoption

I’ve heard this so many times, “Why not just adopt a baby?”. We have nothing against adoption here at Surrogacy Is, it’s a beautiful thing and, by all means, adopt a child if you want to but the big difference is, with surrogacy, the baby is really yours. The baby is genetically related to you so you are the real parents.

Some intended parents that we’ve helped have adopted a child already but they still looked for a surrogate because they wanted a child that is genetically  related to them.