How Much Is a Surrogate in California

How Much Is a Surrogate in California

Surrogacy is a great way to become a mother and grow your family. However, choosing a surrogate mother is a bit expensive and often overwhelming. Many people put off considering surrogacy due to the widespread belief that the process is too expensive.

This could be the case if you go through the process without preparing yourself. However, the reality is that raising a family through surrogacy is possible if one has access to the right information and resources. So, how much is a surrogate in California? Let’s find out.

Who Is a Surrogate Mother?

The term “surrogate” refers to any woman who agrees to bear a child on behalf of another. A surrogate mother is someone who carries babies for couples who are unable to conceive children on their own.

Most surrogate mothers are gestational, meaning they don’t use their eggs or transfer any of their genetic material to the child. The intended parents pay the surrogate mother, and all parties involved in the surrogacy arrangement must sign a legally binding contract.

Different Types of Surrogacies

  • Traditional Surrogacy

In a traditional surrogacy arrangement, the intended parent’s sperm fertilizes the surrogate mother’s eggs. The procedure used for this is intrauterine insemination (IUI). In traditional surrogacy, IUI is the standard method used to fertilize the surrogate mother’s egg with the sperm of the intended father.

Compared to in vitro fertilization (IVF), the IUI procedure is typically less expensive and demanding. Next, the surrogate mother will carry the pregnancy to term and then hand the newborn over to the custody of the intended parent, who’ll raise the child as their own. With a traditional surrogacy arrangement, the intended couples don’t need to find or choose an egg donor.

The surrogate mother’s eggs are used throughout the surrogacy process. After the intended couples choose a surrogate, the next step is to sign a legally binding contract. The legal requirements outline the surrogacy agreement between the intended couple and the surrogate.

This is an important step because, unlike gestational surrogacy, the surrogate has a strong biological connection with the child. This means the non-biological parent must undergo the legal adoption process once the child is born to finalize their parental rights.

However, traditional surrogacy raises more legal issues for the would-be parents. Why? Because the surrogate is both the egg donor and the child’s biological mother. As a result of these legal concerns, many fertility clinics don’t offer this option to intended parents.

Gestational Carrier
  • Gestational Surrogacy

In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries the embryo for the intended parents. In this case, the mother’s egg (or a donor egg) is combined with the intended father’s sperm to create an embryo. Gestational surrogacy uses the IVF procedure to create the embryo placed into the surrogate mother’s uterus.

Next, the surrogate mother goes through with the pregnancy and hands the baby to the intended couple afterward. Gestational surrogacy has a simpler legal process than traditional surrogacy. Why? Because the surrogate mother has no genetic connection with the newborn.

One of the main benefits of gestational surrogacy is that the rights of biological ownership remain with the intended parents. On the other hand, the surrogate mother remains the child’s birth mother, eliminating any potential custody disputes.

Gestational surrogacy is by far the most common and available type of surrogacy. Most intended parents prefer gestational surrogacy because it has more favorable surrogacy laws than traditional surrogacy. When factoring in all necessary expenses, note that traditional and gestational surrogacy costs different amounts due to their varying requirements.

Surrogacy Costs in California

When calculating potential surrogacy costs, it’s important to note that each state has its guidelines and regulations. Regarding legal requirements, certain states have more legal hoops to jump through, while others are more surrogate-friendly. Thankfully, California is a surrogate-friendly state and welcomes even international intended parents to apply for surrogacy.

However, note that a surrogate cost in California can be much higher than in other states. This is because the surrogacy market in California is one of the most competitive in the U.S.

Pregnant Woman
  • The Cost of Traditional Surrogacy in California

Determining the average cost of surrogacy can be challenging because there are so many factors to consider. When estimating the cost of traditional surrogacy, one must consider the following:

  • Surrogate compensation
  • Health insurance policies
  • Medical costs (including IUI procedure)
  • Monthly allowance
  • Surrogate agency fees
  • Medical and psychological screening
  • Travel expenses
  • Psychological counseling
  • Legal fees

These are just a few potential payments couples may cover throughout the surrogacy journey. Also, note that the total cost of these arrangements and procedures varies depending on the various services’ rates.

Traditional surrogacy is typically less expensive than gestational surrogacy because the intended parents are not responsible for covering the costs of an egg donation and an IVF procedure. The cost of an IUI procedure is much lower than that of IVF since it utilizes the surrogate mother’s egg.

Traditional surrogacy can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000, but the price can range anywhere from those numbers depending on several factors. This includes the points listed above concerning the fluctuating rates.

  • How Much Does Gestational Surrogacy Cost in California?

Intended parents going through the gestational surrogacy route pay much more than traditional surrogacy. The higher price tag is due to the complex legal preparations, surrogacy agency requirements, and the application of an IVF.

As reported by West Coast Surrogacy, costs associated with gestational surrogacy can range from $90,000 to $130,000. These totals include the factors mentioned above and a variety of additional factors like the surrogate mother’s experience, monthly allowances, and potential preventive measures.

Getting the right surrogate can be a daunting process. However, surrogacy agencies are happy to assist you and provide the resources and tools you need to start a family without breaking the bank. As a result, you can seek out cost-reduction measures and negotiate service fees to lessen the blow of what would otherwise be prohibitively high expenses.

Surrogate Child

How Much Do Intended Parents Pay Surrogate Mothers in California?

In California, first-time surrogate mothers can expect to earn around $50,000, while experienced surrogates make up to $80,000. However, note that these figures only represent the base salary and don’t include any bonuses or incentives that may be offered. A surrogate mother may receive bonuses or extra payment if she:

  • Lost wages due to time off work
  • Undergoes C-section (invasive procedure) during delivery
  • Gets pregnant with twins or triplets
  • Gives the intended parents breast milk.
  • Transfers more than one embryo or passes through multiple fertility cycles

Also, in California, the intended parents cover the surrogate’s expenses. This includes all of the following:

  • Medical expenses, medical procedures, and supplies.
  • Childcare, maternity clothing, and food.
  • Travel arrangements for legal and medical appointments.
  • The surrogate’s individual legal representation.

You’ll have to add the base salary, expenses, and bonuses to get the total surrogate compensation. As you can see, there are plenty of expenses to cover and information to remember. However, enlisting the help of a reputable surrogacy agency can simplify the entire surrogacy process.

Working with an experienced and reliable surrogacy agency will come in handy if issues arise during the surrogacy process. When working with a surrogacy agency, would-be parents can focus their attention where it is most needed: on getting ready for the birth of their kid.

How Can Intended Parents in California Pay for Surrogacy?

In most cases, standard health insurance plans don’t cover the cost of surrogacy due to the high cost of services. This includes medical screening, the IVF process, maternity clothes, surrogacy compensation, and other expenses associated with the entire surrogacy process. This type of coverage is specifically excluded from most insurance policies.

Additionally, unless the surrogate has a surrogacy-friendly policy, her insurance is unlikely to cover any expenses associated with carrying a child. What other options are available? What’s the best way to pay for surrogacy in California? If you find yourself in this situation, a reputable surrogacy agency can help you sort things out. For example, with the help of a surrogacy agency, you can easily purchase a surrogacy-friendly policy for the surrogate.

On the other hand, the intended parent’s insurance plan may cover the entire or part of the IVF. This is also known as “Cycle insurance.” However, note that whether or not this option is available depends on the insurance policy.

A good surrogate agency should be able to help you (the intended parent) precisely determine the insurance policy’s coverage. Lastly, note that agencies sometimes offer intended parents financing options, although it’s rare.

Surrogate Mother

Surrogate Benefits in California

One of the numerous reasons California is a popular surrogate destination is that it offers one of the highest surrogate pay. Women in Northern and Southern California interested in becoming surrogate mothers get to enjoy various perks. For example, with surrogacy, you can complete families and create relationships with the intended parents.

Plus, most surrogate mothers get to work with a licensed social worker and personal Program Coordination Team. Additionally, as the surrogate mother, you receive generous compensation and a great sense of self-fulfillment for bringing another human being into the world.

Lastly, California is one of the best locations for surrogacy. California is home to some of the finest fertility clinics in the U.S. This makes California one of the most attractive destinations for intended parents seeking a surrogate mother.


  • Surrogate-friendly
  • Multiple surrogacy agency
  • Competitive market
  • Finest surrogacy clinics


  • Surrogacy is more expensive in California than in other states

Frequently Asked Questions (Surrogate FAQs)

1. What are the surrogate mother requirements in California?

One of the states with the most friendly surrogate rules in California. California is a surrogate-friendly state and has a straightforward surrogate mother requirement. Women who want to become a surrogate in California must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 32 and be between the ages of 21 and 41.

Plus, potential surrogate mothers in California are required to have already given birth and be the parents of at least one child. Additionally, your medical records must show that all of your pregnancies and births were problem-free. Furthermore, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant.

Also, you must be healthy, a nonsmoker, and have no criminal record. Most fertility clinics will also require that you undergo medical and psychological examinations before being accepted as a surrogate.

2. Are surrogate mothers free to choose who they’ll become a surrogate for?

Matching a surrogate with a couple looking to start a family is a complex process that requires a lot of planning, thought, and investigation. Of course, the surrogate mother must be involved in the match-making process. First, the intended couples choose their surrogate. Next, the surrogate is then notified and allowed to request different intended parents. However, it is quite rare to find a surrogate requesting a different intended parent.

3. How long does surrogacy take from sign-up to completion?

Surrogacy, from initial paperwork through delivery, usually takes between 12 and 13 months. Medical screenings and legal work take around three to four months. Then, the surrogate mother carries the baby for nine months. Since every surrogate case is different, it’s hard to give an exact estimate of how long this process will take. However, a period of 12-13 months is a good estimate.

4. Will the surrogate mother and child have any biological relationship?

The surrogate mother would share a biological connection with the baby if the baby was conceived through traditional surrogacy. However, the reverse is the case for gestational surrogacy. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is only the birth mother and doesn’t share any biological relationship with the child. This is because the egg comes from the intended mother or an egg donor and not from the surrogate mother.


How much is a surrogate in California? It’s quite hard to give an exact estimate of how much surrogacy would cost you because there are many factors at play here. However, if you go for traditional surrogacy, you can expect to spend between 40,000 to $70,000.

On the other hand, gestational surrogacy is way more expensive than traditional surrogacy and can cost you $90,000 to $130,000. The hefty price tag is primarily due to the procedure (IVF) used to create the embryo. Also, as the intended parent, note that you’ll have to cover the surrogate’s medical costs, legal fees, travel expenses, and other expenses.

However, if the entire surrogacy process seems too daunting for you, you can hire the services of a surrogacy agency. A reputable surrogacy agency will provide you with all the documents, resources, and tools you need to start a family. Plus, they’ll help you simplify the surrogacy payment process and deal with any hurdle you may face along the way.

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