Needless to say, compensation is one of those areas that can be touchy, personal, and often times, not talked about. And understandably so! I think whenever someone starts looking into surrogacy, they will either have a number in mind of what they would like to see or may even have unrealistic expectations based on media portrayal, gossip, or a host of other communication means by which they are drawing their opinion.
Surrogates can be altruistic (do this for no comp/expenses only), low comp (typically under $15K), "typical" comp (this number seems to vary on a number of different reasons), or high comp.
A surrogate will typically do an altruistic journey if maybe carrying for family, a close friend, to help out another family without the financial means, or in a location where comp can't be received. The same will apply to low comp journeys. Most will fall into the typical comp arena and a few will be considered higher comp.
Since the numbers can vary quite drastically and everyone has their own idea of what normal and high comp is, I don't think that is necessarily an appropriate conversation to get into. But what I would like to address is this mindset of some that surrogates make "bank." Or we do it for the money. Or it's an easy way to receive a large payday.
The truth is, even when receiving a pretty decent chunk of money, financial gain cannot be the reason anyone does this. In fact, this isn't a nine month commitment. Between screening time, legal process, and cycling for transfer, surrogacy is typically at least an 18 month commitment. Sometimes it can take 2 years or more depending on the individual situation. Compensation payments also do not start until after pregnancy has been achieved and is confirmed. If you happen to have failed cycles, miscarriages, or hang ups in the screening process, it could be 6 months or more before you see a dime.
Pregnancy also isn't something that you can turn on and off. Which is obvious, but I think sometimes we forget that this commitment is 24/7 for a nine month time period. Some of that time will be quite easy and smooth-sailing. Some of it won't be. But when we start to see this as non-stop commitment and how many hours truly go into this, you start to see why this isn't easy money at all.
I do want to point out, however, that while intellectually we can understand that the compensation may be fair and reasonable, we do need to remain empathetic and mindful of our intended parents who, in a perfect world, shouldn't have to spend that money at all. They understand the value in it and nobody can really put a price tag on building their family. But when deciding what is fair, I urge you to always step foot into what intended parents may be feeling. In the end, our goal should be to help grow a family. And while compensation is a part of this, really think about your motivation. Come to an agreement that works for both you and your intended parents. Consider everyone's feelings in this process. That is really what will make this world better all around.