At Newborn Advantage, we are advocates for intended parents, and will do everything we can to ensure your surrogacy experience is amazing. A large part of that advocacy is in finding a qualified surrogate. Women choose to become surrogates for many reasons, and there typically is a healthy blend of financial incentive and altruism. Most surrogates are inspired by the idea of bringing a new life into the world and helping another couple conceive.

For Wendy Shyer, a Newborn Advantage surrogate currently undergoing her second surrogacy journey, it’s all about the love.

“I had secondary infertility, so I understand how it feels to long for a child and not be able to become pregnant or carry a baby to term,” Shyer says. “I do this because I have so much compassion for people who cannot have babies on their own.”

Beyond “heart purposes,” surrogates also realize there is great value in what they do, and they must be compensated fairly. However, if the arrangement is only financially driven, it may not be the best fit for anyone.

When surrogates request compensation beyond amounts that are reasonable and standard in the industry, this can be a red flag for us here at Newborn Advantage. In this blog, we will talk about fair compensation for surrogates, reasonable vs. unreasonable demands, and how we can work to promote agreements that are fair for all parties. We hope this blog is helpful in addressing issues of ethics in surrogacy, and advocating for fair business practices.

Fair Compensation for Surrogates
Every surrogate deserves to be compensated for their time, commitment and the gift of life they make possible through surrogacy. Newborn Advantage acts as an intermediary between surrogates and intended parents, and we seek fair and equitable compensation for surrogates, in line with industry standard rates based regionally across the U.S.

Strong Advocacy for Intended Parents
We also advocate on behalf of intended parents. If a surrogate requests unexplained and excessive fees, or asks intended parents for items not covered in the original agreement, intended parents will not be required to meet their requests. If a fair and equitable agreement between parties cannot be reached, and if a surrogate attempts to extort funds from intended parents, we will cease working with the surrogate.

Reasonable vs. Unreasonable Requests
So, what’s reasonable in a surrogacy agreement, and what isn’t? Reasonable fees for a gestational surrogate include industry-standard compensation, the payment of all medical bills, costs of transportation to and from medical appointments, childcare expenses during doctor visits, and optional courtesies like third-trimester housekeeping.

Unreasonable requests could include payments that are above industry standards, housekeeping for the full term of the pregnancy, and full-time childcare.

How can we advocate for fair and equitable agreements for all parties?
We research industry rates and ensure that our surrogates are being paid fair and reasonable compensation for their services. Then, we work with legal teams and all parties to draft fair and equitable agreements. We will also advocate on behalf of intended parents, ensuring they are not being overcharged. Finally, we will do our best to ensure both parties uphold their terms of the surrogacy agreement.

“We support advocacy and enjoy working with agencies who do as well,” says Richard Vaughn, Attorney and Owner of International Fertility Law Group, who frequently represents Newborn Advantage clients. “We appreciate the fact that Newborn Advantage follows industry standards in creating surrogacy contracts, and acts as an advocate for intended parents.”

Remembering the Reasons for Surrogacy
When done for the right reasons, surrogacy is a beautiful thing. Here at Newborn Advantage, we will remain committed to ethical business practices as we work with intended parents and surrogates. After all, if we’re going to bring new babies into the world, we owe it to them to create a world where honesty, ethics and kindness come first.