How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid in NY and NJ?
Women considering becoming surrogates in New York or New Jersey will understandably want to know:
How much do surrogates make?
Is compensated gestational surrogacy possible in New York or New Jersey?
Deciding to carry a baby for another person is a big decision which comes with legal, emotional and medical risks. It can be personally fulfilling and rewarding but should only be undertaken if it is an appropriate choice for you and your family. Surrogacy laws in New York and New Jersey are intended to ensure that the surrogate is not financially burdened by her decision to help another family have a child. Accordingly, surrogates should not incur any costs or expenses in connection with their decision.
Permissible Payments in New York
Gestational surrogates in New York may be compensated for “medical risks, physical discomfort, inconvenience and the responsibilities they are undertaking in connection with their participation in the assisted reproduction.” New York law further provides that the amount of the compensation she receives “must be reasonable and negotiated in good faith between the parties, and said payments to a person acting as surrogate shall not exceed the duration of the pregnancy and recuperative period of up to eight weeks after the birth of any resulting children”.
If you are planning on being a “traditional surrogate,” meaning you will be providing the egg used in conception, you are not permitted to be “compensated” and the payments you may receive are strictly limited to what would be permitted in a New York adoption. Payments beyond that are impermissible and illegal. Because of this restriction, the traditional surrogacy arrangements taking place in New York are typically limited to those where the surrogate is a close friend or family member of the intended parents and she is helping them strictly out of love and compassion.
Permissible Payments in New Jersey
New Jersey surrogacy law permits gestational surrogates to be paid “reasonable” expenses in connection with a valid gestational carrier agreement. These reasonable expenses include:
- medical, hospital, counseling or other similar expenses incurred in connection with the gestational carrier agreement;
- reasonable attorney fees and costs for legal services in connection with the gestational carrier agreement; and
- the reasonable living expenses of the gestational carrier during her pregnancy, including payments for reasonable food, clothing, medical expenses, shelter, and religious, psychological, vocational, or similar counseling services during the period of her pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
New Jersey law further provides that “payment” for being a surrogate can be made directly to the gestational surrogate, or on the gestational surrogate’s behalf to the supplier of the goods or services.
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES PAID BY INTENDED PARENTS
As a practical matter, the typical expenses paid by the intended parents on behalf of a surrogate include — but may not be limited to — the following:
- Medical expenses associated with the embryo transfer procedure (including required medications, examinations, testing, and laboratory work); prenatal care; and hospital delivery
- Vitamins and maternity clothing
- Travel expenses to and from appointments related to the surrogacy plan
- “Reasonable living expenses” or “compensation” depending on whether New York or New Jersey law will govern the agreement
- Surrogacy-related counseling
- Surrogacy-related legal fees
- Cost of any recommended supplemental medical insurance policy (to cover the cost of prenatal care, delivery and hospitalization)
- Cost of surrogate’s life insurance policy and/or short-term disability insurance
The anticipated payments will be detailed in the surrogacy agreement you sign with the intended parents to ensure that the anticipated expenses and payments are clear and that they comply with legal restrictions.
If your primary motivation for becoming a surrogate is to receive financial compensation, this may not be the right path for you. This is because the decision to be a surrogate carries emotional and medical risks and, for that reason, it’s important that your decision is not unduly influenced by your financial circumstances. While surrogates are entitled to be paid for their time, effort and the risks they’re assuming, most surrogates are primarily motivated by their desire to help someone else have a child. Women seeking to become surrogates are screened by the professionals to ensure that they are not experiencing financial or other hardships which would unduly influence their decision.
For guidance through the legal aspects of the surrogacy process, feel free to contact the surrogacy attorneys at the law firm of Rumbold & Seidelman by calling 914-779-1050.
Your NY or NJ Surrogacy Arrangement Will Always Be At No Cost to You
If you decide to be a surrogate, you will not incur any expenses beyond the time, energy and effort you put into bringing a child into the world. All medical and legal costs should be paid by the intended parents. Because you will be carrying the pregnancy, and are therefore the patient receiving the medical services, it is important for you to legally protected from the risk that you could be held responsible for any uncovered medical expenses. For that reason, you are well-advised to work with surrogacy professionals who can make sure that your financial interests are protected.
The attorneys at Rumbold & Seidelman have the experience necessary to do that, and their legal services will always be free to you. To learn more about surrogate compensation in New York or New Jersey, please contact our law firm at 914-779-1050.