The Dangers of “Up To” in Surrogate Compensation Packages
November 10, 2023 by Frank Golden
If you are considering becoming a Surrogate, chances are your search history includes questions like, “what is the highest paying surrogacy agency?” Or, “surrogacy agency with the highest compensation package.” I might even be willing to bet “How to make the most money as a Surrogate” is in there too. No, I don’t have access to your search history but as a surrogacy agency director who is also a two-time former Intended Parent, I know a thing or two about this industry. In this blogpost I would like to provide you with the insights and knowledge to help you navigate the world of surrogacy and ensure you receive fair compensation as a Surrogate.
Let’s Address the Myth
Before we jump into identifying deceptive marketing tactics, let’s clear up a common misconception about Surrogates and compensation. Conversations regarding Surrogate compensation can be tricky to navigate given the number of myths and misconceptions out there. When conversations regarding Surrogate compensation arise, you might hear claims such as “Surrogates are only in it for the money.”
While I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of this blogpost picking apart that myth and giving you talking points to help educate the people who make these claims, I already did that in my previous blog, Busting Surrogacy Myths part 1. I encourage you to check it out so that the next time you hear a ridiculous claim that paints Surrogates in a negative light, you know exactly what to say.
As the Founder of a surrogacy agency and former Intended Parent, I am fully aware that the women who embark on surrogacy journeys are motivated by many things, not just money. It is crucial to recognize that Surrogates are motivated by a variety of factors, including compassion to help those in need, the desire to build families, and the emotional fulfillment of the journey.
That being said, even if money isn’t their main motivation, it’s still important to make sure they get paid fairly, and understand what they’re actually going to receive.
You deserve compensation that reflects the incredible contribution you are making, and you are not doing anything wrong by seeking the best compensation package that aligns with your dedication to this journey. Let’s bust the myth that wanting fair compensation makes you a “bad Surrogate.”
Beware of “Up To”
Now let’s circle back to your search history. Calm down, I only mean your questions regarding the highest paying surrogacy agencies, not whether that rash on your foot is contagious.
One common phrase that raises concerns is “up to” when it is used in conversations regarding Surrogate compensation packages. Let’s break this down with a comparison of two real compensation packages:
- Surrogacy Agency A: “As a first-time Surrogate, you can make up to $72,000.”
- Surrogacy Agency B: “Partner with the best and make $70,000.”
At first glance, you might be more interested in Surrogacy Agency A because they promise higher pay. But the use of “up to” in Agency A’s offer means that $72,000 is the most you could potentially make, not the guaranteed minimum. This wording is a trick to make the offer seem better than it really is.
The phrase “up to” suggests that the maximum compensation depends on unique circumstances. If a Surrogate works with Agency A hoping for $72,000 but those unique circumstances do not happen, the actual compensation could be significantly less, maybe only $50,000. This difference is because of that tricky “up to” wording.
Even worse, some agencies use “catastrophic incidental fees” to reach the maximum pay they’ve advertised. These fees come into play when serious incidents like a damaged uterus, a C-section, or prolonged bedrest occur. Surrogates who receive the full advertised amount often do so because they experience these serious incidents, which is not a fair way to pay them.
Agencies that use deceptive marketing tactics and withhold compensation until a catastrophic incident occurs are not agencies you should consider working with. Your compensation should be clear, transparent, and not dependent on rare, extreme circumstances. As a Surrogate, you deserve an agency that prioritizes your best interests and ensures fair compensation based on your hard work, without any hidden conditions.
Empower Yourself with Knowledge
In successful surrogacy journeys, being well-informed is your most important tool. Pay attention to the language used in compensation packages and be cautious of the phrase “up to.” Your commitment and effort as a Surrogate are invaluable, and you should choose an agency that respects you and compensates you fairly. Let’s ensure Surrogates are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve in this life-changing journey. For more information about surrogacy agencies and how to spot red flags, you can also read our blog on green flags and red flags in surrogacy agencies.