When Your Body is Your Business

41 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2010 Last revised: 13 Jul 2022

See all articles by Morgan Holcomb

Morgan Holcomb

Hamline University - School of Law

Mary Patricia Byrn

William Mitchell College of Law

Date Written: April 22, 2010


Surrogacy in the United States is a multi-million dollar industry in which well paid professionals seek out highly specialized women to fulfill the difficult job of being a surrogate. Surrogates enter lengthy contracts in which they agree, in intricate detail, to provide a service for significant compensation - surrogates are paid well over $22 million dollars a year. This article argues that surrogates are also professionals in this for-profit industry and are required to report surrogacy compensation as income. As a corollary, surrogates may deduct most of their surrogacy related expenses as business deductions. Being a surrogate is a highly personal service and the expenses the surrogate incurs - such as for maternity clothes or medical care - are typically seen as nondeductible personal ones, but when your body is your business, the personal is business.

Suggested Citation

Holcomb, Morgan and Byrn, Mary Patricia, When Your Body is Your Business (April 22, 2010). Washington Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 4, 2010, William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1594348

Morgan Holcomb (Contact Author)

Hamline University - School of Law ( email )

1536 Hewitt Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1237
United States

Mary Patricia Byrn

William Mitchell College of Law ( email )

875 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States
651-290-6478 (Phone)

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