How much does surrogacy cost?
Now that you have decided surrogacy is right for you, the task of understanding costs and budgeting for your personal journey will begin. Since there are many factors that can lead to the overall cost of your surrogacy journey, it is helpful to understand the most common costs that an intended parent can incur. Breaking down the different services, fees and potential costs will give you a foundation for planning and our agency is committed to laying out all possible costs to assist you in your financial planning.
For a helpful line-by-line summary sheet showing the estimated cost for surrogacy in the United States, click the Download below.
Medical Expenses can be broken down into two high level categories; quite simply pre-pregnancy and pregnancy.
Prior to pregnancy intended parents will incur costs for the embryo creation, screening and IVF treatments. If your fertility clinic does not have an all-inclusive program or if your carrier requires monitoring/testing close to her home, you may incur extra costs for medications, laboratory testing and ultrasounds. Once pregnancy is achieved the total medical expenses will vary based on the gestational carrier’s personal insurance coverage or the plan that you select for her. It is important to know that the carrier’s insurance can only be used once she is confirmed pregnant and no longer a patient of your fertility clinic.
Every surrogacy agency’s approach is different. You should select a qualified, well-vetted agency that fits your personal requirements and expectations. Consider how the agency pre-screens its potential Surrogate Mothers and whether its services and support offerings are comprehensive. Some agencies offer a flat fee for services, while others offer an initial fee and add-on services you can choose from. Always ask for the full fee structure and we recommend finding an agency that has fixed fees and can provide you with professional and personal referrals.
It can be difficult to estimate exactly how much you will pay your gestational carrier throughout the course of your journey. Some find it helpful to approach this financial piece as two categories: Base Compensation and Supplemental Payments.
For a first time gestational carrier the base compensation can average between $25,000 - $30,000 and for experienced carriers it can begin at $35,000 +. This amount can vary based on her insurance coverage, experience and where she resides and is higher should multiples occur. Generally the base compensation begins once there is a confirmation of pregnancy and is distributed in equal monthly installments.
Supplemental payments can include: maternity clothes, lost wages, childcare, additional medical procedures (i.e. c-section, termination, loss of reproductive organs), mileage reimbursement, monthly allowance, and more as determined by your contract.
Legal expenses will vary based on state laws and the amount of legal work required for your particular journey. Having an attorney that specializes in third party reproduction law is critical. You should retain an attorney that offers flat fees for service and it is recommended to hire an attorney for each service you need. For example, you will need to hire an attorney to outline the rights, responsibilities and financial obligations of each party, known as the Gestational Carrier Agreement. During this phase you will also be responsible for paying the fees for the gestational carrier's attorney to review the contract with her and negotiation terms. Once pregnancy is achieved you will once again retain an attorney to file the petition with the court system declaring you the parent of that child. Filing is generally done in the county in which the baby will be born and it is recommended that you work with an attorney who is permitted to practice in that state. Depending on the jurisdiction and/or judge residing over your case, your carrier may also be required to have an attorney represent her through the court proceedings at your expense.
No one can predict what may occur throughout your surrogacy journey. It is important to know and prepare for some variable expenses that could arise. Overall variable expenses can include: purchase of additional health and life insurance for the gestational carrier, travel expenses, counseling services, multiple transfer attempts, additional legal and medical services, escrow management services, etc. Understanding what expenses/services are included in the fees that you pay your fertility clinic, attorney and agency will help you move forward with confidence.