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How Much Does Surrogacy Cost? Understand Surrogacy Costs and Financial Planning

Surrogacy Cost

As an intended parent, you may have found yourself drawn to surrogacy as a viable path to parenthood. However,  "How much does surrogacy cost?" is often the first question that comes to mind.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the average cost of gestational surrogacy in the U.S. ranges from $100,000 to $150,000, a substantial investment in your family's future.

As the parent of a daughter born via surrogacy, I understand that this can be both emotionally and financially taxing. That's why I'm here to help you understand the costs involved and how to plan for them effectively.

A Deeper Look Into the Cost of Surrogacy

Surrogacy Cost Factors

Agency Fees

A surrogacy agency is one helpful option, providing you with all essential services that simplify and streamline the process itself. They are the ones who are responsible for matching you with suitable gestational carriers, ensuring compatibility on crucial factors like your lifestyle, surrogacy views, and as well as personal preferences. They also coordinate medical procedures and support legal processes.

The fees you pay to them encompass these services, offering you peace of mind by ensuring that experts adeptly handle these critical aspects. Although their fees vary and are almost always high, it's crucial to recognize them as an investment in professional support and expertise. This investment may make your journey smoother and more manageable.

Medical Costs

These expenses cover procedures necessary for creating embryos and may include lab work, cryo-preservation, pre-genetic testing, pre-transfer medications, and the IVF treatments themselves. The embryo transfer may require multiple attempts, each incurring costs for lab work, and the time of medical professionals.

Upon achieving pregnancy, these costs extend to prenatal care for the surrogate including regular check-ups, ultrasound scans, dietary supplements, and any other special care or any unexpected interventions needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Lastly, it also covers the delivery itself, from hospital charges to the fees for the medical team overseeing the birth.

Legal Fees

Surrogacy involves several legal aspects and you will need to hire an attorney for both yourself and the gestational carrier in her home state. The costs associated with this include drafting contracts that clearly outline each party's responsibilities and expectations. These agreements cover sensitive issues such as the surrogate's behavior during pregnancy, compensation, and protocols for handling potential complications.

Legal counsel is essential for establishing parental rights, ensuring that you are legally recognized as the parent(s) of your child born through surrogacy. Depending on your state's laws, this process may involve pre-birth orders or post-birth adoption procedures. Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in this field is crucial for confidently navigating these legal waters.

Compensation for the Surrogate

This acknowledges the time, effort, and physical demands that come with carrying a pregnancy. Note that this is not just for the nine months of pregnancy – it also accounts for the time spent during the medical screening process, the IVF attempts, and recovery post-delivery. Compensation can be all-encompassing, and an expert or surrogacy consultant can help walk you through what some of those items may be that you may not have considered.

This aims to reflect the incredible commitment and personal sacrifice made by the surrogate in helping you achieve your dream of parenthood.

Intended Parents' Financial Planning

Budgeting Tips for Surrogacy

Understanding the cost is one thing, but effectively planning for it is another. The key here is to be realistic, informed, and proactive.

Create a Budget

It's very important to have a clear knowledge of how much you can actually afford and strictly stick to it.

You can begin by calculating your current household income and then factoring in any potential changes due to maternity or paternity leave. Additionally, consider the expenses associated with preparing for a new baby, including purchasing furniture, baby clothes, and essential gear.

Once you have a clearer picture of your finances, you can comfortably determine what percentage of your funds should go towards surrogacy.

Explore Financing Options

If you don't have all these funds available at once, surrogacy agencies often offer payment plans or financing options to make the process more affordable for you. Alternatively, you can explore applying for loans specifically designed for intended parents like yourself.

Some companies are now offering “family planning’ stipends which can be used for adoption or surrogacy - check with your Human Resources Department to see if your company offers such a resource. 

There are also grants available from multiple religious and non-religious organizations and you may be qualified to receive money to offset your costs. Similarly, there are organizations that specifically help members of the LGBT community offset the costs of having a child through surrogacy.

Plan Ahead and Save

Given the substantial costs involved, it's a MUST to start planning early and as well as save as much money as possible to reduce your financial burden. You might consider trimming certain expenses or exploring additional work opportunities to boost your savings. If you are considering making changes to your financial plans, it is best to talk to your accountant or financial planner to see what makes the most sense for your family. 

Look into Insurance

Your gestational carrier will need health insurance without a “surrogacy exception.” If your surrogate does not have insurance, or her insurance has that exception, you can purchase private insurance for her; however, it is not inexpensive. 

It is important to note that your insurance will not cover any expenses until the baby is born and you are declared the parents to that child. Until that time, the gestational carrier is responsible for having insurance to cover expenses, and you will be responsible for any unreimbursed charges. 

You must also provide life insurance for your surrogate during the process. While you cannot be the beneficiary of the policy, you must set up the process and ensure that she is covered in the event that something catastrophic happens.  

Using a Surrogacy Consultant

It would be surprising if you weren’t already a little overwhelmed by the time you get to the end of this post. And that’s where I am pleased to come in as your Surrogacy Consultant. Whether you decide to work with an agency or not, I have a plan to help you through the process with informed decision-making and effective financial planning, as I did. Now, I am the proud parent of a beautiful daughter, thanks to surrogacy.

We can discuss streamlining the process, minimizing costs, and bringing you closer to the family you've always envisioned. Simply schedule a conversation today.


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